In the wake of a car accident, drivers are often flustered, anxious, and stressed. They are not only forced to suffer a disruption in their life but must also confront expensive medical bills, damage to their vehicle (property damage), and gaslighting by insurance adjusters. They must deal with all of this on top of the injuries from the crash, which can be severe and extreme. Fortunately, if you’ve been injured due to another driver’s negligence in the Albuquerque area, you may be entitled to compensation. It’s important that you act quickly and speak with the experienced Albuquerque car accident lawyer at Dominguez Law as soon as possible following your accident.
Although about 2.3 million people are faced with car accident-related injuries each year, only a few understand their rights and get a car accident lawyer to fight for justice and go after the monetary damages you need to get your life back on track. With an expert team of Albuquerque car accident lawyers by your side, we can help you navigate the legal system and work to ensure that you are fully compensated for any injuries or damages. We’re dedicated to protecting your rights with professional and tenacious advocacy and have a strong and distinguished history of results.
Common Causes of Car Accidents in Albuquerque
Although there have been incredible technological developments in vehicle safety over the past decade, accidents are still frequent. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approximates that 36,560 people died in car accidents in 2018, and 2.71 million victims suffered injuries that necessitated medical attention. Here are just a few of the most common causes of car accidents in Albuquerque:
- Distracted driving: For the past decade, distracted driving has taken U.S. roadways by storm, which endangers the driver, their passengers, pedestrians, and others on the road. Distracted drivers are the leading cause of car accidents in the U.S. today.
- Drunk driving: Every day, about 28 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes, which is about one person every 52 minutes.
- Speeding: We all know the frustrations of juggling a busy schedule, but speed limits are put in place to protect all road users. Speeding kills and driving faster than the posted speed limit is an easy way to cause a car accident.
- Running red lights and stop signs: Drivers that run red lights risk causing wrongful death because they often cause significant collisions at high speeds. Likewise, many rollover accidents and side-impact car accidents result from drivers that run stop signs.
- Reckless driving: This is a moving violation in which drivers display a disregard for the rules of the road. When someone’s reckless driving causes an accident, the victims may be entitled to file a civil claim for compensation.
- Aggressive driving: Aggressive driving—unsafe driving behavior performed deliberately and with ill intention or disregard for safety—is extremely common among U.S. drivers.
- Fatigue: Operating a motor vehicle while fatigued or sleepy is commonly referred to as “drowsy driving.” This often happens when a driver hasn’t slept enough, but it can also happen due to untreated sleep disorders, medications, drinking alcohol, and shift work.
Careless actions behind the wheel can directly result in devastating and preventable crashes. This selfish conduct can carry an immense impact on victims and their families. At Dominguez Law, we believe in holding parties who act recklessly accountable for their actions and dedicated to making their insurance companies pay top dollar for your claim. If you believe that the at-fault party acted negligently or recklessly, contact us as soon as possible.
Steps to Take after a Car Accident in Albuquerque
Just after your car accident, it’s crucial that you remain calm and execute a few key steps that may help protect your rights. While the post-accident procedure is relatively straightforward, it isn’t always easy to remember and implement the proper steps when you’re feeling stressed and in physical discomfort. Although crashes are so common in Albuquerque, not all drivers have a sense of what to do just after a crash. Here are a few tips that will help you get the compensation you deserve:
Check Yourself and Others for Injuries
You might feel shaky and disoriented after a car crash, which is completely normal. It’s vital that you put your personal safety above all else. Call 911 or ask someone else to do so if you think anyone is hurt, either in your car or any other vehicle involved in the accident. If you’re injured, try not to move until help can get to you.
Pull Over and Call 911
If it’s safe to do so, remove your vehicle from the line of traffic, turn on your hazard lights, and call the police as soon as possible. Mention your location and any injuries that were sustained in the accident. Note that no matter the severity of the accident—even if it’s just a minor fender bender—calling the police is essential so they can create a legal accident report. Without a legal accident report, or police report, a greedy insurance company can use it against you to deny or minimize what they pay for your lawful and just claim.
Exchange Car Insurance information:
Once the police are on their way, try to exchange contact information with the other driver. Your insurance and the other driver’s insurance will need each other’s contact information to ultimately decide who pays for the damages.
Don’t Admit Fault
When discussing the proceedings with anyone, it’s important that you don’t slip up and admit fault or liability, especially if you are not at fault. Any statements you make can be used against you later in the claim or legal proceedings. Remember, it is a jury’s job to determine who’s at fault, not yours.
Get Witness Contact Information
Just after calling the police and ensuring that everyone is okay, scan the area to see if any witnesses observed the events of the accident. To avoid a “my word against theirs” dispute, it’s often critical to the case to have a neutral third-party account of the incident.
Document the Accident
Use your phone to take photos of the accident scene, the vehicles involved, skid marks, road signs, and any sustained injuries. It’s always better to take too many pictures than not enough. Likewise, while it’s still fresh in your mind, jot down the details of the accident as you most accurately recall them.
Contact Your Insurance Company
At this point, you’ll want to get your insurance company involved. They’ll provide you with information on how to move your claim forward. However, don’t sign anything or give a recorded statement to the insurance company before speaking to a lawyer. Remember, the insurance company can use your statements to minimize or deny your claim, even if it’s your insurance company.
Call a Lawyer
Perhaps most importantly, it’s crucial that you get in touch with an experienced Albuquerque car accident lawyer after the events of the crash as soon as you can. While you focus on recovering from the accident and seeking medical treatment for any injuries you suffered, an attorney may be able to pin the liability of the crash on the other driver, thus helping you recover the compensation you need to move forward. Importantly, an attorney will protect your rights and ensure that the insurance company doesn’t succeed with any efforts to minimize or deny your lawful and just claim.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
No matter what happens after the crash, remember that it’s challenging to follow every proper step after a car accident. After all, you’re likely flustered, anxious, and in physical pain. Even if it seems like just a minor fender bender, being in a car wreck can be highly stressful. So, if you forgot to take photos or you feel as if you said something incorrect to the other driver, it’s not the end of the world. In all probability, the other driver didn’t do everything right either. It’s ultimately the job of an experienced car accident lawyer to work the case and make sure the truth of the accident is not distorted by the insurance company.
Common Types of Car Accident Injuries
A car accident can cause severe injuries to virtually any part of the body. The type and severity of injuries suffered by drivers and passengers involved in a car accident depend on factors such as whether you were wearing a seatbelt, whether the car had airbags, and if it was a low-speed crash or a high-speed collision.
Some car accident injuries are immediately apparent and require a swift visit to the hospital. However, others aren’t obvious until days or even weeks after the accident. That’s why it’s so important, no matter how minor your accident may seem, to get checked out following the events of the crash. Make an appointment with your primary care provider or go to an urgent care center. Not only will a doctor be able to determine if you have any delayed symptoms, but they’ll authoritatively document your visit and refer you for appropriate medical treatment for the injuries you suffered. Avoiding the hospital or a doctor shortly after the crash allows the greedy insurance companies to minimize your claim or to outright deny your claim wrongfully arguing that your injuries were minimal or non-existent.
Here are a few of the most common types of car accident injuries in Albuquerque:
- Soft tissue injuries: Soft tissue injuries—connective tissue damage to the muscles, ligaments, or tendons—are the most common injury caused by car accidents. Be careful to dismiss soft tissue injuries because they can have significant long-term impacts on your life.
- Scrapes and cuts: You may have suffered cuts from the impact of your vehicle, or you might get hit by loose projectiles in the car like your phone.
- Head injuries: When a car unexpectedly stops, it may cause your head to experience sudden and unnatural movements. This can lead to muscle strains and brain injuries.
- Chest injuries: Car accident chest injuries can involve something as minor as a bruise or as severe as a collapsed lung. Seatbelts and steering wheels are often the culprits.
- Broken bones: The impact of a sudden collision can cause your body to hit other parts of the vehicle, putting your skeleton under stress it can’t withstand.
- Back injuries: The human body and spine aren’t designed to sustain heavy impact, and back injuries are a common result of car accidents. These injuries are often delayed.
- Arm and leg injuries: Injuries to the extremities are caused by the same forces that cause head injuries: unnatural and sudden direction changes or stops.
- Internal injuries: When your body suddenly hits an object inside the vehicle or your body is hit by flying debris, you may experience damage to internal organs.
- Herniated disc: This injury occurs when one or more vertebrae in your spine either ruptures or shifts out of place, which can cause complications in your neck and back.
No matter the type or severity of your injuries, it’s important that you contact a medical professional after the events of the crash. Likewise, get in touch with an experienced Albuquerque personal injury lawyer to protect your claims while you get on the road to recovery.
How to Hold Negligent Drivers Accountable for Damages after an Albuquerque Car Accident
Every New Mexico driver has an obligation to act in a reasonable manner to avoid injury and harm to others. Every driver has to pay attention to the road and obey the traffic rules that are meant to keep us safe. There are many ways that a person can break the rule and breach their duty to act reasonably, including driving recklessly, failing to obey traffic laws, or succumbing to distractions like cellphone use. If a breach occurs, your lawyer can show that the defendant’s careless behavior directly caused your harm and that you sustained damages that must be fairly and fully compensated according to New Mexico law.
An issue that frequently arises in car accident cases is “comparative fault.” Collisions typically occur between two or more vehicles, and it’s not unusual for drivers to blame each other. Under these circumstances, a percentage of responsibility will be assigned to each party involved. The compensation award may then be decreased depending on whether and how much you’re found at fault. However, you still may be able to obtain damages even if you weren’t entirely blameless.
Note, as well, that New Mexico has rigid timelines for bringing a personal injury claim associated with an auto accident. In New Mexico, the state’s civil statute of limitations is three years for a personal injury case. If you wait too long to file a lawsuit, you may lose the right to recover any damages for your car wreck injuries.
Discuss Your Case with Our Albuquerque Car Accident Attorneys
If you’ve been injured in a car accident as a result of another driver’s negligence, it’s crucial that you secure the help of an experienced and aggressive car accident lawyer who can help you receive the compensation necessary to pay off any medical bills, lost wages, and compensate you for the pain, hardship and emotional trauma you experienced because of the crash. For assistance in avoiding many of the common pitfalls that plague injured victims in your shoes, look no further than the car accident attorneys at Dominguez Law.
Our trusted and compassionate team has represented clients in the Los Ranchos and Albuquerque areas with a wide range of personal injury and car accident claims. We may be able to help you deal with the insurance companies involved as well as any defendants and their lawyers. The attorneys at Dominguez Law understand the specifics of Albuquerque car accident law and will help you achieve the best results possible based on the circumstances of your injury. To talk with a member of our team of Albuquerque car accident lawyers, call Dominguez Law today at 505-317-9837 or contact us online.