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Car accidents are, unfortunately, a common risk associated with driving on public roads. If you or a loved one have been in a car accident, then you know firsthand that they can be stressful and have devastating impacts on your overall health and well-being. The impact can cause serious personal injuries, inflict costly damages on your personal property, and leave you with a pile of bills.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a collision in Albuquerque, it is best to get in touch with an Albuquerque car accident attorney at Davis Kelin right away to explore your options. We understand that car accident claims can be complex, and we are dedicated to helping our clients get the most possible compensation. Contact Davis Kelin today to get started with a free consultation.
Car accidents can be caused by many different situations, and the cause of the accident can also play a role in what type of accident occurs. Below we will explore some of the most common causes and types of car accidents.
Common types of car accidents that occur may include:
These types of accidents may be caused by:
When a driver does not dedicate their full, undivided attention to the road while driving, they run the risk of causing an accident. Drivers can be distracted by eating or drinking, being on their phone, or talking with a passenger. While distracted behind the wheel they may fail to notice important changes in traffic or traffic signals, not stop in time pedestrian or other car, or swerve out of their lane.
When drivers speed, they may not have enough time to react to situations that can occur abruptly and may cause accidents in traffic, or lose control of their vehicle and cause a collision.
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can cause devastating accidents. When a driver is operating a vehicle under the influence, they may have slower reaction times, be unable to stay safely in their lane or fail to stop in time, leading to severe and often fatal crashes.
Roadways that are in poor condition may also contribute to the cause of accidents. Large potholes or debris in the road may cause drivers to swerve, and inadvertently cause an accident.
Car accidents can cause a variety of injuries, ranging from minor to severe. The most common personal injuries caused by car accidents include:
The aftermath of a car accident can be chaotic and overwhelming. Try to remain calm and keep in mind the following steps that can be taken to protect your rights and claim for compensation:
Consult with an attorney: An Albuquerque car accident lawyer can guide you through the claims process, protect your rights, and ensure you recover fair compensation.
Every car accident is different, the facts surrounding your unique situation determine what damages are available to you after your accident. Depending on the cause of the auto accident, the extent of your injuries, and the property damage involved, you may be eligible for economic, non-economic, and in some cases, punitive damages. Your Albuquerque car accident attorney can help you value your claim.
Economic damages are damages that have a direct monetary value. Examples of economic damages include medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and lost earning capacity.
Non-economic damages do not have an explicit monetary value but are valuable nonetheless. Examples of non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium.
In New Mexico, punitive damages are not awarded in every case, rather they are only awarded when the defendant’s actions are deemed reckless and intentional. Punitive damages are intended to punish the wrong-doer and serve as a warning to others to not act in a similar manner.
Here are some ways in which a car accident lawyer can help you:
A car accident lawyer can explain your rights and legal options following an accident. In addition, they can provide guidance on how to proceed, what steps to take, and what to expect during the claims process.
An Albuquerque auto accident lawyer has the resources to conduct a thorough investigation of the collision to gather evidence that supports your claim. This may involve, for example, reviewing accident reports, obtaining witness statements, surveillance footage, analyzing photographs or videos, and consulting with accident reconstruction experts if necessary.
One of the crucial aspects of a car accident case is establishing who is at fault. A lawyer can assess the circumstances of the accident to determine who can be held responsible.
A car accident attorney can evaluate the full extent of your damages and losses. They will consider factors such as medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and future rehabilitation needs to come up with an estimate of your case’s worth.
Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging, as they often try to minimize their payout. A car accident lawyer can handle all communications and negotiations on your behalf, ensuring that your rights are protected and you receive fair compensation.
If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, a car accident lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf. They will handle all legal aspects, including drafting and filing legal documents, representing you in court, and advocating for your best interests.
In Albuquerque, New Mexico, drivers are required to have evidence of financial responsibility, such as carrying auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum coverage requirements, which are as follows:
Uninsured motorist coverage can protect you in accidents involving drivers without auto insurance, but this coverage can be rejected in writing. Liability coverage, on the other hand, is intended to pay for injuries and property damage suffered by others in an accident for which you are found responsible. It is worth noting that these are the legally mandated minimums, and it is generally recommended to purchase additional coverage to better safeguard yourself financially.
New Mexico’s Mandatory Financial Responsibility Act mandates that drivers must demonstrate financial responsibility in case they are involved in an accident. There are three ways to meet the financial responsibility requirements:
Failure to meet the financial responsibility requirements under this law can result in penalties, fines, suspension of your driver’s license, and other legal consequences.
Determining who is at fault for your car accident is an important first step to seeking compensation for the damages. In order to hold another driver liable, your car accident attorney will need to first prove they were acting negligently, which means they did not act as any reasonable person would in that same situation. If a driver fails to act responsibly or take reasonable steps to prevent harming others, then they may be held liable for the injuries and damages they caused.
In order to prove someone was acting negligently, you will need to prove the four following elements:
Once you have established negligence, your Albuquerque car accident attorney will be able to begin building your case. Because New Mexico is a pure comparative negligence state, your damages may be reduced if you are found to be partially responsible for the accident. For example, if you are in an accident that causes you $10,000 in damages, and you are found to be 10% at fault, the amount you receive will be reduced by your percentage of fault, so you will receive $9,000 in damages.
It is best to file your claim as soon as possible after a car accident. New Mexico law outlines that you have in most cases you have three years from the date of the accident to file a claim. This is known as the statute of limitations. However, the allotted timeframe may vary depending on the circumstances of your accident. For example, if you are filing a claim against a government entity, you will need to file a claim notice within 90 days of the accident and will have only two years from the date of the accident to file a claim.
Because the statute of limitations can vary depending on the details of the accident, it is best to speak with an experienced car accident attorney right away. The sooner you get started, the easier it is for your lawyer to gather evidence and contact witnesses to help strengthen your case.
Many Albuquerque car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. Under a contingency fee agreement, the lawyer’s fee is contingent upon successfully recovering compensation for the client. In other words, the lawyer only receives payment if they win the case and secure a settlement or court award on your behalf. This can be beneficial for individuals who may not have the financial resources to pay fees for an attorney’s services upfront.
Instead of an hourly rate, the lawyer’s fee is typically a percentage of the total amount recovered, often ranging from 33% to 40% of the settlement or award. If your lawyer does not win your case, you do not have to pay attorney fees.
We understand how important it is to find a law firm that can effectively handle your claim, and we are confident we can provide that help. At Davis Kelin Law Firm, we have over 50 years of combined legal experience. Our Albuquerque personal injury lawyers are committed to helping our clients get the most possible compensation for their injuries and will keep you in the loop every step of the way.
Contact us today to set up your free initial consultation.
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