An auto accident can permanently change your life in a split second and depending on its severity, you could be looking at years for picking up the pieces after the incident. Dealing with physical injuries, financial hurdles, and emotional trauma can make life extremely hard. Fortunately, New Mexico state law provides some level of protection to people who have been injured or suffered losses in a car accident that was caused by negligent acts of another party.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or losses due to the reckless or negligent act of another party, a Taos car accident lawyer can help you recover financial compensation. Making an auto accident claim is not always straightforward due to the complexities found in this field of law. Additionally, you are likely to face strong resistance from the party at fault as well as the insurance company and that’s why it’s imperative to have a skilled legal representative by your side.
The FBD Law Firm team knows what you are going through and are always ready to provide the best legal representation in New Mexico. Our personal injury lawyers won’t rest until you are fully and fairly compensated for all your injuries and losses. We have the necessary experience to handle your claim, even if it ends up in court. Call us today at (505) 842-9960 for a free initial consultation!
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New Mexico Car Accident Statistics
New Mexico is one of the most scenic states in the United States, having plenty to offer both residents and tourists. Most individuals traverse the state to explore all New Mexico has to offer. As a result, however, the roads are usually filled with inexperienced motorists, out-of-state drivers, distracted and fatigued drivers. All of these combined lead to potentially dangerous situations that lead to major repercussions.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, New Mexico experiences about 340 fatal crashes per year, in a state with a population of 2.1 million. This translates to around 19 auto accidents per 100,000 individuals. These are startling numbers and, in fact, some of the highest across the United States.
How Much Does an Auto Accident Lawyer Cost?
One of the biggest concerns for auto accident victims seeking justice is the expense of retaining a lawyer. When it comes to car accident claims in New Mexico, however, you do not have to worry as most lawyers, including us, operate on a contingency basis. This means that you only get to pay us if you get the settlement you deserve.
What To Do After a Car Accident
What you do immediately after a car accident will have a substantial effect on the outcome of your claim. Here are the most important steps to take after an accident:
Contact the Authorities
It’s imperative to report the accident to the police, regardless of its scope. An official police report will prove vital when it comes to presenting evidence for your claim.
Check on the Other Party
If possible, check to make sure everyone, including the other party is okay. Provide first aid and call emergency services if there’s a need for urgent medical attention. Do not leave the scene until the authorities have allowed you to do so.
You’ll also want to collect the names, contact details, address, insurance, and license information of the other party.
Seek Medical Attention
Your health and well-being are important, so ensure you seek medical attention right after the incident. In addition to ascertaining your wellbeing, going to a doctor will also provide the documentation required to make a valid claim.
Record the Scene
You’ll need proof to make a successful claim. As such, ensure you take pictures and videos of injuries sustained and damage on the vehicles. Also, don’t forget to record witness statements and their contact information.
Call a Taos Car Accident Lawyer
Lastly, you’ll want to get in touch with a seasoned personal injury lawyer. An attorney will not only help protect your rights but fight to ensure you get fairly compensated. Our team is readily available in case you need help with your car accident claim.
What is the Average Settlement for a Car Accident?
The average settlement for most auto accident cases in New Mexico is anywhere between $10,000 and $60,000. Of course, the actual amount depends on a wide array of factors, the primary one being the severity of damages and the strength of your legal representation.
Having the right lawyer for your case can be vital in helping you know how much compensation you’re eligible for and the legal options you need to take to reduce the financial hurdle in your recovery.
When Should I Get a Lawyer for my Auto Accident?
You’ll want to seek legal representation as soon as possible, most preferably, after seeking medical attention. The sooner you hire a lawyer, the higher the chances of getting a fair outcome.
Keep in mind that there’s an array of procedures as well as deadlines in these types of claims. Hiring a lawyer as soon as possible ascertains everything is done by the book.
Why Do You Need a Taos Car Accident Lawyer?
You need a lawyer for these three important aspects:
Once you hire a lawyer, they will use their resources to build a strong case for you. Our firm starts by conducting a thorough investigation and collecting the necessary evidence. This includes medical documents, video surveillance, photographs, police reports, witness statements, etc.
They will also work with the forensic team to determine how the accident occurred. Not only that, but they will ideally handle all the paperwork and communications required with the other party.
Insurance companies have a reputation for trying every trick in the book to discredit or devalue accident claims. They also have a habit of pressuring victims to accept lowball offers. Our lawyers are aware of this and will use their exceptional negotiation skills to ensure the other party provides the settlement you deserve.
Trial Preparation and Representation
If you don’t come to an agreeable settlement amount, your lawyer will take your case to trial and fight to protect your rights.
What Type of Damages Can You Recover?
You are eligible for various types of damages depending on the specific case. Types of damages you can recover from an auto accident case are categorized into the following:
These are objective in nature and entail any monetary loss resulting from the accident. Examples include lost income, medical expenses, property damage, transportation costs, therapy expenses, etc.
These are subjective in nature, making them harder to determine. They entail the non-monetary losses experienced as a result of the accident. Examples include loss of enjoyment of life, emotional trauma, loss of companionship, pain and suffering, etc.
These are rare in nature and are meant to punish the party at fault for their extremely reckless or negligent actions. They are also put in place to discourage the rest from engaging in reckless actions that put others in danger.
How is Fault Determined?
In New Mexico, the fault is based on the principle of negligence. This simply means you need to show the other party was actually responsible for your injuries or losses. In order to do so, the following elements need to be taken into consideration.
Duty of Care
Show that the other party owed a duty of care in the situation that resulted in injury.
Breach of Duty of Care
You also need to prove that the other party breached the duty of care. This can be through a specific act or failure to do what a reasonable person would in the same situation.
You need to prove that your losses and injuries were due to the direct consequences of the other party.
Also, you need to prove that you and your loved ones suffered damages and losses as a result of the accident.
How Long Do You Have to Claim?
The statute of limitation in New Mexico gives auto accident victims up to three years from the date of the incident to reach a settlement or file a lawsuit against the party responsible. This might seem like a long time, but auto accident claims tend to have certain intricacies that it’s best to handle the case as soon as possible.
What Should You Do if the Insurance Company Denies Your Claim?
If you strongly believe the insurance company wrongly denied your claim, you have the option of raising a claims dispute or sue them. Our team has dealt with cases where insurance companies acted in bad faith, and so, you don’t have to give up on your claim.
What If the Other Driver Doesn’t Have Insurance?
Every motorist is required by law to have a certain amount of insurance to cover car accidents, but some don’t. In these situations, you have the option of seeking compensation from your insurer, given you have uninsured motorist coverage. If not, then your only option is to file a lawsuit against the other party. Our team will work hard to ascertain justice.
Get in Touch With a New Mexico Auto Accident Lawyer Today!
There’s no denying that auto accidents can be traumatizing and life-changing. If your injuries and losses were due to the negligent actions of another party, our lawyers are here to help you seek the compensation you deserve. We handle all types of car accidents, including reckless driving, hit and run, head-on collisions, distracted driving, etc. Get in touch with our team at FBD Law today by calling (505) 842-9960 for legal advice!