What to do After You’ve been Involved in a Car Accident
Thousands of people in New Mexico are affected by car accidents every year. While most people do their best to drive safely and follow the rules of the road, there are always those who push the bounds of safety and put others at risk through their negligence and/or recklessness. Many innocent victims are not sure what to do immediately following an accident as they must sort through a rush of adrenaline and emotions; so, our Albuquerque car accident lawyers have put together the following tips on what to do after you’ve been involved in a car accident:
Make Sure You’re Safe
After you’ve been involved in an automobile accident, it is important to make sure you and your car are out of harm’s way. Be sure to take any safety precautions you can to alert oncoming traffic of your accident, like turning on your hazard lights or using road flares if it is safe to do so.
Call 800-698-1773 to speak with one of the experienced Albuquerque car accident lawyers at Martinez, Hart & Thompson, P.C. today!
Check for Injuries
If you are able, be sure to check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If someone is seriously injured, do not move him or her as you might cause further injury, especially if they have a spinal cord injury. If anyone involved in the accident is injured, it is critical to dial 911 immediately to call for an ambulance.
Once you’ve assessed the situation, call 911, or if you cannot, have someone call 911. Be sure to identify your location and tell the operator if an ambulance or other emergency service is needed. Keep in mind that it is important to file a police report so that you have written record of the accident. When talking to police, it is important to simply state the facts of what happened and what you observed.
Get Contact Information
Before leaving the scene of the accident, make sure you exchange the following information with the other driver: full name, address, phone number, insurance company, insurance policy number, insurance expiration date, driver’s license number, license plate number, and the year, make and model of the other driver’s car. Additionally, be sure to get the contact information of anyone who may have witnessed the accident.
Take Pictures and Good Notes
If possible, take pictures of the accident scene before the cars are moved. Be sure to document not only the damage sustained by both vehicles, but also the road conditions and overall accident scene. Take pictures from various angles and distances to best capture the extent of the damages. Additionally, it is important to write down how you remember the accident happening while it is fresh in your mind. Write down what time of day the accident happened, what the weather was like, how road conditions were, what kind of damage was sustained and any injuries that may have resulted from the accident. If you were seriously injured, it is a good idea to keep a journal about the effects of your injury on your life (i.e., medical treatment, time missed from work, nature and degree of pain, things you are unable to do, etc.). Experienced Albuquerque car accident lawyers should be able to advise you on how to document your injuries and damages after a serious auto accident.
Let your Insurance Company know about the Accident
Many insurance companies require their members to report accidents directly to them within a certain period of time in order to be eligible for benefits. It is best to coordinate all communications with your insurance company through your lawyer – who is experienced in such matters. The lawyer can make sure you meet the time limits for filing an accident claim with your insurance company, and take all steps required by your own insurance company. Insurance companies may also request a recorded statement from you, which may not be in your best interest. You DO NOT need to communicate with the other person’s insurance company. In fact, it is best to leave all communication with all insurance company representatives from either side to Albuquerque car accident lawyers.
Talk to Experienced Albuquerque Car Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident that was not your fault, it is important to speak with good Albuquerque car accident lawyers. At Martinez, Hart & Thompson, P.C., our accident attorneys will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident, help you understand your legal rights, provide you with the legal advice you need to make difficult decisions, and fight to get you the money you need.