What To Do After A Rear-End Car Accident in Albuquerque, NM
After a rear-ended car accident in Albuquerque, New Mexico, there are some important steps you should take to ensure your short-term and long-term health, and if you have been injured, to put yourself in the best possible position to pursue a personal injury claim.
If you’ve been injured in an Albuquerque rear-end accident, call our team today to understand your legal options. We can help ensure you receive every dollar you deserve from the insurance company, or any other parties involved who may be held responsible.
We offer a no-risk, no-commitment, free consultation and are available 24/7. Our team at Ron Bell Injury Lawyers also works on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t get paid unless we recover money for you.
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What is a rear-end car accident?
A rear-end car accident refers to a collision where one vehicle strikes another vehicle from behind. They are typically caused by factors such as distracted driving, texting while driving, tailgating, sudden braking, and impaired driving. Weather can also play a factor in rear-end collisions, especially in the winter months or during other types of inclimate weather conditions.
Steps to take after being rear-ended in Albuquerque, NM
If you’ve been rear-ended in Albuquerque, NM, here are the steps you should consider taking to avoid common mistakes after a car accident. These steps can put you in the best position possible for your insurance claim, and any injury claims you may pursue against the negligent driver:
Ensure your safety: Check yourself and your passengers for any injuries. If there are any serious injuries, call 911 immediately to request medical assistance. If it’s safe to do so, move your vehicle to a safe location, such as the side of the road, to avoid further accidents.
Contact law enforcement: In cases where damages exceed $500 or involve serious injury or death, it is crucial to promptly report the accident. If you need immediate medical assistance, call 911. If there aren’t major injuries, call the non-emergency local police department (in Albuquerque, it’s 505-242-COPS) to report the accident. The police may instruct you to exchange information with the other driver without their presence at the scene if there are no injuries and the damage appears minor. However, an official police report should be filed within 5 days of the rear-end collision.
Reporting Outside City Limits: If the accident occurred outside city limits, you should report it to either the New Mexico State Police or the county sheriff’s office.
Exchange information: Obtain the following information from the other driver involved in the accident: their full name, contact number, address, driver’s license number, license plate number, and insurance information. Provide them with your own information as well.
Document the scene: Take photos or videos of the accident scene, including the damage to both vehicles, the positioning of the cars, and any other relevant details. Since you will still need to prove fault in a rear end collision, this evidence can be valuable with your personal injury claim and with your insurance company as you can demonstrate how the accident occurred.
Gather witness information: If there were any witnesses to the accident, try to obtain their names and contact information. Witness statements and how to go about getting them is important to understand in order to support your version of events if needed.
Report the incident to your insurance company: Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident and provide them with the necessary details. They will guide you through the claims process. On this initial call, you will likely not be speaking with the adjuster (you should let your attorney handle that), but you should be aware that the call is being recorded. Stick to the facts, and never admit fault.
New Mexico car insurance laws require those involved to file reports with the police and the Department of Transportation before claiming damages.
Seek medical attention: Even if you don’t notice any immediate injuries, it’s still a good idea to visit a healthcare professional for a thorough examination. Some injuries may manifest later, such as whiplash, and having documentation of your condition can help with potential personal injury claims.
Consult with an attorney: If you suffered significant injuries or are facing difficulties in the claims process, it is important to consult with a car accident attorney who has experience handling rear end accidents in Albuquerque. They can provide guidance, protect your rights, and help you navigate legal proceedings if necessary.
If you’ve been injured in a rear end collision, call our legal team today for a free consultation. Never sign anything from the insurance company without talking with a personal injury attorney who understands the settlement process in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Call now. Ring the BELL at 898-BELL.
How to get an Albuquerque traffic accident report
There are a couple of different ways to obtain an Albuquerque New Mexico collision report.
Obtain your crash report online
You can obtain your crash report from the Albuquerque Police Department through LexisNexis for a fee of $7.50.
Obtain your crash report in-person
You can also acquire traffic accident reports in person at the Law Enforcement Center from Monday to Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Check the status of your collision report
To inquire about the status of your traffic accident report in Albuquerque, you can contact the Albuquerque Police Department at 505-768-2200. Simply provide them with your name and any other identifying information to assist them in locating your report.
How an Albuquerque car accident lawyer can help after a rear end accident
An Albuquerque car accident lawyer can provide valuable assistance after a rear-end accident in several ways:
Legal advice and guidance: An experienced car accident lawyer can explain your rights and provide guidance on the legal aspects of your case. They can help you understand the relevant laws in Albuquerque, NM, including liability and comparative negligence, and how they may apply to your rear-end accident.
Investigation and gathering evidence: A lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accident. They will collect evidence such as accident reports, witness statements, photographs, and medical records to build a strong case on your behalf. This includes obtaining any surveillance footage or other relevant evidence that supports your claim.
Determining liability: While rear-end accidents generally hold the rear driver responsible, there may be exceptions or circumstances that require a careful examination. A skilled attorney will assess the facts of your case and determine liability. They may also identify other parties who share responsibility, such as multiple drivers or vehicle manufacturers in the case of a defective part.
Negotiating with insurance companies: Insurance companies often try to minimize payouts, even in clear-cut rear-end accident cases. Your lawyer can handle all communication and negotiation with the insurance company on your behalf. They will work to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your damages, including medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Litigation and representation in court: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, your lawyer can prepare your case for trial. They will represent you in court, present evidence, question witnesses, and argue your case before a judge and jury. Having an experienced attorney by your side can increase your chances of a successful outcome in court.
Maximizing compensation: A skilled lawyer understands the types of damages you may be entitled to following a rear-end accident. They will work to maximize your compensation by considering all relevant factors, including medical expenses, future treatment needs, lost income, diminished earning capacity, emotional distress, and long-term impact on your quality of life.
By hiring an Albuquerque car accident lawyer, you can navigate the legal complexities of a rear-end accident, protect your rights, and increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for your damages.
Who is at fault in a rear end collision?
In many rear-end accidents, the driver of the rear vehicle is typically presumed to be at fault for the accident. This presumption is based on the general expectation that drivers should maintain a safe distance and exercise proper vigilance to prevent collisions. However, it’s important to note that each accident is unique, and factors such as road conditions, weather, and driver behavior can impact the determination of fault, as well as any negligent acts, such as brake checking. If the driver commits a hit-and-run after the car crash, this can also add another layer of complexity of proving fault.
Consulting with a rear-end car accident lawyer can help you establish fault so that you can receive full and fair compensation.
What is the average payout for a rear-end collision?
Because each rear-end accident is different, there is no average payout for rear-end collisions, however some of damages that an Albuquerque injury law firm may pursue on your behalf can include:
Property damage: You can seek compensation for the repair or replacement of your damaged vehicle or any other property that was damaged in the accident. Your attorney will seek all out of pocket expenses on your behalf.
Medical expenses: You can sue for reimbursement of medical bills related to injuries sustained in the accident. This includes current expenses as well as anticipated future medical costs for ongoing treatment, rehabilitation, or therapy.
Lost wages: If the accident caused you to miss work and lose income, you can seek compensation for the wages you would have earned during that time. Additionally, if the accident resulted in a diminished earning capacity or disability that affects your future income, you may also be able to claim damages for lost future earning potential.
Pain and suffering: Non-economic damages, such as physical pain, emotional distress, anxiety (including PTSD), and loss of enjoyment of life, can be pursued in a lawsuit. Calculating the value of pain and suffering is subjective and can vary depending on the severity of the injuries and their impact on your life.
Punitive damages: In cases where the at-fault party’s actions were particularly egregious, reckless, or intentional, you may be able to seek punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish the responsible party and deter similar conduct in the future. For example, if you were injured by a drunk driver, the judge may award you punitive damages.
The best way to find out what your car accident is worth and what can be recovered after a car crash is to contact an experienced car accident lawyer who can fully assess your unique situation.
Common rear-end accident injuries
In a rear-end collision, several common injuries may occur, depending on the specific circumstances of the accident. Here are some typical injuries associated with rear-end collisions:
Whiplash is a common injury in rear-end collisions. It occurs when the head and neck are forcefully jerked back and forth due to the impact, straining the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck. Symptoms may include neck pain, stiffness, headaches, dizziness, and shoulder or upper back pain.
Soft tissue injuries
Rear-end collisions can cause various soft tissue injuries, such as sprains, strains, and contusions. These injuries involve damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons, resulting in pain, swelling, and limited mobility.
Back and neck injuries
The sudden impact of a rear-end collision can lead to back injuries, including herniated discs, spinal fractures, and lower back strains. These injuries can cause significant pain, numbness or tingling, and may require extensive medical treatment or even surgery.
Head and brain injuries
If the head forcefully strikes against the steering wheel, dashboard, or headrest, it can result in head and brain injuries. These injuries range from concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) to skull fractures, depending on the severity of the impact. Symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, memory problems, difficulty concentrating, and changes in mood or behavior.
Airbag deployment or contact with the steering wheel can cause facial injuries, such as lacerations, contusions, or fractures. These injuries may require medical attention and potential cosmetic procedures.
In addition to physical injuries, a rear-end collision can also lead to psychological trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and emotional distress. The psychological impact of the accident should not be overlooked, as it can significantly affect a person’s well-being and quality of life.
It’s important to note that the severity and specific injuries resulting from a rear-end collision can vary widely depending on factors such as the speed of the vehicles involved, the position of the occupants, the use of seatbelts, and the presence of airbags. Seeking immediate medical attention and consulting with a healthcare professional is crucial after a rear-end collision to assess and treat any injuries properly.
Call Ron Bell Injury Lawyers today
Rear-end crashes are something you should take seriously by contacting an experienced Albuquerque, New Mexico injury law firm immediately.
Call us today at 505-898-2355 for a free consultation. We’ve here for you 24/7.