Albuquerque car accident lawyers know how difficult it is to recover after an auto collision. Learn how they can help you after a crash.
Car accidents in the city of Albuquerque are on the rise daily. You may comply with traffic laws when driving, but you can’t control the actions of other drivers. When other drivers choose to disobey and ignore safety rules, their actions can lead to a car accident. With the help of Albuquerque car accident lawyers, you may be able to recover the costs of your medical bills, car repairs, and other expenses.
Auto collisions can be devastating to unsuspecting victims and their families. Thankfully, New Mexico laws allow victims to recover compensation for their injuries and losses. In most cases, injured victims receive more compensation when they work with personal injury lawyers.
Dangerous drivers should be held accountable for their actions. Unfortunately, pursuing a personal injury claim can be daunting, especially when dealing with insurance companies. This is why it is recommended to work with an experienced lawyer who can handle all issues relating to your claim.
What Should You Do to Protect Your Rights After a Car Accident?
Dealing with the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident can be stressful, especially if it just happened. You may be confused about what to do to protect your rights to compensation. If a driver has caused you pain from distracted driving, reckless driving, or drunk driving, you should protect your rights.
Below are steps to take after an Albuquerque car accident.
Report it to the Police
According to New Mexico Statutes, a driver involved in a crash must report it to the police department if:
- It results in bodily injury or death of any person, or
- It results in property damage to an apparent extent of $500 or more.
Failing to do so has negative repercussions. Upon arrival, the officer will draw up a police crash report. The police report is crucial evidence in the claims process as it shows sufficient proof of how your injury happened. You should always obtain a copy of the accident report after a crash.
Seek Immediate Medical Treatment
Sadly, many auto accident victims fail to seek medical care after a collision. Once you leave the accident scene, see a doctor to have your injuries checked out. You might be risking your health and right to compensation if you fail to do so. Some car accident injuries can take time to manifest. So, see a doctor even if your physical pain is minor.
Getting medical treatment establishes a link between the car crash and your injuries. Don’t give insurance companies any reason to deny your auto accident claim or pay you an unfair settlement. It also helps to keep track of all medical bills, doctor’s notes, and other records of your expenses.
Exchange Information With the Other Party
Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver or responsible parties involved. Ensure to get the following details:
- Driver’s name, address, phone number
- Insurance policy information
- Vehicle identification number
- Driver’s license number
- Vehicle registration information
- The detailed description of the vehicle, etc.
Also, avoid admitting blame or apologizing to the other driver, just get the facts. Also, talk to any available witnesses and get their names and contact information. Eyewitness accounts of the events can help to collaborate your version of the story.
Gather Evidence of the Accident
Collect as much evidence as you can at the accident scene. If you are able, take time to assess the damages to your vehicle. Take photos and videos of the crash scene, vehicle damage, injuries, tire tracks, or anything that can help the claims process.
Contact Albuquerque Car Accident Lawyers
Schedule a consultation with an experienced car accident attorney. it is easy to be taken advantage of if you don’t know how to handle the insurance company. An Albuquerque car accident lawyer will ensure your rights are protected after the wreck. They will fight for the fair settlement you deserve.
Notify the Insurance Company
To secure compensation for your damages, you must inform your insurance company or that of the at-fault driver. Failure to do so can affect your right to compensation. The insurance adjuster will investigate the accident and assess your claim, but be careful in dealing with them. When you work with an Albuquerque car accident attorney, they can speak with the insurance adjuster on your behalf.
Is New Mexico a No-Fault Accident State?
No. New Mexico follows a traditional fault-based system regarding financial responsibility arising from a car accident. This means that the person who was at fault for the crash is responsible for the resulting harm. Generally, the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier will absorb all losses such as injury, lost wages, vehicle damage, etc., up to policy limits.
Albuquerque car accident victims can pursue their right to compensation in three ways:
- By filing a claim with their insurance company, assuming the loss is covered by the insurance policy.
- By filing a third-party claim directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier.
- By filing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court against the responsible driver.
Comparative Negligence in Albuquerque Car Accident Cases
New Mexico is a pure comparative negligence state. This means that you can still recover damages if you are partially at fault for the crash. However, your award will be reduced according to your percentage of fault.
For example, if the jury determines that the other driver was 80% responsible and you were 20% responsible, the damage you receive will be reduced by 20%. However, if you are found to be more than 50% at-fault, you will be barred from recovering any amount.
What Is the Largest Settlement for a Car Accident?
Every case is different, so it is difficult to provide an accurate amount of car accident settlements in New Mexico. The recovery amount you get depends on the details of your claim and the extent of your injuries. However, it is possible to estimate what you can recover by understanding the losses you seek.
Albuquerque car accident lawyers can help you figure out the value of your claim. Besides, the average car settlement is also tied to the presence of property damages and punitive damages.
How Long After an Accident Can You Sue in New Mexico?
You have a limited amount of time to file an accident lawsuit arising from a vehicle accident in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The deadline is set at three years from the date of the accident by the Statute of Limitations for personal injury claims. Waiting too long could mean you lose your right to pursue compensation.
Working with an experienced Albuquerque car accident lawyer will ensure you meet the appropriate deadline for your case.
What Type of Compensation Is Available to Car Accident Victims?
Compensation for injuries is complicated. Since every car accident and injury is unique. However, working with an Albuquerque car accident attorney may increase your chances of obtaining a higher settlement amount.
Before you decide to accept a settlement offer from the insurance company, you should know what type of compensation is available in New Mexico. In this state, accident victims are entitled to three types of damages: economic, noneconomic, and punitive damages.
These damages include costs of tangible expenses you incur after an auto collision. They include:
- Past and ongoing medical expenses
- Vehicle damage
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Funeral and burial expenses, etc.
This includes costs of intangible losses associated with the car accident. They include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Emotional trauma
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment
Punitive damages are designed to punish the negligent driver who injured you. However, they are not awarded in every case. They are only awarded where the driver’s actions were reckless or intentional.
Is It Worth Hiring an Albuquerque Car Accident Attorney?
Hiring an experienced attorney is usually worth it. Crash victims represented by an attorney have, on average, a higher chance of receiving a fair compensation package than those who represent themselves.
In no particular order, the benefits of hiring an Albuquerque car accident lawyer after a crash are as follows:
- Sadly, most victims do not know how to assert their rights against drunk drivers or reckless drivers. A lawyer will help you understand and protect your rights.
- Car accident lawyers are skilled in investigating accident cases to prove your injuries. They will use all available evidence to build a solid personal injury case.
- Albuquerque car accident lawyers know personal injury laws and procedures. They will follow all due process in fighting for your right to compensation against the at-fault party.
- A car wreck lawyer can help you negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance firm after a motor vehicle collision. Insurance companies may try to take advantage of an accident victim with no legal representation.
- Representing yourself in court can be challenging, especially after a traumatic traffic crash. Crash attorneys will file your court processes and represent you in the trial.
- You are entitled to compensatory damages for your injuries and damages from a car crash. A lawyer will ensure the negligent party takes responsibility for your wounds.
- Avoid establishing communication with the insurance company yourself. You will most likely be under-compensated if you reach out to them directly. So get a lawyer to level the playing field against the insurance company.
- Without legal representation, you may not know if you are being fairly compensated. You may only consider your immediate costs after an accident. However, when building a personal injury claim, Albuquerque car accident lawyers will assess the full scope of your damages.
Does Auto Insurance Cover the Car or Driver in New Mexico?
To answer the question, car accidents usually cover the car in New Mexico. Under the law, drivers must carry minimum insurance coverage of 25/50/10. Failure to meet these requirements can lead to penalties and fines. This means that you need an insurance policy for the following:
- $25,000 per person for bodily injury
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $10,000 per accident for property damage liability
This liability coverage pays for the financial losses resulting from the auto collision. You can carry more coverage to protect yourself in the case of a serious crash resulting in severe injuries and vehicle damage.
How Do Albuquerque Car Accident Lawyers Get Paid?
Being injured in a crash can be overwhelming both emotionally and financially. Thankfully, most Albuquerque car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they take a percentage of the total compensation recovered. But, of course, you don’t pay unless they win your case.
Get the Representation You Deserve With Our Skilled Albuquerque Car Accident Lawyers
Car accidents can be nerve-wracking, especially if you are working without support or guidance. An experienced car accident lawyer knows how to handle the insurance company. They will negotiate for a fair amount of compensation that is in your best interest.
At Herring Law Firm, we have earned an excellent track record for providing quality legal representation for injury victims in New Mexico. In addition, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay us until we win your case. So, schedule a free consultation with our Albuquerque car accident lawyers today.