An Experienced Car Accident Trial Attorney Can Help You Beyond just “Getting a Quick Check”.
If you have been involved in a car accident, you or the injured party can be financially liable for the consequences; including property damage, passenger injuries and any fatalities. Liability insurance can cover these potential costs. If you have been injured, working with a car accident attorney can help determine if you have any grounds to seek any financial compensation you may be entitled to.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 6.3 million car accidents were reported in the U.S. last year. On an annual basis, an estimated 5,000 people die in accidents and collisions. DUI/DWI are some of the highest factors tending to increase the risk of car accidents, amongst others. Other causes include faulty traffic lights, sleep deprivation, bad weather, overloaded trucks or trailers and distractions like cell phone use. Car accidents in New Mexico have been linked to poor driving, excessive speed, unsafe road conditions, poor truck maintenance, road construction and inadequate signage.
Determining Liability In A Car Accident
There are many reasons why working with a car accident attorney can help determine if you have the right to financial compensation after you have been injured in a car accident in New Mexico.
New Mexico attorneys who specialize in car accidents, specifically, work with car accident injury cases that result from a wide variety of causes, such as road rage, catastrophic injuries, brake failure, elderly drivers, DUI, and roadway lighting hazards, just to name a few.
Additionally, determining liability can be difficult and more complicated than just determining fault, and can involve multiple parties and also multiple insurance companies. Accident attorneys and their staff handle these issues on a daily basis and will ensure the proper and speediest handling of your auto accident claim. These are just a few of the reasons why seeking legal guidance from a car accident attorney is very important…and helpful.
In the case of a minor accident, the insurance company often performs an investigation. On the other hand in the case of a more serious accident, especially when death or severe life-threatening injuries are sustained, the police and sometimes federal authorities will perform an investigation. Criminal charges for manslaughter may be filed against the driver in cases of driving while under the influence which resulted in the death of the victim. In cases of negligent or reckless driving generally, proof of the driver breaking a specific law or rule must be shown by the Plaintiff. However, in cases of car accidents resulting from external factors, like a defect in the car, road surface or traffic signal malfunction, liability falls on the responsible party, such as the car manufacturer or the transportation department, for that party’s failure to fulfill its duty to the victim.
Immediately After the Accident
With 16,000 car accidents occurring on a daily basis, it is important to follow protocol immediately to ensure that your rights- and potential case- are protected.
- Stay at the scene of the accident!
- If injuries have occurred, call 911 and request an ambulance.
- Remember, always stay at the scene of the accident and call the police. This is important, as the New Mexico Department of Motor Vehicles requires that a report is filed within 10 days of the accident if anyone is injured, or the vehicle damage exceeds $750.
- If there are any eyewitnesses on the scene, be sure to take down names and phone numbers for later use. From the other party, you will need to obtain a license plate number, vehicle identification number, names, addresses and telephone numbers.
- Take photographs of the scene with your cell phone and save them for later access.Be sure to notify your insurance company immediately, and cooperate with them as best you can.
- Be sure to notify your insurance company immediately, and cooperate with them as best you can. It is important to remember that your insurance company also works for you, and will usually have your best interest in mind. However, you should make sure not to accept payment before speaking to an experienced car accident attorney.
If you are working with an accident attorney, he/she will make sure that you are being treated fairly.
Statute of Limitations
In New Mexico, this statute is three years from the date of injury; this date is important to note, for if you fail to take action within 3 years, your claim might be barred forever.
If you were hit by a city, county, or state employee and are therefore filing against a government entity such as the State of New Mexico or the City of Albuquerque, then you must officially notify them of your injuries within 90 days (or 6 months for wrongful deaths).
Additionally, lawsuits against a governmental entity must be filed within 2 years of the date of your injury. If you miss these deadlines, you will be barred from bringing a lawsuit in court.
Hit or Injured by a Drunk Driver
If you are injured by a drunk driver, it is critical to know your rights and how to get help.
In New Mexico, drunk drivers are required to pay for all the damages caused by their reckless behavior. This includes medical bills, the pain caused by their conduct, emotional distress, lost wages, and other types of compensatory damages. Not only is the drunk driver required to pay for the all of the injuries they caused, but they must pay punitive damages.
Under or Uninsured Motorist
We can’t even imagine the idea of being hit by an uninsured or under-insured motorist, yet it happens every day to individuals just like you. It may even be one of your worst fears; that you may be involved in an awful accident, due to no fault of your own, with no financial recourse available.
As more and more people become unemployed, the number of uninsured drivers keeps climbing. This is not an issue that will be going away anytime soon. So if you are in fact a victim of an uninsured or under-insured motorist take the legal steps necessary to protect your rights and in order to dothat, you must first understand your rights.
Bicyclist Hit by a Car
We know from experience that the motoring public can be biased against bicyclists. Our experience has helped us deal with the public perception of bicyclist and their rights.
Over the past 15 years, the amount of people choosing to ride a bike to work has increased dramatically. It is important to raise awareness of the fact that the bicycling community is enormous and there is no sign of its growth slowing down.
18 million people have purchased bikes —in 2014 alone — and an estimated 47 million have been cycling at least once during the same year.
Pedestrian Hit by Car
According to the the NHTSA (National Center for Statistics and Analysis), of the 32,000+ car accident related fatalities in the U.S.A., in 2014, a little over 4,800 involved the fatality of a pedestrian.
If you have been hit as a pedestrian, by a moving vehicle, you may be able to recover damages from the driver if the driver is proven to be negligent. Trust us, when we say this is much easier — or less difficult, shall we say, with the help of a diligent injury attorney.
Even if the driver of the car, truck, motorcycle, etc. does not have vehicle insurance, the pedestrian’s own automobile insurance may provide the pedestrian with money to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering – maybe even punitive damages that the negligent driver would otherwise be responsible to pay.