Albuquerque Traffic Accident Lawyers
CALL (800) 863-5312 to speak with Albuquerque traffic accident lawyers
The unfortunate reality of driving is that you can only control your own actions and not those of the other drivers on the road. This means that you are forced to trust that other drivers are driving responsibly and doing their best to avoid a collision. However, drunk drivers, distracted drivers, and countless other factors cause accidents every day that can result in serious injuries and even fatalities for the victims. After you have been in an accident, working with experienced Albuquerque traffic accident lawyers could be the best recourse you have to make sure your rights and your family’s future are protected.
After being injured in a New Mexico traffic accident, you should contact an experienced Albuquerque personal injury attorney at Zinda Law Group as soon as you can. Our knowledgeable team can help you pursue the maximum amount of compensation available in your case and answer any questions you may have. Contact us at (800) 863-5312 today for your 100% free initial consultation. We are available 24/7 and you do not pay us anything unless we are successful in winning your car accident case.
What to do after a car accident
First and foremost, car accident victims should have an understanding of what to do after their accident to protect themselves and their legal rights. While the process will look different depending on the circumstances of the accident, victims should complete a few key steps after every collision, whether it is a minor fender-bender or a major collision.
Seek Medical Attention if Injured
Priority number one in the aftermath of a car accident is to protect your physical health. Car accidents can inflict a variety of different injuries on their victims, some of which are invisible to the naked eye. If left untreated, these injuries can develop into life-threatening conditions or permanent disabilities. Getting medical attention as soon as you can gives you and your doctor the opportunity to catch these kinds of injuries before they get any worse and to start the road to recovery.
Seeking medical attention quickly is also important from a legal standpoint. In certain cases, an insurance company or opposing attorney may attempt to make the argument that because a victim waited a long time from the date of the accident to seek medical attention, their injuries are not severe, or even that they are entirely unrelated to the accident. Going to a doctor soon after the accident prevents these sorts of arguments from gaining any sort of traction.
Report the Accident
After ensuring that no injuries require medical attention, it is important that you report the accident to law enforcement. If the police have not been called, make sure to call them and have them come to the scene. This is important for a couple of reasons. For one, reporting a traffic accident is required by New Mexico law in certain circumstances. Telling the police what happened also gives you the chance to put your recollection of what happened down on an official report while the details are still fresh in your brain.
Document the Scene
While you are still present at the scene, gather all of the information and evidence that you can. This includes taking pictures of the damage that all the vehicles involved sustained, taking pictures of the surrounding environment, and getting contact and insurance information for the drivers involved, as well as contact information for any witnesses who saw what happened. While you may not know exactly what will become important in your case later, it is better to have more than you need than wish you had been more thorough.
Contact an Albuquerque Car Accident Lawyer
The sooner you can get your case to an experienced Albuquerque personal injury attorney, the better. A good attorney will guide you through the process from the beginning, starting with telling you what to expect and what your possible outcomes might be, all the way through handling negotiations and even going to trial to make sure that your rights are protected. Because this decision is so important, make sure to inquire about the resources and capacity that a potential law firm would have to give your case the attention it deserves.
Read More: Five Things to Do After a Car Accident
Common causes of Albuquerque traffic accidents
Every accident is complex, and most cannot be boiled down to one single cause. However, there are a few factors that play into the causation analysis on a regular basis.
Driving While Under the Influence
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is dangerous for several different reasons. Alcohol and other drugs can slow down your reaction times, impair coordination, and cause a lack of concentration. Intoxicants like these are also dangerous because they also impair judgment, which means that someone who thinks that they would never drive drunk might end up behaving differently after they have had a few beers.
Most people are aware of the risks posed by drunk driving. However, there is less awareness about the dangers of fatigued driving, though the result can be just as deadly. In fact, driving after going 20 or more hours without any sleep is equivalent to driving a car with a BAC of over 0.08%. Fatigued driving is also dangerous because the signs of fatigue are difficult to identify. Some people can experience micro-sleep, which are short, involuntary periods of inattention. In that short amount of time, however, a car driving at highway speeds can travel hundreds of yards.
Many drivers exceed the posted speed limits from time to time, and some instances of speeding may not cause accidents. However, speed limits exist for a reason, and exceeding the speed limit can create a dangerous situation where a driver is going faster than the flow of traffic with reduced reaction times due to their increased velocity. Accidents caused by excessive speeding also tend to have more serious consequences because high speed collisions generate much more force.
Hazardous Road Conditions
While things like drunk or fatigued driving can certainly cause traffic accidents, there are some factors that lead to accidents that have nothing to do with the drivers involved at all. For instance, certain road conditions lead to an increased risk of collisions. For example, heavy rain could lead to reduced traction and a lack of ability to stop in time. Heavy fog reduces visibility which, in turn, reduces reaction time. There may also be dangerous manmade conditions, like a construction zone that does not provide adequate warning to drivers. Regardless of the exact cause of your accident, the thing that makes it more manageable is having a qualified Albuquerque personal injury lawyer on your side.
The majority of personal injury cases are based upon proving negligence. Simply put, negligence is the failure to act appropriately under a given set of circumstances, leading to some sort of injury. There are several different ways in which different states handle the issue of how to apportion fault among the parties involved in a given accident, and New Mexico is one of the states that follows the theory of pure comparative fault. Under this theory, a plaintiff can recover for their injuries even if they were also at fault—even, potentially, if they were the main party at fault.
To prove negligence, a plaintiff needs to establish four key elements. First, the negligent party must have had a duty to act in a certain way. For traffic accidents, New Mexico traffic laws establish what this duty is. Certain actions, like driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, may violate the laws in a way that triggers the doctrine of negligence per se, which is a form of automatic negligence based on violating a statute. After showing what the duty is, a plaintiff needs to show that the negligent party breached it. For example, a construction company who did not post proper signage warning of a construction zone may have breached their duty to drivers.
After showing duty and breach, the next step in showing negligence is causation. Causation means that the negligent act is what caused the injuries sustained by the victim. If a driver is driving while under the influence but this is not actually what caused the accident,, then negligence based on that intoxication would fail at this step. Finally, a plaintiff must be able to show that they suffered actual, compensable damages. An Albuquerque personal injury lawyer will be able to explain the concept of negligence more thoroughly and how it applies to your case.
Who is liable for my injuries?
After understanding how a party can be held liable, the next step is talk about who, exactly, the victim of a traffic accident can hold liable. Again, this will vary on a case-by-case basis, but there are a few different types of parties who may be at least partially liable for your injuries.
The other driver is most likely the first, and potentially only option that comes to mind when accident victims think about who might be liable for their injuries. While drivers are not the only ones who might be liable, they will be the person around whom the liability conversation centers in most cases. There are any number of ways in which a driver could be liable for the injuries of another, including excessive speeding, driving while under the influence, or simply failing to exercise proper caution when driving.
We generally trust that other drivers on the road are exercising the proper amount of caution, and we also rely on the mechanics that service our vehicles to make their repairs in a thorough and professional way. In rare circumstances, if a mechanic makes a mistake while servicing your car, the consequences could be severe and potentially deadly. If this is the case, then it is possible that a mechanic could be held liable for the injuries that they cause.
Drivers most likely take for granted that the roads they are driving on will be safe and in good condition. Government bodies are responsible for maintaining the roads in and around Albuquerque depending on exactly where you are. A failure to uphold this responsibility to provide safe roads could lead to dangerous driving conditions, which can potentially lead to liability. In addition to providing safe roads, repairs and maintenance need to be completed safely as well. Construction zones, if not properly marked, can also become dangerous and cause traffic accidents.
Damages in an Albuquerque traffic accident
The main way that the New Mexico legal system tries to compensate victims for their injuries and losses is through the awarding of monetary damages. While money cannot address all of the damage that an accident might cause, it is certainly helpful to be able to pay bills and repair lost or damaged property. There is no surefire way to give a great estimate of what a victim could be entitled to without consulting an Albuquerque car accident attorney, but there are a few categories of damages:
Economic damages are tangible damages that easily be quantified. The value of economic damages does not change based upon the judge or jury that is evaluating them—they are objective. Some examples of economic damages include hospital bills, a damaged or destroyed vehicle, or lost wages from being unable to work due to an injury. Economic damages can be easily proven with things like invoices or receipts.
Where economic damages are objective and tangible, non-economic damages are more subjective. This does not mean that they are any less real to the victims who experience them, however. Non-economic damages refer to things like pain and suffering or emotional distress a victim experiences because of their accident. While they may not be as easily quantifiable as economic damages, the monetary value assigned to non-economic damages will generally be higher the more of an impact an injury has on the life of a victim.
In certain cases, punitive damages may also be available. While the first two categories compensate victims for their losses, punitive damages serve as a warning and punishment to particularly reckless parties or those who acted intentionally.
Call Zinda law group today at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free consultation
The right Albuquerque car accident attorney will stand by your side and fight for fair compensation from the people responsible for causing your injuries. It is also critical to not only have a lawyer who will take care of the legal issues, but to also make you feel comfortable. The Albuquerque personal injury attorneys at Zinda Law Group have the resources of a nationwide firm combined with the localized approach of a smaller operation to be able to handle your case with the care you need while making sure that you never feel alone throughout the process.
Also, Zinda Law Group believes that accident victims have enough to worry about and shouldn’t be forced to worry about whether or not they can afford legal representation. That’s why we offer our No Win, No Fee Guarantee. You pay us nothing unless we win your case for you.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.