CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH A NEW MEXICO HIT AND RUN ACCIDENT INJURY LAWYER
In 2018, 18% of all traffic crashes in New Mexico were hit and run accidents. When a driver leaves the scene of an accident without following the proper procedure and exchanging contact and insurance information, crash victims may be left feeling helpless and wondering what to do next.
The attorneys at Zinda Law Group have experience representing hit and run victims and guiding them through the process to receive the compensation they may deserve. Call us today at (800) 863-5312 for a free attorney consultation with a New Mexico hit and run accident injury lawyer.
What is a Hit and Run Accident?
Across the US, there is more than one hit and run accident every minute. A hit and run accident occurs when a driver intentionally leaves the scene of an accident and does not stop to provide contact information, insurance information, or help individuals injured in the accident. Unfortunately, this scene plays out far too often in New Mexico, as the state has one of the highest rates of fatal hit and run crashes per capita in the country.
After an accident, drivers may flee the scene for a number of reasons. Some drivers may not be licensed or insured, others may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and others may be afraid that stopping to talk with the police will reveal unrelated crimes.
New Mexico law requires that when an accident results in an injury, the driver must immediately stop their vehicle at the scene of the accident, help injured crash victims, and exchange contact information. When victims are injured and the other driver fails to stop and follow this procedure, it is considered a fourth-degree felony in New Mexico.
What to Do After a Hit and Run Accident
After an accident, most victims assume that the other driver will pull over and exchange information. However, a hit and run can happen in a matter of seconds when a driver speeds off after a crash. As an accident victim, there are several steps you can take immediately following a hit and run.
Do Not Leave the Scene of the Accident
While your instinct may be to chase down a hit and run driver, this can put you in danger and make it more difficult to later find witnesses who saw the accident occur. If you are able, move your car out of traffic and off to the side of the road.
Pay Attention to the Details
It is important to pay attention to as many details as possible after a hit and run. This could include the license plate number or the make, model, and color of the car. Any distinguishing features, such as bumper stickers or damage from the accident that you can remember, may help police locate the car involved in the accident.
Call the Police
After a hit and run, the police should be called. They will file an accident report and take down any identifying details that you can recall to help track down the driver of the other vehicle. They may also speak to witnesses who saw the accident and take a statement from them.
Seek Medical Attention
If you are seriously injured, you may be unable to pay attention to any details or wait around to speak with the police about the accident. Instead, you should call 911 and seek immediate medical attention. If you do not receive medical treatment at the scene of the accident, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible to determine if you need medical treatment.
Document the Damage
As soon as possible, be sure to take photos of the damage to your car and any injuries you sustained in the accident. You may also want to take photos of the location of the accident and gather any witnesses’ contact information.
Obtain the Police Report
If a police officer responded to your accident, he or she will have filled out an accident report. If you were not given a copy at the scene of the accident, call the police department to ask for a copy of the accident report or how to access this report once it becomes available.
Document Your Expenses
It is important that you keep track of all receipts and paperwork related to your accident. To receive compensation later on, you will need to show the financial impact of a hit and run accident. This could include:
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractor bills
- Documented time taken off from work due to any injuries
- Receipts for the repair or replacement of your car
- Receipts for a rental car while yours is being repaired
Call Your Insurance Company
After you’ve been in a car accident, your insurance company needs to be notified. You should explain that you were the victim of a hit and run accident and see what coverage your policy offers you.
How Insurance Works in a Hit and Run Accident
After a hit and run accident, many drivers are left wondering who will pay for the damage to their car, medical bills, and other expenses incurred because of the accident. When a driver responsible for the car accident leaves the scene before exchanging insurance information, victims may feel lost as to where to turn to recover the expenses.
When the driver responsible cannot be identified, you should file an uninsured motorist coverage claim with your insurance company. This type of coverage works as if the driver responsible for the accident had stayed at the scene but did not have adequate insurance coverage for the accident. If your insurance company unreasonably refuses to pay for the injuries you sustained up to your policy limit, a hit and run attorney may be able to assist you in seeking the compensation you deserve.
Expenses Insurance May Cover
Insurance is intended to cover expenses after unexpected accidents. In New Mexico, drivers need to carry minimum coverage of $25,000 for injuries or death to a single person, or $50,000 for all injuries due to a single accident. Most accident policies should include coverage for your medical bills and related expenses, car repairs for any damage to your car, and lost wages due to time you had to take off from work because of your injuries.
What May a New Mexico Hit and Run Injury Lawyer Do for Me?
Our New Mexico hit and run accident injury lawyers are here to help walk you through every step of the process. This may include ensuring you receive proper medical treatment, investigating the accident, interviewing witnesses, collecting crash reports, negotiating with the insurance company, filing a lawsuit, and going to trial if necessary.
At Zinda Law Group, we may help you determine the damages you are entitled to and work to hold insurance companies accountable so that a hit and run accident does not leave you paying for an accident that wasn’t your fault. Our attorneys may work with your insurance company as well as the other driver’s insurance company, if the other driver can be located, to come to a solution so that you do not have to pay for an accident that was not your fault. The amount of compensation you are eligible for will be affected by factors such as the extent of your injuries, the amount of your medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and damage to your vehicle.
What If the Police Can’t Find the Driver Responsible for My Injuries?
The police have a number of ways to track down drivers involved in hit and run accidents. They may rely on surveillance cameras, eyewitnesses, or social media to try and find the responsible party. Unfortunately, there are still some cases where police are unable to identify hit and run drivers. This may leave victims feeling uneasy and without a sense of closure. While the victim’s insurance may be able to help compensate them for the financial costs of an accident, it can be hard to repair the loss of trust in a community.
Contact a Lawyer Who Handles Hit and Run Cases
At Zinda Law Group, our New Mexico hit and run accident injury attorneys have helped many accident victims get the compensation they deserved after suffering from an injury after a hit and run case. We may be able to help investigate the accident, negotiate with insurance companies, and help ensure that you don’t pay for an accident that’s not your fault.
We believe an accident victim should never have to worry about being able to afford legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
If you have been injured in a hit and run accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 to receive your free consultation with one of our experienced New Mexico hit and run accident injury lawyers.
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