If you have suffered injuries due to the negligence of another, you have the right to seek fair compensation. Most of the time, that means dealing with the insurance company of the at-fault driver. You have the right to seek compensation for medical bills, car repairs, and other damages. Unfortunately, sometimes companies make the claims process difficult by undervaluing your losses or refusing to pay a valid claim.
That is when you need the help of an Albuquerque car accident lawyer. Most people know to file a personal injury claim but are unsure of how the process works. If you wait too long, you may run out of time and miss the chance to seek restitution from the at-fault party. Learning the personal injury process can help potential plaintiff preserve their rights and make sure they get the chance at justice.
Common Causes of Auto Accidents in New Mexico
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), New Mexico’s traffic fatality rates are well above the national average. During the past decade, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) conducted a wide-scale survey to collect data on the major causes of automobile crashes. The primary takeaway is that most accidents (over 90%, in fact) are caused by driver error.
Distracted driving can happen for a number of reasons. Essentially, anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving can be dangerous. One major modern culprit is texting while driving. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for about 5 seconds. If you are driving 55 mph, that’s equivalent to driving the length of a football field sight unseen.
Sleepy drivers are dangerous drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has made a point in recent years of bringing attention to drowsy driving. Evidence shows that it can impair the vehicle’s operator in a similar manner that drugs and alcohol do.
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol/Drugs
Drugs and alcohol impair a person’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. In New Mexico, a driver violates the state’s DWI laws with a blood or breath alcohol content of .08% or higher.
Reckless driving includes a number of dangerous activities such as speeding, failing to yield, unsafe lane changes, illegal turns, tailgating, and more. Unsafe driving creates accident opportunities.
Common Auto Accident Injuries
If you have ever been in a car accident, you know that a wide range of injuries can affect any passengers. These can range from minor bumps and bruises to serious life-threatening injuries. Sometimes the injuries are apparent, but you may not feel the effects of the impact until hours or even days afterward.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are common in a car crash. This includes damage to the body’s muscles, ligaments, and tendons, or nerves. Muscle injuries are common, and the victim may not feel that anything’s wrong until hours or days after the event.
Scrapes and Cuts
In a crash, loose objects inside the car can become flying objects that are thrown all around the vehicle. Cell phones, coffee mugs and other cups, glasses, bags, and anything else that isn’t attached to something can hit you or a passenger.
Head injuries can be minor or severe, but they should never be taken lightly. Sometimes this may be just a bump or a scrape, but it is also possible to suffer a serious head injury. Car accidents can cause concussions, brain bleeds, and other serious brain trauma.
Chest injuries can be simple bruises or cuts, but in more severe cases you can suffer serious internal injuries like broken ribs, damage to organs like the liver or kidneys, and internal bleeding. Because the driver is behind the steering wheel with little room to maneuver, chest injuries are more likely to result upon impact.
If you suffer one of these injuries in a wreck, it is a good idea to contact an Albuquerque car accident attorney to assess your case.
Proving Liability After the Accident
Every driver has the duty to obey the laws and drive carefully on the roads. When someone operates a vehicle in a negligent manner, they are liable for the resulting injuries and other damages. After an accident, you should call the police and take down identifying and insurance information of the other driver. Once the police arrive, they will fill out an accident report, which should contain the following information:
- Date and time of the accident;
- Accident location;
- Names, addresses, and phone numbers for all those involved;
- Description of injuries and property damage; and
- Statements from any passengers or witnesses.
To check on the status of an accident report, you can call the Albuquerque police department to ask. Once the report is finalized, you can pick up a copy in person at 400 Roma Avenue NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102, or online here.
Discuss your case with us during a free consultation.
How Do I Prove My Damages/Losses?
The goal of a personal injury claim is to get proper compensation for the injuries and losses you suffered as a result of the accident. In the days after the crash, seek medical treatment to check for possible health complications. Keep all records of any losses related to the crash, including doctor’s bills, necessary future medical costs, lost wages, vehicle damage, etc, to be sure that any insurance settlement offer is fair. If not, you may need to call an Albuquerque car accident lawyer for help.
If a lawsuit becomes necessary, it is important to know that New Mexico is a pure comparative fault state. This means that a person can recover damages from another party even if they were partially at fault. However, a victim’s compensation could be reduced by their own negligence percentage.
Don’t Know What to Do? Consult an Albuquerque Car Accident Lawyer First
No matter how sure you are that someone is liable for your injuries, it is a good idea to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney before making any moves. They can advise you on the best legal strategies for your situation and help you avoid any major mistakes that could jeopardize your opportunity for compensation. They can also represent your interests in any interactions you have with insurance companies. And if necessary, an experienced personal injury attorney will be your advocate through a negotiation process, a trial, and any other legal proceedings.
Injured in a Car Wreck? Contact an Experienced Albuquerque Auto Accident Lawyer Today!
If you are injured in a car wreck in New Mexico and don’t know where to turn, Flores, Tawney & Acosta, P.C., is here for you. We are a personal injury law firm that represents clients in both New Mexico and West Texas. Our attorneys handle auto accidents, oil field injuries, workplace injuries, wrongful death, and semi-truck accidents. We take pride in providing our clients dedicated and aggressive legal representation with a hands-on and personal approach. We are happy to serve Spanish-speaking clients, as well. Call us at (505) 605-2417 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation with us today!