Carlsbad Car Accident Lawyers
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Auto accidents are commonplace, and their results can range from mundane to devastating. We do not always envision them happening to us, but when they do, we are often at a loss as to our next steps. In addition to recovering from physical injuries, we must also contend with insurance companies and navigate the complexities of the legal system.
If you are wondering what to do after a car accident in Carlsbad, our New Mexico car accident lawyers can help. We will evaluate the facts of your case, help you understand your options, and work with you to strategize a path toward maximum compensation. Tell us about your case, and we will tell you what we can do to help.
What should I do after an accident in Carlsbad, NM?
Again, each auto accident is unique and should be evaluated and handled on a case-by-case basis by an experienced Carlsbad car accident attorney. However, no matter the accident, there are a few steps you should consider taking early on.
Get Medical Attention If Needed
Your wellbeing is the top priority in any case; therefore, even though receiving medical attention may not always be the first step you take, this step is still listed first. In any accident, the first step you should take is an evaluation of your own injuries where possible and then that of any passengers in your vehicle. If your injuries are extreme, immediate medical attention may take priority over everything else.
In addition to attending to your own safety, seeking medical attention is also a very important evidentiary step in your case. The treatment records created by your healthcare providers will be the primary source of evidence for your injuries. The treatment records will go toward showing your non-economic damages, and the associated billing records will help substantiate your economic damages.
Do not underestimate the impact of relatively less severe injuries on your case; have a healthcare professional evaluate all of your injuries, no matter how small. Also, consider that some injuries (for example, whiplash) may only become apparent well after the accident took place. The impact of these injuries should also not be underestimated.
Report the Accident
After you have evaluated your injuries, be sure to report the accident to the police. Even if the accident is relatively unserious, it should still be reported. The police report will serve as the first formal documentation of the accident and as another important source of evidence.
Exchange Information, Identify Witnesses, and Collect Evidence
While at the scene of the accident, be sure to exchange information with any other involved drivers. Information you should collect includes names, contact information, license plate numbers, insurance providers, and policy numbers.
Also, be sure to collect the contact information of any witnesses, for they can often contribute information that only they have access to. For example, in a rear-end collision case, a witness who had been driving behind the at-fault driver may have been able to witness that driver speeding, running lights, or swerving before the collision took place. This information can go a very long way in substantiating your case.
Where possible, also collect information documenting the scene of the accident; roadways are changeable environments and not conducive to preserving evidence. Therefore, collect footage—photography, audio, and video—documenting things like weather and road conditions. Even a screenshot of your weather app showing the conditions at the time of the accident can be helpful.
Consult With a Lawyer
Finally, do not hesitate to consult with a Carlsbad car accident attorney; and be very careful what you reveal to insurance companies and potential adversaries before speaking with a Carlsbad automobile accident lawyer. Insurance companies are not neutral third parties—even your own—and their primary interest is in saving money. Their settlement offers often reflect the legal minimum they can offer rather than the amount you deserve.
Having one of our injury attorneys evaluate your case first can ensure that you know your full rights and are being treated fairly. Remember, anything you say to an insurance company can be used against you in litigation. Therefore, never sign forms or waivers provided by an insurance company and never admit fault before consulting with an attorney.
Read More: How to Negotiate with Insurance Companies
Auto Accident Statistics
Car accidents happen every day. According to the National Safety Council, an estimated total of 42,060 deaths occurred the United States in 2020 as a result of motor-vehicle accidents.
The numbers are similarly concerning in New Mexico; according to the New Mexico Department of Transportation, in 2019 a motor vehicle crash occurred every 11 minutes and a person was injured in a crash every 26 minutes. According to the same report, there were 48,124 traffic crashes reported on public roadways in the state in 2019.
A total of 119,118 people were involved in these crashes. The total number of people injured was 20,415, and the total number killed was 425. Expressed differently, there was an average of 132 crashes per day involving a total of 326 people, 56 injuries, and 1 fatality.
The top contributing factors to crashes in New Mexico in 2019 were driver inattention (19%), failed to yield right of way (14%), and following too closely (11%). The top contributing factors for those involving fatalities in that same year were alcohol/drug involvement (53%), drove left of center (9%), and excessive speed (7%). In regards to your accident, whether your car is intact or totaled, whether you were sideswiped or rear-ended in Carlsbad, our Carlsbad car accident lawyers are equipped to evaluate and handle your case.
Read more: New Mexico Traffic Crash Annual Report, 2019