Often, there is a question of who was at fault in a New Mexico car crash. It may be one driver’s word against another. An eyewitness can be critical as they can make your case regarding who was at fault. Sometimes, stories will change between the accident and when the accident is reported to the police or the insurance company. A witness statement will help fill in the blanks as to what occurred.
Often, the success of your claim and the likelihood of satisfactory compensation will depend on tracking down witnesses of the accident and obtaining their statements. If you are injured in the car crash, you may not have the time, strength, or mental capacity to collect witness statements at the scene of the crash. Contacting witnesses and collecting their reports in preparation for a personal injury claim may be extremely difficult if you are still recuperating. Under these circumstances, your New Mexico car accident lawyer can obtain witnesses’ statements later, as witness information will be mentioned in the police report.
Steps to Take After a Car Crash in New Mexico
After any car crash, gathering witness statements is just one of many steps that are necessary immediately after a car crash. The immediate aftermath of an accident can be chaotic, so it’s important to know the steps ahead of time.
Get Medical Help for Injured Persons
Right after the crash, your primary concern should be to see if you or others involved in the crash need any immediate medical assistance. If anyone has been injured, call 911 to get injured persons to the hospital for medical treatment. Be sure to write down the name of the ambulance company and the hospital that injured persons were taken to as medical statements of doctors, and ambulance personnel may be used as evidence in your case.
Report the Accident to the Police
New Mexico Statute 66-7-206 requires the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident that results in injury or fatality to any person or property damage of five hundred dollars or more must notify the police of the accident immediately. If the accident occurs in a municipality, you should provide notice to the county sheriff’s office, or the nearest state police office in New Mexico.
Exchange Your Contact and Insurance Information
At the very least, you should get and provide full name, address, phone number, and insurance company information. You can take a picture of the driver’s license and insurance card with your smartphone.
Get Contact Information from Witnesses
Scan the area to see if any witness’ observed the events of the crash. It’s essential to get witnesses to the car crash to stay and talk with the police. If they are not willing to wait for the police to come, get their name, address, and phone number. An experienced personal injury lawyer can interview the witness at a later time.
What Should a Witness Statement Include?
It is essential to know what to ask witnesses to ensure they provide information to help your case. Be sure the following information is included:
- Basic contact information of each witness, including full name, address, and phone numbers
- Date and time of the car crash
- Location of the car crash with a short description of the surroundings, weather, road conditions
- Witnesses’ position to the car crash scene, i.e., where were they standing or sitting?
- Description of each the vehicles involved in the accident
- Description of the witness’ perspective on how the accident happened
- Description of what was seen and heard by the witness before, during, and after the car crash
- Description of any information about injuries or property damage
- A photograph of the witness is always helpful.
For the court to accept a witness statement and enter it into evidence for your personal injury case, the witness must sign the statement.
Contact a New Mexico Personal Injury Attorney
It would be best if you get in touch with an experienced Albuquerque car accident lawyer after the events of the crash as soon as you can. A lawyer knowledgeable in New Mexico motor vehicle accident laws will protect your rights. They will ensure that the insurance company doesn’t minimize or deny your lawful claim to recover compensation.
If someone close to you is or you are injured in a car crash, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. New Mexico gives you three years from the date of the car crash to file a case in court. If you don’t file within this timeframe, you may lose the chance to file and recover the compensation that you deserve. Contact The Dominguez Law Firm or call 505-596-4481 today to get started on your New Mexico personal injury case.