Five Things to Do After a Car Accident in New Mexico
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In New Mexico, a car accident occurs every 11 minutes. Car accidents can cause devastating injuries that have long-lasting impacts, and recovering from them can be extremely costly. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in New Mexico, contact a New Mexico car accident lawyer near you today. Our experienced personal injury lawyers at Zinda Law Group are available at (800) 863-5312 to schedule a confidential and personalized, 100% free consultation with you about your case; let us help you assess your claim and work towards getting you the compensation you deserve. Read on to learn the five things to do after a car accident in New Mexico.
Five Things to Do After a Car Accident in New Mexico
Car accidents can happen anywhere, and when they often feel overwhelming. Although you can’t avoid every accident, you can certainly prepare yourself for one. Doing so is possible if you learn about these five things to do after a car accident in New Mexico.
1. Do Not Admit Fault
Even if you think you know what contributed to your car accident, avoid admitting fault. Insurance companies look for any reason to shift blame, so do not give them an admission of fault.
2. Report the Accident
In New Mexico if the car accident resulted in injury, death, or property damage of $500 or more, it is required that the drivers immediately call the police. When you call the police to inform them of the accident, an officer should arrive to the scene and take your report. When telling the police what happened, be as thorough as possible.
In order to prevail in a car accident claim, you need to show that the other driver was negligent. This can be a confusing process, and a New Mexico personal injury attorney can explain it to you in more detail. In any event, you should know that these accident reports oftentimes serve as strong evidence of who was liable, and so they can play a very important role in your case.
New Mexico law also requires that the driver report the accident to the Department of Transportation within five days of the accident. You can do this by simply forwarding the police report to them. The police officer who arrived at the scene should also send the report to the Department of Transportation, but it is nonetheless a good idea to send it yourself, too.
3. Document Everything
After filing the report with the police, take the time to document and retrieve other evidence from the scene. If possible, take pictures of the positions of the vehicles and of your injuries; if you need to move your car for safety reasons, be sure to take a picture of it before doing so. In addition, ask anyone who may have witnessed the accident for their names and contact information, and if they took pictures or any video of the accident or aftermath, ask if you can have a copy.
Additionally, ask the other driver for their name, phone number, and insurance information. If the other driver was on the job when the accident occurred (for example, working as a delivery driver or for a rideshare or car service), get their employer’s information as well. This is because sometimes you may be entitled to recover from the employer, too.
In addition to the evidence at the scene, it is important that you continue to document receipts and bills from any expenses related to the accident that are incurred following the accident. Whether they are medical expenses—such as your hospital stay or medicine co-pay—or other expenses that stemmed from the accident, it is best practice to keep everything you can. Keeping thorough and organized files can greatly strengthen your likelihood of success once you file a claim and can increase the amount of recovery you are awarded.
4. Seek Medical Attention
First things first, go see a doctor. Even if you feel surprisingly well after an accident or your injury only feels minor, it is still always best practice to seek the opinion of a medical expert. In many accidents victims may not immediately feel the extent of their injuries, and sometimes what seems like a minor injury can become increasingly severe if not treated over time.
It is important to seek medical attention quickly. Although you may think to yourself that you could just give your injury a week and see how it feels, doing so could place a big hurdle in your way when you later seek recovery from the negligent driver. The driver’s insurance company could then argue that you are lying about your injuries because otherwise you would have gone to see a doctor right away; to avoid this, seek medical attention as soon as you can.
4. Call the Auto Accident Attorneys at Zinda Law Group
Last, but certainly not least, call a New Mexico auto accident lawyer. Car accident cases can be confusing, and knowing how to successfully prove that the other driver was negligent is not an easy task. However, an experienced New Mexico injury lawyer can guide you throughout this process and work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
In New Mexico these kinds of cases have a three-year statute of limitations that starts ticking on the day of the accident. This is why it is important to act fast and give us a call sooner rather than later. The quicker you contact an attorney, the more time they have to investigate and assess your claim.
WHY hire a PERSONAL injury lawyer?
Hiring an experienced auto accident lawyer in NM can make or break your case. Personal injury cases resulting from car accidents are not always successful; this may be because insurance companies often have teams of lawyers who are ready to challenge your claim at all costs in order to protect their profit margins. Thus, convincing insurance companies to agree to a settlement can require extensive measures, such as expert testimony, lengthy depositions, and actuarial wage analysis; an experienced attorney can help you navigate these processes and one with great resources can front the bills during the fight.
New Mexico uses a pure comparative negligence rule, which can make cases more complex; this rule means that any compensation you may be entitled to is reduced by the percentage of your liability for the accident. So, say you have lost roughly $150,000 due to your injuries and other costs, and the defendant’s insurance company claims that you were 50% liable for the accident; that means, based on the rule, you would only be able to recover half of your expenses. Challenging the insurance company’s claim in negotiations or in court is not an easy task, but an experienced New Mexico personal injury attorney can help you ensure that you are held liable only for the appropriate percentage and receive the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.
Determining Who is at Fault
In addition to establishing the percentage of liability for you and the defendant, an experienced attorney can also assess whether any other parties may be at fault; for example, if the defendant was working at the time of the accident, then their employer may be at fault, so long as the defendant was acting within the scope of his or her job at the time. Additionally, the manufacturers can sometimes be at fault if the accident was caused by defective parts; even government entities can be held liable if the accident was caused by the road or highway being improperly maintained. An experienced can investigate your claim and make sure that everyone liable is held responsible.
Calculating damages in these kinds of cases can also be very difficult, which is why it is important to hire an New Mexico auto accident lawyer to make sure you are pursuing all possible avenues of compensation. Generally, these are the types of damages you may be able to recover:
These include the typical costs that you incur from an accident, such as medical costs, property damages, lost wages, and loss of future earning potential if your injuries render you unable to return to work or perform your normal duties. While these are pretty straightforward expenses, keeping your bills, receipts, and other evidence of these losses in a safe, secure, and orderly fashion can greatly help the process of establishing the number of economic damages you are entitled to.
These damages are not as obvious; they include pain and suffering damages, both physical and emotional. If a loved one died as a result of the accident, these can also include loss of consortium damages. Non-economic damages can be more difficult to establish than economic ones, but an experienced attorney can help ensure that you receive all that you are entitled to.
zinda law group can help after your NM car accident
At Zinda Law Group, our personal injury attorneys have helped thousands of victims get the compensation they deserve to get their lives back on track. We understand how disruptive car accidents can be and the grave consequences that they can cause, and it is our job to do everything in our power to help you overcome those obstacles.
You have already lost enough, and your financial wellbeing is important to us; so, if we take your case, you will not be expected to pay us a dime unless we achieve a favorable result for you. That is our No Win, No Fee Guarantee. Call our New Mexico injury lawyers today at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation consultation.
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