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There are many different factors that contribute to rear-end collisions, and these types of accidents can result in injury, disability, death, and property damage. Unfortunately, you may be involved in one of these traffic accidents even if you were operating your vehicle safely. Luckily, there are some ways to prevent being involved in a rear-end collision and steps you can take if you've been injured by a negligent driver.
What is a rear-end collision?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear-end collisions are the most common type of car accident, constituting 30% of all traffic accidents every year. A rear-end collision occurs when a vehicle crashes into the one in front of it. These collisions are commonly caused by driver inattention, tailgating, panic stops, and reduced roadway traction.
As accidents and fatalities increase, safety organizations are becoming even more aware of the need for better driving education and awareness programs. Furthermore, it is important to understand the driving behavior and performance of a driver when evaluating an accident and its cause. Due to the random nature of rear-end crashes and unpredictability of age and sex of the driver who would be involved in such a crash, many safety corporations have resorted to the generalized study of statistical data to determine who is most at risk for rear-end collisions. Experts determined that drivers of younger ages are more likely to be involved in a rear-end collision and should take care to mitigate their risks when operating a motor vehicle.
Drivers may be able to prevent many rear-end collisions by paying attention and acting reasonably while on public roadways. Regardless, it is unlikely that every traffic accident can be prevented. If you were involved and injured in a rear-end collision, you should contact a New Mexico personal injury attorney as soon as possible. A personal injury attorney may be able to help you move forward and assess the legal options related to your claim.
What Should I Do After A Rear-End Collision in New Mexico?
If you were rear-ended in New Mexico, you may be concerned about what to do next. After a rear-end collision, victims can take the following few steps to ensure that they are protected from liability and responsibility in the eye of the law:
1. Check for Injuries
Regardless of the type of accident, involved drivers should always first check to see if anyone is hurt, even in minor fender bender cases. Rear-end collisions can cause severe whiplash and other injuries, depending on the force of the collision. Check yourself and your passengers first. After you have ensured that the people within your vehicle are safe, you can then move to check on the people in the other involved cars. If anyone is hurt, you should immediately call for medical assistance, if necessary.
2. Call the Police
You should always call the police after a rear-end accident, even if the damage is minor. If contacted, the responding police officer will draft a written accident report, which is important because it documents when, where, and how the accident happened. If the other driver was at fault for the collision, the police report may help you prove your claims to the involved insurance companies. After the police create the report, you should ask for a copy to make sure that you have physical proof of the accident and your assertions.
3. Document the Scene
Many courts appreciate plaintiffs who can present them with physical proof and evidence. After an accident, you should do your best to document the scene as thoroughly as possible. The best way to document the scene of an accident is to take photos or videos with your mobile device. Taking notes and describing the accident in written form may also help you recall the specifics of the accident later on in the litigation process. It is essential that you document the scene as soon as possible to avoid leaving out any essential details.
4. Exchange Information
After you have ensured that everyone is safe, you should exchange contact information with the other party. Even if there is no obvious damage, you should still exchange information, just in case injuries or property damage arise after leaving the scene of the accident. You should be sure to get the driver’s name, phone number, address, driver’s license number, car information, and insurance information. If there are any eyewitnesses, you should also try to get similar information from them. Witnesses may play a key role in proving your claim if your case proceeds to litigation.
5. Visit a Healthcare Professional
Even if you are feeling fine and have no obvious injuries, you should still visit a healthcare professional after a rear-end accident. Rear-end collisions are infamous for causing whiplash and head injuries. A healthcare professional will be able to scientifically inspect your body and assure you that you have no serious injuries. If you are injured, you can ask your doctor to draft a medical report that you will be able to present to the court to support your request for damages.
6. Contact Your Insurance Company
Both insurance companies should be notified after an accident, especially if someone is injured. Many insurance companies and states require that involved drivers contact their own insurance company immediately after an accident to ensure that all accidents get promptly reported. Because your insurance company will ask for available documentation; you should be prepared to present your carrier with the police report, photos, and written statements.
7. Call a Lawyer
Dealing with the legal consequences of a rear-end collision can be exhausting. Insurance companies may be difficult to handle, especially if they do not want to compensate you completely for your damages. If you were involved in a rear-end collision, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. A collision attorney may be able to help you speak and negotiate with the insurance companies, potentially making the process much smoother for all involved.
It can be daunting to decide what to do after a rear-end collision in New Mexico. Fortunately, taking the aforementioned steps has helped many drivers improve their chances of recovery. If you have been injured in a rear-end collision, it may be beneficial to contact a legal professional who can help you work through the process at an appropriate pace.
Do i have a claim if i was injured in a rear-end collision in new mexico?
If you were injured in a New Mexico rear-end collision, you may be able to file a claim against the responsible party. Depending on the specifics of your accident and injuries, you may be able to seek legal recourse for damages sustained in the incident.
In rear-end collisions, drivers who are following other cars often do not stop in a timely fashion; they then collide with the cars in front of them. In New Mexico, claims brought for injuries resulting from rear-end collisions are usually based on theories of negligence. Negligence occurs when a person fails to use ordinary care under the circumstances and causes an unreasonable risk of injury. To show negligence, you must demonstrate a duty of care, a breach of that duty, causation, and actual damages. Except in a limited number of situations, the driver who rear-ends another vehicle is almost always going to be found negligent, and therefore at fault for the car accident.
Rear-end accidents are sometimes caused by more than one vehicle. When this occurs, you may have a claim against each driver if both were negligent in some form. In New Mexico, a court will determine the negligence of all the parties involved. You can then hold each party severally liable for your injuries. Allocating liability, especially in situations involving multiple defendants, can be a daunting task for victims. If you were involved in a rear-end collision, you should contact an attorney to help you assess your options and determine liability accordingly.
CALL ZINDA LAW GROUP ABOUT YOUR NEW MEXICO REAR-END COLLISION
Rear-end collisions can be emotionally and physically devastating for victims, especially if they have caused significant injuries and property damage. If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a New Mexico rear-end collision, you should contact a collision attorney as soon as possible. An experienced New Mexico injury attorney may be able to help you pursue legal recourse, evaluate your claim, and seek appropriate compensation for your injuries.
At Zinda Law Group, we have the knowledge and resources necessary to help you pursue the highest compensation possible. Zinda Law Group can provide you with personalized and quality consultation about the specifics of your case. The sooner you contact our office, the better we may be able to serve you.
If you or your loved one was recently involved in a rear-end collision, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our New Mexico lawyers. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.