Car Accident FAQ

While every car accident case is different, we at Berenson & Associates recognize that many people will have similar questions for their attorneys. Here are some common questions that Albuquerque car accident victims often have for our lawyers:

How do I know if I am liable?
To be frank, you won't know right away where liability lies. The best option is to assume that you are not and do not take responsibility upfront. You should also not apologize for the accident, as this could be misconstrued as an admission of guilt by another party's insurance company.

What information do I need to collect?
Of course, you must get insurance information, but there are other things you should collect as well such as eyewitness testimony, photographs of the damage and injuries, and a thorough description of the scene of the car accident.

Should I get medical attention?
Yes, especially if your injuries are serious. Even if you do not feel immediate pain, you should see your physician to be sure that you do not have any internal, painless injuries. This will also produce a trustworthy medical record you can use for your case.

Should I accept what insurance adjusters offer me?
No, not right away. Insurance companies are well-known for not offering the best that they can on the first go, relying on people to jump at the chance to get any form of compensation. Tell them that you need some time to consider it, and go over the offer with a car accident lawyer.

Is there a way to avoid court?
Taking the other party to court is a powerful tool to seek compensation, to be sure, but it is not necessary. Most cases are resolved without the need to go to court, but if the need arises, there are other options. For example, some people can use mediation, which allows a neutral legal party to hear both of your sides of the story to try to guide you both to an agreeable solution. This can avoid the lengthy and often costly requirements of going to court. Another option is to certify the case for arbitration, which is normally much less costly.

If I am rear-ended, can I be found liable?
When someone slams into the back of your car, that driver is fully at fault, right? Not exactly. While it will be difficult for the other driver to shirk all responsibility, he or she could still work against your claims to try to say that you are partly to blame, claiming that you reversed into the car behind you or harshly braked while turning a corner without warning or reason.

Does not wearing my seat belt reduce my chances of recovering damages?
We all know that seat belts are critical in protecting ourselves when driving, but a memory lapse could mean you are not wearing one at the time of your car accident. If this can be proven, it could show that your negligence caused some of your injuries, taking liability out of the hands of the other party. You will need a creative car accident lawyer to show otherwise.

Should I say something if I feel like I am partly responsible?
No. It is unreasonable to expect you to know each detail of your accident, especially if you were injured and disoriented by it. While you might feel like you are partly accountable, the reality could be that you are unaware of significant details that shift all the blame onto the other party. For example, can you be sure that the other driver wasn't chatting on a cellphone?

Your case may raise questions that you still are unsure about. Please call our New Mexico personal injury law firm to discuss your case confidentially in a free consultation. Reach us at 505-227-8315 or complete our online contact form.