What to Do After a Car Accident in New Mexico?

What to Do After a Car Accident in New Mexico?

The moments following a car accident can be jarring and disorientating. The first crucial step should be to take care of yourself and your passengers. Once safety is no longer a concern, the steps you take to document the accident and file a police report have substantial ramifications for your ability to take legal action against the at-fault party. If you are wondering what to do after a car accident in New Mexico, our personal injury attorneys are here to help.

1. Seek Medical Attention

First, assess yourself for injuries, and then ask the passengers if anyone believes they are injured. If the accident was bad enough to cause bodily injury to anyone involved, call 911 for emergency help. Tell the dispatcher how many cars are involved, their location, and how many people are potentially injured. This will allow the dispatcher to send the necessary number of EMS personnel.

EMS may ask if they can check you for injuries. Even if you believe you are okay, letting a trained professional examine you can reveal injuries you did not know you had. Adrenaline can conceal pain and discomfort that can arise later. The better your injuries are documented, the stronger your case will be when seeking a settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company or taking legal action directly against the driver.

As a precaution, schedule a doctor’s appointment soon after the crash so they can document any injuries you have that resulted from the vehicle collision.

2. Take Pictures and Gather Witness Contact Information

Take photos of the accident scene and of all of the vehicles that were involved in the collision. Videos can provide even better details of the scene of the accident. Gather the names and phone numbers of anyone who was involved in the accident or witnessed the collision. Witness statements can prove crucial to your case, especially if the at-fault driver tries to blame you for part or all of the accident.

3. Do Not Discuss the Accident With the Other Insurance Company

A representative of the other driver’s insurance may try to contact you soon after the accident. Their main motivation may be to try to gather information that they can later twist for their own purposes or to persuade you to take an unfavorable settlement.

If you have an attorney by then, tell the insurance representative that you are represented by an attorney. Do not sign anything they provide, even if it appears to be innocent. The representative does not have your interests at heart.

4. Contact an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney

Call a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can gather and preserve evidence and statements by witnesses. This can come as a great relief if you are recovering from your injuries. Your car accident lawyer can update you as your insurance settlement moves forward. If needed, they can take legal action against the at-fault party.

6. File a Police Report Within Five Days of the Accident

When injured in an accident, many people forget to file a police report immediately afterward. The deadline for filing a police report is five days, starting from the time of the accident. This requirement applies to car crashes that result in $500 in damages, serious injury, or death. Keep a copy of the police report for your records.

FAQs

Q: Do You Have to Call the Police After a Minor Car Accident in New Mexico?

A: Yes, you should call the police after a minor car accident in New Mexico. Anyone who witnesses a car accident that causes death, injury, or property damage over $500 is required to immediately call the police. Failure to notify police of a serious car accident could result in penalties. If no one was hurt in the accident and no vehicle suffered significant damage, there is no legal requirement to notify the police. Police are primarily concerned about accidents that cause injuries that require medical attention or accidents that obstruct the flow of traffic.

Q: How Long Do You Have to Report an Accident in New Mexico?

A: From the time that you were involved in a vehicle accident that involved injury, death, or damage to property in excess of $500, you have five days to file a report with the Department of Transportation. Anyone involved in an accident that meets that criteria is required by law to notify the police immediately and as quickly as possible.

Q: How Do You Handle a Car Accident in Mexico?

A: Whenever possible, you should handle a car accident in New Mexico first with a focus on your safety and the safety of those around you. If someone is hurt, call 911 and report the incident as thoroughly as you can. If questioned by the police, remain neutral and factual. Do not try to tell the police officer who was at fault. Let the facts of the case demonstrate who was liable.

Request a copy of the police report and file a report with the Department of Transportation within five days. As soon as you can, begin working with a personal injury lawyer.

Q: Is New Mexico a No-Fault Accident State?

A: New Mexico is not a no-fault accident state. New Mexico is an “at-fault state,” meaning that the driver who caused the accident is financially liable for the damage they caused. Your injuries may be paid from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. If the policy does not cover your expenses, you can work with an attorney to take legal action against the driver.

Schedule Your Car Accident Consultation Today

By planning ahead and being aware of the proper steps to follow after a car accident, you can improve the chances of a favorable settlement. Gathering evidence and documenting the steps that led up to an accident can strengthen your case. The at-fault driver’s insurance company likely does not have your interests at heart.

Letting an experienced personal injury attorney negotiate a favorable settlement on your behalf can reduce the risk of you saying something to the insurance company that weakens your claim.

If the facts of your case merit taking further legal action, Berenson & Associates, PC, can take the at-fault driver to court so you can potentially receive further monetary compensation. To schedule your car accident injury consultation, contact our office today.

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