When you end up involved in a car accident in New Mexico
but there are no major damages or injuries (you caught the bumper of the car in front), you might think that it's okay if both of you agree that there is no harm done.
If you don't exchange details or report the accident to the police, you risk facing repercussions in the future. So, what should you do if you are in a minor accident? Let's see the options in the further text.
If you’re driving a motorized vehicle and are involved in an accident that causes damage or injury to another person, vehicle, property, or animal, you must stop
and give your vehicle registration with your name and address to “anyone with reasonable grounds to be asking for those details”.
In most cases, this is the other driver. If you don't own the vehicle, then provide the vehicle owner's details as well.
If you don’t know what is the better option, you should call a car accident attorney.
Report the Accident in New Mexico Within 24 Hours
In case you don't exchange details at the scene of the accident, you must report it within twenty-four hours.
Sometimes people are confused over what an accident actually is. So, even if there were some scratches or a broken wing mirror, make sure to report it, although it seems insignificant.
What if You Don’t Report the Accident?
Keep in mind that if you don't exchange information with the other driver, or if you decide not to report the accident to the police, it would look like you didn't stop when the accident happened. This could lead to two offenses - failure to stop and failure to report an accident.
Both offenses lead to penalties such as fines, or even a prison sentence (in the worst-case scenario).
Parking Lots, Gas Stations, Private Property
If you got in an accident in New Mexico on private property such as a supermarket parking lot or gas station, the same rules apply. You should exchange the details for the accident or report it.
What to do if another driver caused you minor damage to a parking lot while you were parked?
In cases like these, you should still report the accident to the police as you’ve not been able to exchange details with the other driver.
Should You Call Your Insurance Company?
According to the policy small print, it's your responsibility to tell your insurer about any accident, no matter how minor it as. You should report it even if you won't file for a claim.
The reason for this is that you may say that you don't want to make a claim at the scene of the accident but may change your mind later.
Sometimes what seems like minor damage at the scene, may later turn out that it's not so minor. It may require many reparations and money, so people often change their minds when it comes to claims.
If I Report a Minor Accident, Will It Affect My Insurance Premium?
Once you exchange details with the other driver or report the accident to the police, you should still call your insurers and let them know. No matter how small the damage is, it's better if your insurance company knows about it.
By reporting the accident in New Mexico to your insurers, you aren't necessarily putting yourself at risk of getting a higher premium, especially if you aren't filing for a claim.
Some insurance companies won't let such reports affect your premium. If you have second thoughts about whether you should report the accident or not, it's always better, to be honest, and do that.
The New Mexico Car Accident Statute of Limitations
If had you were involved in a motor accident in New Mexico and ended up with damages to your vehicle or other personal property you have four years of the date of the accident to file for a lawsuit.
Before deciding not to report the accident in New Mexico, hide it from your insurance company or the police, think of the fact that you might end up spending far more money for your damages than it might seem at the scene.
Contact Our New Mexico Car Accident Lawyers Today!
If you fear that your policy premium might change or you have any doubts about reporting the accident, you can always consult with a car accident attorney.
Our team at FBD Law is here to help you; we’ll answer any question you have related to car accidents, injuries, damages, compensation claims, and so on.
Don’t let time pass by! Contact Freedman Boyd Hollander Goldberg Urias & Ward PA
today and schedule your first consultation.