When you get hit by a negligent driver, it can be difficult to think straight and focus, especially if you suffer a serious injury. However, what you do immediately after being in a car accident in New Mexico is highly important. Saying and doing the wrong thing can unfairly put liability on your shoulders, making your odds of recovering as much damages as possible go down. To improve your chances instead, start with a little preparation now.
Here’s what you should do after being in a car crash along the roads of New Mexico:
- Check on everyone: If it is safe to do so, exit your vehicle and ensure everyone is okay. Try to stand off the road and away from your car. Sometimes other drivers who are distracted by the sight of your accident will crash into your vehicle.
- Call for emergency responders: If anyone is seriously injured, or if there is significant damage to your vehicles, you need to dial 911. Emergency responders can extract trapped motorists, provide first aid, and redirect traffic away from your accident site.
- Never say “sorry”: Before things get further, remind yourself to not apologize to anyone. Your polite instincts probably tell you to say you are sorry, but you need to resist the urge. Apologies of any sort are often misconstrued by insurance companies as admissions of guilt.
- Collect identifying information: Talk with all other parties involved in your car accident to get their identifying information, including New Mexico driver’s licenses and insurance information. Do not leave the scene until you have provided this information yourself to all other drivers. Otherwise, you could be arrested for a hit-and-run.
- Take pictures: Use your smartphone to photograph the scene around you, documenting visible damage and indicators as to why the crash happened. Take snapshots of your cars, injuries, weather conditions, road conditions, and more.
- Request testimonies and reports: Don’t be surprised if other drivers and passersby not involved in your car accident stop to try to help. Speak with them to see if they saw anything that could help your case. Also, ask emergency responders to send you a copy of their reports.
- See a doctor: Arrange to see a doctor as soon as possible after being in a crash. Even if you feel 100% fine, you should head to urgent care. You can catch subtle injuries early. You also reduce your liability in case an injury does worsen later.
- Call an attorney: Lastly, call a car accident lawyer for legal help. The negligent driver who caused your crash is probably already calling their insurance company and blaming you. With an injury attorney on your side, you can better fight for your rights and prove your side of the story as the truth.
Harmonson Law Firm can help you file your car accident claim if you live anywhere in New Mexico. Our legal team has more than a decade of practice experience and prestigious recognitions from professional awards groups, like Super Lawyers®. To see how we can help you after a car accident in New Mexico, call (915) 228-4140 or send us an online contact form now.