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New Mexico boasts wide-open, scenic roads for bikers to enjoy. For some, riding a motorcycle is a freeing way to relax. Motorcycles can also be a great form of transportation for those working in a downtown area or other places where space might be at a premium.
However, for all of the potential benefits, if you have been in a New Mexico motorcycle accident, getting fair treatment can be anything but enjoyable, and far from simple. Speaking to a motorcycle accident injury lawyer is a great way to learn about your options and how to pursue them.
what are the motorcycle helmets laws in new mexico?
The only people who are required to wear helmets in New Mexico on a motorcycle are people under the age of 18; wearing a helmet on a motorcycle is a good idea for everyone, but it is not required for adults who choose not to wear one. This means that insurance companies or other drivers will not be able to argue that a biker involved in an accident was breaking the law by not wearing a helmet, and therefore was somehow responsible for their own injuries. There is a more comprehensive set of laws that apply to motorcycle riders more generally, however, and those New Mexico motorcycle laws are here.
common motorcycle injuries
In accidents involving only cars and trucks, the drivers and passengers are provided some protection by the built-in safety features. Because bikers are almost completely exposed, they may be at risk of sustaining much more severe injuries during an accident. Some of the more commonly suffered motorcycle injuries include:
Head injuries are one of the most serious risks facing bikers in accidents, even if they were wearing a helmet. They can be relatively minor in some cases but can also lead to lifelong complications in the most severe situations.
Road rash occurs when a motorcycle rider is thrown from their bike and slides across the pavement. While the name may not imply a very serious injury, road rash can lead to a whole host of other complications, such as irritations, infections, and even nerve damage.
Broken bones are very common during motorcycle crashes, and they can occur either on initial impact with another vehicle or upon impact with the ground. Broken bones can include ribs, the collarbone, and any bones in the arms or legs.
what Should I do after a motorcycle accident?
Motorcycle accidents can have more severe consequences than accidents involving only cars or trucks given the lack of protection that bikers have from their motorcycle; as a result, a biker often lands in a very painful and confusing place following their accident. One way to alleviate some of the post-accident stress is to have a concrete idea of what to do. While no two accidents will ever be exactly the same, a simple list of steps for motorcycle accident victims to complete includes:
1. Seek Medical Attention
Seek medical attention for any injuries as soon as possible; there are a couple of different reason for this. For one, injuries can quickly become worse after the accident if left untreated; this is particularly true of head injuries, which bikers are at high risk of, even if they were wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. Some injuries may also not present symptoms immediately, and a medical professional may be able to find and treat those kinds of injuries.
In addition, an insurance company may try to make the claim during the legal process that your injuries are not actually related to the accident that you were involved in. Going to get medical attention as soon as possible after your accident helps to strengthen the cause-effect link between the two.
2. Document the Accident
In a personal injury claim, there is no such thing as being overprepared; always have more information than you think you need. First, contact the police; filing a report with the police gives you a chance to relay the details of the accident while they are fresh on your mind, and it is actually required by law to do so if the accident results in bodily injury or death, or an amount of damage appearing to be over $500. Second, keep all of the paperwork that you receive, whether that be medical records or receipts from replacing broken property.
3. Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in New Mexico
After a motorcycle accident, you have to look out for your own interests. Other parties may attempt to take advantage of your lack of knowledge of the legal system in an attempt to pay out as little as they possibly can. The best way to avoid being taken advantage of is to set up a consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer in New Mexico. An attorney can help analyze the details of your case, determine what your case is worth, and make a plan for a fair recovery.
Filing a claim for a motorcycle accident injury
Filing a claim is an important part of the process of getting the compensation that you are entitled to. Again, if you are not familiar with the process, then there are lots of mistakes to be made and many parties who are willing to take advantage of those mistakes. The process of filing a claim will generally include the same basic steps.
1. Contact a Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyer
Negotiating a settlement with an at-fault party or insurance company can do serious damage to your claim or lead you to accept an offer that is less than the fair value of your injuries. Thus, contacting an experienced attorney before you make any sort of major decision can help you protect your legal rights.
As part of the initial process, your attorney will set up a meeting to discuss the details of your case. They may ask about where the accident occurred, how the accident happened, and the injuries that you sustained. From this point, they can give you an opinion on whether you have a valid claim for compensation.
2. Research and Investigation
After you have selected an attorney and hired them, they will dig up all of the information that they will need to argue your case persuasively and effectively. There may be piles of evidence available; it requires a skilled attorney to make sense of it and determine what is the most important. In a New Mexico motorcycle accident, this could include any photo or video evidence that might be available, insurance information for the other driver, and all of the medical records and receipts that you have gathered since the accident.
3. Negotiate a Settlement
Negotiating a settlement is perhaps the most important step of the process because this is where compensation will be determined. At this stage, it is critical that your attorney not only have a firm grasp on New Mexico motorcycle laws, but also on the unique details of your case; an effective attorney will be able to frame the matter in a way that accentuates the strong points of your claim while minimizing any weaker spots that might exist. Your attorney should also have experience with similar claims to be able to gauge the true value of your claim and avoid taking a settlement offer that is too low.
4. Go to Trial
If settlement negotiations fall through, as is sometimes the case, then going to trial may be the only way to fight for the compensation that you deserve. Managing a trial is a complicated venture and requires the experience of an attorney who has been there before in order to develop effective arguments, develop the proper questions for witnesses, and to make the right objections during questioning by the other side.
Call zinda law group at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free consultation
If you are interested in pursuing legal action, or simply want to know more about what your options are, call Zinda Law Group today; our New Mexico motorcycle accident lawyers are standing by, ready to discuss your case with you through a confidential consultation. What’s more, we believe that accident victims shouldn’t need to worry about their ability to afford representation, which is why you don’t pay us anything until we win your case for you. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.