Should I Get a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident In Albuquerque?

May 7th, 2024 | by RON BELL

Should I Get a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident In Albuquerque?

Whether or not to hire a lawyer for a minor crash depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident and the aftermath of the wreck, including any injuries you may have sustained, the extent of vehicle damage, and resistance from insurance companies to compensate you appropriately for your injuries and damages.

While hiring an experienced Albuquerque car accident lawyer can help you in many ways, there may be instances where hiring an attorney isn’t necessary.

To put it simply, if you’ve been injured and the injuries are apparent, you should contact an experienced attorney right away. If there are no injuries, you can probably work with your insurance company to help cover your vehicle damage.

Regardless of your situation, there are some important things to know and consider after a seemingly minor car accident, and some questions victims often have after a wreck that we’ll break down here as much as possible.

Do you have to file a police report for a minor accident?

Under New Mexico state law (Stat § 66-7-206), any driver involved in an accident resulting in bodily injury, death, or property damage of $500 or more is required to report the crash to the police. This means that if a driver meets this criteria in a crash, they must file an Albuquerque police report, or file a police report with the New Mexico State Police “immediately, by the quickest means of communication”.

Police reports are typically required to file an insurance claim and are also required in New Mexico to file a personal injury lawsuit.

If you’ve been involved in a minor car accident, make sure you file a police report so that the incident is documented and that you have a record of what happened. Even in a minor crash, a police report is extremely valuable because it’s an unbiased opinion from an official of what occurred and who is likely at fault.

Should you report a minor car accident to your insurance?

It’s important to report a car accident to your insurance company as soon as possible following an accident in Albuquerque, even if the crash was seemingly minor.

Reporting the wreck will help establish a paper trail for the incident. This is important because in many seemingly minor car accidents, injuries may not become noticeable days, or even months after the crash. Having the car accident documented will help if you need to revisit the claim down the road. It’s important to also note that if you have injuries, or think you might, never settle with the insurance company without speaking to a qualified Albuquerque car accident lawyer.

Insurance companies will typically attempt to have a crash victim settle their claim as soon as possible, and there are multiple reasons for this.

  • The insurance company wants to settle for the least amount possible. By settling early, insurance companies can close the case quickly, reducing administrative costs and avoiding potential legal expenses that may arise from prolonged negotiations or litigation.
  • They can offer a lower settlement amount before the full extent of injuries or damages is known.
  • Early settlements may also prevent victims from discovering hidden or long-term injuries that could require ongoing medical treatment.
  • Insurance companies may pressure victims into accepting settlements before they have had a chance to consult with legal counsel or fully understand their rights.
  • They know that victims who accept early settlements may not receive adequate compensation for their pain and suffering, lost wages, or future medical expenses, especially if they underestimate the long-term impact of their injuries.

If you’ve been injured, never settle with the insurance company without first speaking with an attorney who has in-depth knowledge of Albuquerque and New Mexico laws. A lawyer for a minor car accident can help ensure you recover fair compensation.

What to do after a minor car accident in Albuquerque

If you’ve been involved in a minor car accident in Albuquerque, there are some important steps to take to protect your health and any personal injury claim you may have. Knowing what to do at the scene of an accident is essential.

1. Ensure your safety

  • Check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If anyone is experiencing pain or has serious injuries, try not to move them until emergency services arrive.

2. Contact the police

  • If there are injuries, death or property damages exceeding $1,000, New Mexico law requires you to contact the police immediately after an accident, by the quickest means of communication, which is 911.
  • For a non-emergency minor car accident in Albuquerque, if there are no apparent injuries and little or no property damage you do not need to call 911. The city of Albuquerque recommends that you call 505-242-COPS (2677) to have the police dispatched to you. If you were the victim of a hit and run and there are no apparent injuries and only minor property damage, the non-emergency number can be used as well.

3. Gather evidence

4. Exchange contact information

  • Exchange contact information with the other driver, including their name, address and phone number. If possible, exchange additional details like vehicle brands and models, driver’s license numbers, and license plate numbers.

5. Get witness statements

  • If there are any witnesses that saw the crash and how it happened, politely ask for their contact information, including their name, phone or email address. Their statements can be helpful when determining fault and backing up your claim in personal injury cases.

6. Report the accident to your insurance company

  • Inform your insurance provider about the crash. Stick to the details of what happened so that the incident can be documented
  • When speaking with the agent, never admit fault or say that you are not hurt. Remember, you may not know the full extent of your injuries. You may have suffered injuries, such as whiplash, that can appear long after the actual crash.

7. Get medical attention

It’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible after a wreck, even if it seems like it could be a minor car accident.

  • Being examined by a doctor will ensure that there are no hidden injuries, such as internal bleeding or head injuries, like a traumatic brain injury. They can also diagnose other common car accident injuries, including whiplash, which is often seen in many rear-end car accidents.
  • Seeing a medical professional will also serve as another piece of documentation if you require assistance with a personal injury claim.

Never delay treatment after a wreck. Your health should be your number one priority.

8. Contact an experienced Albuquerque car accident attorney

If you were injured in the crash or think that you might be, you should consult with an experienced Albuquerque car accident lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney can help navigate settlement negotiations so that you can focus on getting better.

The steps you take directly after a minor car accident can directly affect the outcome of any injury claim you may have. Take the time to go through the process so that you can avoid common mistakes that could cost you considerably in the long run.

Common car accident injuries from a minor car accident

Minor car accidents often lead to a range of common injuries. These include:

  • Whiplash, which can result from the sudden jerking motion of the head and neck upon impact.
  • Strains or sprains to muscles and ligaments are common due to the sudden and forceful movements during the collision.
  • Bruises, minor cuts, and abrasions may occur from contact with various surfaces within the vehicle.
  • Mild concussions or TBIs are also possible, particularly if the head strikes an object within the car or if there is a sudden deceleration of the vehicle.

Damages an Albuquerque car accident lawyer can help you recover

Even minor injuries can turn into long-term problems for victims of a crash. If you’ve been injured, a car accident attorney in Albuquerque from our firm can help you receive fair compensation for all of your damages, including:

  • Medical bills (including future medical expenses)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages and future lost wages

When it comes to choosing the right car accident lawyer for a minor car accident, trust in Ron Bell Injury Lawyers to handle every aspect of your claim so that you can recover the most money possible.

Signs that you may need a car accident lawyer after a minor crash

There are several signs that may indicate the need for a car accident lawyer following a minor crash. These include:


Even in minor accidents, injuries may not be immediately apparent. If you or any passengers experience discomfort, pain, or any signs of injury after the crash, it’s essential to seek medical attention. A lawyer can help ensure you receive proper compensation for medical expenses and any pain and suffering.

Disputed liability

If there is disagreement over who was at fault for the accident, or if the other party denies responsibility, a lawyer can help gather evidence and build a strong case to support your claim.

Insurance complications

Dealing with insurance companies can be complex, especially if they offer a low settlement, deny your claim altogether or act in bad faith. A lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and ensure you receive fair compensation for damages.

Complex legal issues

Even seemingly minor accidents can involve legal complexities, especially if there are multiple parties involved or if the accident occurred in a construction zone or at an intersection with unclear right-of-way. A lawyer can navigate the legal process and protect your rights.

Long-term effects

Some injuries may have long-term consequences that are not immediately apparent. A lawyer can help assess the full extent of your injuries and pursue compensation for future medical expenses and lost wages if necessary.

Emotional distress

Being involved in a car accident, even a minor one, can be traumatic and emotionally distressing. A lawyer can provide support and guidance throughout the legal process, helping you to focus on getting better while they handle the legal aspects of your case.

Myths and common misunderstandings about minor car accidents

Several myths surround minor car accidents, leading to misconceptions about their consequences. Here are a few:

I don’t have any injuries

One common myth is that if there are no visible injuries or significant damage, there’s no need to involve insurance or legal assistance. However, injuries like whiplash or soft tissue damage may not manifest immediately. It’s important to seek medical evaluation and consider legal advice to ensure that all of your bases are covered and that everything is handled properly.

Insurance will take care of everything

While insurance is meant to cover damages in accidents, insurers may offer lower settlements than deserved or deny claims altogether. It’s essential to understand your rights and options, including seeking legal representation, if necessary, to ensure fair compensation.

Minor accidents don’t affect insurance rates

Some believe that minor accidents won’t impact insurance premiums. However, insurers consider various factors when determining rates, including the frequency of claims. Even a minor accident can lead to increased premiums.

You don’t need a police report for a minor car accident

Some may think that involving the police is unnecessary for minor accidents. However, police reports can provide essential documentation of the incident, helping with insurance claims and legal proceedings if disputes arise later.

Fault doesn’t matter if the accident is minor

Regardless of the scale of the accident, determining fault is crucial for insurance claims and potential legal actions. Even in minor accidents, fault can impact compensation and liability considerably.

You don’t need to document minor accidents

Documenting minor accidents, including exchanging contact and insurance information with the other driver, taking photos of the scene and damages, and gathering witness statements is extremely important. Failing to document the accident can make obtaining compensation harder down the line.

After a minor car accident, consult with an experienced Albuquerque personal injury lawyer

Even after a minor car accident, consulting with an injury law firm can help ensure fair compensation for any injuries you may have sustained as a result of the crash. Our firm offers a free case evaluation so that you can understand your legal options.

Call us today at 505-898-2355 to speak with our legal team.

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