Is there any reason you should not agree to any terms at the car accident scene in New Mexico? There are those car accidents where it appears no one is injured and the vehicle damage is minor, and it can be tempting to settle the issue with the other driver without involving the police or insurance companies. However, making the wrong choices after an auto accident can ruin your chances of getting what you deserve.
The benefits of settling the matter at the scene of the accident are apparent. Involving the police calls for police reports, possible charges against you, court appearances, and fines. Investigation of the accident could take a while. Once the insurance company is informed, your insurance rates will likely increase. Avoiding legal charges, the hassle of dealing with the police and the insurance company and paying a sizable sum of money in fines and rate increases are all strong incentives to settle the matter quickly.
You might be wondering if hiring a lawyer for a minor fender bender is worth it. You should be wondering if you can afford not to have an experienced New Mexico car accident lawyer if your accident turns out to be more serious.
The Risks of Accepting a Quick Settlement
You take a risk when you accept a quick settlement offer. What seems like obvious facts now may not be the reality later. Here are a few of the surprises that could present themselves:
You May Have Injuries of Which You Are Not Aware
Misjudging your injuries directly after a car accident is a common mistake people make. Being in a car accident is traumatic, and you may be in a state of shock after the accident. You might not feel your injuries if you are in a state of shock.
Your Injuries Might Not Be as Minor as You Think
While you may not have life-threatening injuries requiring an ambulance to take you to a hospital, you could still have injuries that need medical treatment. The symptoms of many injuries do not seem serious at the time of the accident, but that initial pain can become severe and get worse. While the other driver’s offer may seem fair now, it might not be enough to cover the total cost of your recovery later.
Injuries Left Untreated Usually Do Not Resolve on Their Own
Failure to get medical treatment after a car accident leaves you at risk for severe health conditions down the road. You should see a doctor immediately for any accident injury, no matter how minor. A doctor will assess your injuries and provide documentation of your condition.
The Damage to Your Vehicle Could Be More Extensive Than Initially Believed
You may have several mechanical issues that are not visible, such as damage to the steering column, engine, or undercarriage. The other driver likely does not have the experience required to estimate the actual damages to your vehicle. The other driver may be offering you a lowball number to assess damages.
If you accept the settlement offer, and it is too low to cover the medical costs and car repairs, you will have to cover the remainder. If another driver’s negligence has caused you injury, you are entitled to compensation. It is essential that you speak with an Albuquerque personal injury lawyer that cares about your well-being.
What If the Settlement Offered Was Not Enough to Cover Injuries and Damages?
Once you settle your case, you will not be able to reopen your case for any reason. If your injuries are more severe than you realized, or your recovery takes longer than anticipated, you will have to secure another funding source or dig into your own pocket.
You May Not Be Able to Afford Medical Treatment, Recovery Costs, or Car Repairs
Accepting a lump sum settlement upfront can seem like a gift. Accidents cause financial hardships for most people. You may not be able to take time from work right now. Your financial situation might be such that legal costs and medical costs will create a significant burden. However, your financial situation will be much worse if you take a low settlement offer at the accident scene and then discover that you need surgery or significant car repairs.
You Will Not Have Evidence against the Negligent Driver Responsible for Your Injuries
A legal claim against another party requires proof of injury and damages to your vehicle to prove the other driver’s negligence. It would be advantageous if you had medical documentation of your injuries and an estimate of the damages to your car. Without them, you have no evidence to move forward with a claim against the negligent driver responsible for your injuries and damages.
Do not accept any settlement offer until after you have consulted with an attorney. A lawyer will work hard to help you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.
Speak to an Experienced New Mexico Personal Injury Car Accident Lawyer at Dominguez Law Today
If you decide to file a claim for your injuries and damages, you should always deal with an experienced New Mexico auto accident lawyer. At Dominguez Law, we believe in holding parties who act recklessly accountable for their actions, and we may be able to make the at-fault party’s insurance company pay top dollar for your claim.
We are an expert team of Albuquerque lawyers that will navigate the legal system for you and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. We understand the specifics of New Mexico law and will use quality legal methods to achieve the best results possible based on the circumstances of your case. For a free consultation with a member of our team, call Dominguez Law today at (505) 317-9837 or contact us online.