CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH DISTRACTED DRIVING INJURY LAWYERS IN NEW MEXICO FOR FREE
One of the most common causes of car crashes is distracted driving. With the modern use of cell phones, GPS, and touch screen consoles, it can be easier than ever for drivers to get distracted. Even just a few seconds of distracted driving can often lead to a serious accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you should call an experienced New Mexico distracted driving injury attorney from Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 today for a free consultation. If we are not able to win your case, you will not owe us anything.
DISTRACTED DRIVING STATISTICS IN NEW MEXICO
In 2018, a distracted driving crash happened approximately every 55 minutes on average in New Mexico, according to the New Mexico Department of Transportation. The 2018 report from the New Mexico DOT reported that the most prevalent top contributing factor in crashes was driver inattention, which was recorded as the top contributing factor of about 20.6% of all crashes in 2018. Meanwhile, distracted driving was the second most prevalent top contributing factor in crash-related fatalities, ranking behind only alcohol or drug-involved accidents. In 2018, these rankings represented 24 fatal crashes with 34 fatalities caused by distracted driving while 2,926 car crashes caused by distracted driving resulted in injuries. Overall, distracted driving was the leading cause of at least 9,622 car accidents in New Mexico in 2018.
NEW MEXICO DISTRACTED DRIVING LAWS
Texting and Driving
In 2014, New Mexico passed a “texting ban” in its attempt to reduce distracted driving accidents. However, this ban goes further than simply prohibiting texting while driving. New Mexico Statutes Annotated Section 66-7-374 also makes it illegal for drivers to view the text messages on their phone while driving, typing anything on their cell phone including typing an email or entering information into a website, or talking on a cell phone while driving unless the driver is using hands-free technology. An important distinction that may often be overlooked about this law is that New Mexico law provides a broad definition of “driving” such that even if you are stopped at a red light or stop sign, it is still illegal to talk or text on the phone. If you are cited for violating this law against talking and texting while driving, you could face a $25 fine for your first offense, or a $50 fine for each offense at your first citation.
COMMON CAUSES OF DISTRACTED DRIVING
Aside from talking on the phone or texting while driving, there are many other behaviors, including visual, cognitive, or manual distractions that a driver may engage in while behind that wheel that may cause the driver to be distracted and fail to pay proper attention to the road and any potential hazards, such as:
- Talking or arguing with passengers in the vehicle
- Putting on lipstick or makeup
- Looking in the mirror
- Adjusting the radio or using an onboard touch screen console
- Singing along to a radio
- Looking at a map or setting a GPS
- Eating or drinking
- Tending to an unsecured pet in the vehicle
- Tending to a child in the back seat
- “Zoning out” or otherwise losing focus on the road in front of you
WHAT TO DO AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT CAUSED BYDISTRACTED DRIVING
Seek Medical Attention
After any car crash, your first step should generally be to seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you do not readily appear to be injured. The impact of a car crash may often cause a variety of injuries, ranging from mild soreness to life-threatening injuries like internal bleeding or damaged organs caused by broken ribs. Further, seeking immediate medical care may help your distracted driving injury lawyer support your claim for compensation after your accident.
Contact Law Enforcement
After seeking any necessary immediate medical attention, you should also contact law enforcement and remain at the scene if possible. The law enforcement officer may first check whether anyone involved in the crash needs medical attention or needs an ambulance called. The officer may also interview both drivers and any potential witnesses to the accident to create an accident report for the crash which may establish certain facts such as the time and location of the accident as well as what may have happened to cause the accident. The police accident report may often be required by an insurance company before the insurer will even begin processing any injury claim after an accident.
The report may also be helpful to your attorney in providing contact information for the other driver as well as contact information and statements from any witness that may help your attorney prove the other driver was distracted at the time of the accident. Finally, you should remember to never admit fault for the accident, whether speaking to the other driver or speaking to the law enforcement officer about how the accident occurred. Other attorneys or the insurance company may often attempt to use any statements you made after the accident against you in an attempt to show that you may have been responsible or at least partially at fault for the accident.
After a car accident, you should attempt to gather as much documentation of the accident and your injuries as possible. When pursuing any compensation, you may be entitled to, this documentation may often be crucial to supporting your claim. You should collect any medical records relating to the accident, including all of your medical bills as well as records detailing all treatment you received after the accident. These records may detail the diagnosis of any injuries you suffered as well as the treatment you have received or may require in the future, and the cost of all of this treatment. Insurance companies may often dispute the extent of your injuries in an attempt to reduce the amount of compensation paid to settle your claim, but this documentation can help prove your claim and the amount of damages you suffered in the accident.
Further, you should document the accident itself as much as possible. You should take pictures and video of the scene of the accident if possible, as well as of both vehicles and your injuries. You should also keep any correspondence from your insurance company involving whether your vehicle was repaired or replaced, including any repair bills you may have incurred in fixing the vehicle.
Contact an Experienced Distracted Driving Injury Attorney
If you have been injured in a car accident that may have been caused by distracted driving, or you have lost a loved one in such an accident, you should contact an experienced distracted driving injury lawyer in New Mexico as soon as possible to help you seek any compensation you may be entitled to. Often, it may be difficult to prove the other driver was distracted or at fault for the accident, especially if the other driver does not readily admit any fault after the crash. Hiring an experienced attorney may be the deciding factor in successfully pursuing any compensation that you may be entitled to after the accident.
NEW MEXICO STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
Most states have established a legal time limit within which any lawsuit seeking compensation for an accident must be filed within a certain period of time after the accident or you may not be allowed to file the claim. This legal time limit, or statute of limitations, varies from state to state but typically ranges from one to three years in most states for personal injury cases, including claims for car accidents. In New Mexico, the statute of limitations for car accident claims is three years from the date the accident occurred, pursuant to New Mexico Statutes Annotated Section 37-1-8. This statute of limitations will apply to almost any injury claims related to car accidents, including your distracted driving injury claim.
HOW ZINDA LAW GROUP MAY HELP YOU AFTER A DISTRACTED DRIVING ACCIDENT
After your accident, hiring a distracted driving injury attorney in New Mexico may be crucial in successfully seeking any compensation you may be entitled to for any injuries or damages you may have suffered in the accident. The team at Zinda Law Group may be able to help you seek any such compensation and prove your claim.
Your attorney may begin by thoroughly investigating the accident to gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim. This investigation may include interviewing any potential witnesses to the accident, gathering documentation of the accident as well as of any injuries or damages you may have suffered in the accident.
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Negotiating with the Insurance Company
Perhaps one of the most invaluable ways in which your New Mexico distracted driving injury lawyer may be able to help you is by negotiating with the other driver or the insurance company on your behalf. Insurance companies often have an experienced team of lawyers whose responsibility is to make sure the insurer pays as little as possible to settle any potential injury claims. However, the team at Zinda Law Group may help you level this playing field by negotiating with the insurer to seek an acceptable settlement offer that may avoid the expense and delay of taking your case to trial.
CONSULT THE NEW MEXICO DISTRACTED DRIVING INJURY ATTORNEYS AT ZINDA LAW GROUP TODAY
At Zinda Law Group, our distracted driving injury lawyers may be able to help you if you or your loved one has been injured in a car crash that may have been caused by distracted driving. Our experienced car accident attorneys have years of experience helping our clients seek the maximum compensation they may be entitled to after being injured in a car crash caused by distracted driving.
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