Most of us try not to think too often about having a car accident. However, even experienced, cautious drivers cannot always avoid an auto collision — especially when a negligent driver is at fault. Nevertheless, if you are injured, you can take steps immediately after the accident and in the following weeks to protect your legal rights and to help establish grounds for compensation.
Every auto accident, even a low-speed fender bender, is nerve-racking, but if possible, you should try to do the following:
- Get medical help for any injuries to yourself or others.
- Call the police.
- Document the accident scene with photos or video.
- Gather contact information from any witnesses.
The insurance companies involved in settling car accident claims are typically more interested in their shareholders than in fulfilling their liability obligations. Therefore, you should avoid giving any unnecessary information to the other driver or the responding police officers. Do not give detailed information about your medical or financial situation to any insurance agent who contacts you following the accident.
Once you have dealt with the immediate consequences of the accident, take the following steps:
- Report the accident to your insurance company.
- Keep copies of all accident-related medical records and bills.
- Ask for a copy of the police report.
- Contact an attorney about filing a personal injury claim.
Insurance agents often try to persuade accident victims to accept a quick settlement offer. Do not accept an offer until you have discussed your case with a New Mexico auto injury lawyer, who can give you a fair assessment of the damages you are entitled to receive and help you secure them.