Important Steps to Take After a New Mexico Car Accident
No one plans to be in a motor vehicle accident, but there are millions of motor vehicle accidents each year in the United States. Such accidents could be a minor fender bender or a catastrophic tractor trailer accident. Regardless of the severity, motor vehicle accidents disrupt the lives of the victims and their entire families. From undergoing medical care and treatment, missing time from work, and having to pay for the medical treatment and damages, a motor vehicle accident can create a significant hardship on a victim’s entire family.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a New Mexico car accident, contact the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. for a FREE consultation with one of our experienced Albuquerque car accident attorneys. We understand the significant hardship that a motor vehicle accident can impose on a victim and his or her family, and we work hard to lift that burden off your shoulders and onto ours so you can focus on healing. Call us today at (505) 465-8096.
What You Should Do After A New Mexico Car Accident
There are a number of important steps to take after you have been involved in a New Mexico car accident. No matter what, the best advice is to always stay calm and not to get angry, upset, or emotional because that will only worsen the effect of the car accident. The following are some important key points to keep in mind after a New Mexico car accident:
Attend to Any Injury Persons and Call For Help
If someone has been injured in the motor vehicle accident, whether it is in your vehicle or another, immediately call for an ambulance. Do not hesitate, even if you think someone else may have already called an ambulance.
If you are experienced pain, it is important that you make sure your complaints of injury or pain are documented at the scene by both responding police and emergency medical personnel. If you are in pain but unsure of how injured you are, go to the hospital for a full examination. This is not the time to be a hero at the accident scene; any pain—no matter how small—should be reported and assessed. In some instances, a minor tweak of the back at an accident scene could end up requiring extensive surgery weeks later.
Getting evaluated is not just important to protect your health, but it is important to protect your rights in pursuing a personal injury claim should you decide to do so. This is because the opposing side will attack your complaints of pain and whether you went to get evaluated or not after the motor vehicle accident.
If Possible, Take Photographs or Have Someone Else Take Photographs
If you are able to do so, take photographs of the accident scene, the damage to both vehicles, any signage, and any injuries you or a passenger may have. While almost every cell phone has a camera, sometimes camera batteries are not reliable or they are damaged in the motor vehicle accident. It is always best to have a disposable camera in your glove box as backup; these are cheap and easy to use.
If you are unable to take your own photographs, ask for a passenger or a witness at the scene to take photographs and send them to you. If there is no one available, request that the responding police officer take photographs for the accident report.
The names, addresses, and telephone number of all drivers, passengers, and witnesses should be exchanged. The insurance company, license plate number, year, make of the vehicle, and policy number should also be exchanged.
However, make sure to not sign anything at the scene of the accident, especially with the other driver, injured person(s), or witnesses. You may be required to sign something with the ambulance or police, and that is permissible, but do not sign anything with any individual or insurance representative after the accident.
Obtain the Police Report
Make sure you take down the name of the responding police officer(s), the department or responding agency, the telephone number, and the accident report number. It will likely take the police officer a few days to get the accident report drafted and reviewed by a supervisor before it is ready to be published. As soon as it is, make sure to get a copy.
Write Down a Description of the Accident
As soon as possible after the motor vehicle accident, write down as many details of the accident as you can remember. This includes the date, time, road conditions, weather conditions, speed, movement of the vehicles, witnesses, who was driving the other vehicle, and any pains or injuries you may have. Drawing a diagram of the accident is also helpful. But make sure that you only share this information with your attorney.
Contact Your Insurance Company and File a Claim
As soon as possible after your motor vehicle accident, contact your insurance company to notify them of the motor vehicle accident. You will likely need to follow up with a written notice, which should include the circumstances of the accident, date, time, and place. If there are injuries, you should also provide the injuries.
Contact a New Mexico Car Accident Attorney
Even if you think it may have been your fault, or even if you think that you may not have been seriously injured, always contact a New Mexico car accident attorney to review the circumstances of your motor vehicle accident and assess whether you have a right to compensation. This should be done as soon as practicable, and if possible even before you contact your insurance company as your attorney can help navigate you through that process or handle it for you.
Contact an Experienced New Mexico Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a New Mexico car accident, call the experienced Albuquerque car accident attorneys at the Caruso Law Offices, P.C. today by dialing (505) 384-6322 You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.