What to Do After a Car Accident Injury in Albuquerque

March 20th, 2024 | by RON BELL

What to Do After a Car Accident Injury in Albuquerque

Of course, you weren’t planning to get injured in a car accident, but it happened anyway. Now what? Car accidents are chaotic, and what to do next can be even more confusing. Whether it’s a minor fender-bender or a major collision, the aftermath of an accident caused by a negligent driver can be overwhelming—especially if injuries are involved. Knowing what to do is paramount to your well-being and can help to safeguard your legal rights.

At Ron Bell Injury Lawyers, our Albuquerque car accident lawyers are dedicated to helping auto accident victims through these challenging times with compassion and the experience required to obtain the compensation they deserve. Let’s walk through the essential steps to take after a car accident injury.

Prioritize Safety and Health

After a car accident, your immediate priority should be ensuring safety and addressing any potential injuries. If possible, put on your hazard lights and assess the situation. Here’s what you should do:

Check for injuries and assess safety

  • Check yourself and your passengers for any serious injuries, including signs of trauma, pain, or discomfort.
  • If the accident scene poses ongoing risks, such as traffic or hazardous conditions, move to a safer location, if possible, to avoid further accidents. If not, put out reflective emergency triangles, if available.
  • If you’re able to do so safely, check on the occupants of other vehicles involved in the accident and offer assistance as needed.

Call for help

  • Immediately call 911 or the appropriate emergency services number to report the accident. Provide accurate details about the location, the number of vehicles involved, and any known injuries.
  • Inform the dispatcher that medical attention is needed at the scene. Describe any physical injuries or symptoms experienced by yourself or others involved in the accident.

Document the Scene

Knowing how to document the scene of an accident can help tell the story of what happened before, during, and after the crash. This information will be extremely valuable for a car accident attorney to use as evidence in your claim.

  • Use your smartphone or camera to capture clear, comprehensive photos of the accident scene from various angles. As you take pictures, focus on documenting vehicle damage, road conditions, traffic signals, and any relevant landmarks. Photos of the vehicle can help determine fault by the location of the damage.
  • Exchange information with the other driver involved in the accident. Collect names, phone numbers, license plate number, insurance policy number, and driver’s license number.
  • If there are witnesses to the accident, collect their names and contact information. Witness testimony can be valuable during insurance claims or legal proceedings.
  • Make notes about the time, date, and location the accident occurred. Include details about weather conditions, visibility, and any other factors that may have contributed to the incident.
  • Note how the cars collided. For example, if you were rear-ended in Albuquerque, this would be an important detail that would help establish the negligence of the driver who caused the crash. If you were injured in a hit-and-run, this will also be important to document.


Seek Medical Attention

Request medical attention at the scene of the accident

No matter what, request to be seen by an EMT at the scene of the motor vehicle accident. An ambulance or fire emergency paramedic should arrive on the scene and ask you questions. Tell the police and medical professionals about any suspected injuries and what happened in the accident.

You should go to the hospital after a car accident. At the scene where there are injuries or severe damage, paramedics may arrive to assist any injured parties. If given the opportunity, go to the hospital immediately in the ambulance, even if you feel fine, or have a family member drive you. The first few hours are crucial to your health, especially if you are struck on the head. Hitting your head during an accident can cause a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), which is not always immediately known.

Get medical care even if you don’t feel pain right away

After being involved in a motor vehicle collision, never hesitate to seek out further medical treatment a few days later. Due to the rush of adrenaline, our bodies don’t always show signs of soft tissue damage immediately after injury. That’s why, more often than not, it sometimes takes a day or a few days to feel the total impact of the car accident on your body. Even seemingly minor injuries may have underlying complications.

Adhere to follow-up care recommendations

Following your doctor’s instructions and attending your follow-up appointments is extremely important. Not only does it help you get better and heal properly, but it also helps ensure that medical professionals document everything about your injuries. This information can be used by an attorney in your car accident injury claim with insurance companies or in court so that you can receive fair compensation.

Don’t try to “tough it out”

After a car accident, some people try to “tough it out”, even though they may be in pain. Others may not want to go in the ambulance out of embarrassment. Understand that the insurance company and the other party in the car accident litigation will use this against you.

They may state that failing to seek medical attention immediately indicates the injuries must not have resulted from the accident. The longer you wait for medical treatment, the more difficult it is to positively connect the injuries to the accident.

File a Police Report

It’s best to file a report with law enforcement right after the accident. If an officer comes to the scene to investigate, they will do this on your behalf. Later, you can obtain a copy of your Albuquerque police report. In New Mexico, accident reports are mandatory if a crash causes bodily injury or death to another person or if property damage exceeds $500.

Preserve Evidence

Accident-related documents and other physical evidence are important pieces of information to establish the extent of your injuries and the circumstances surrounding the accident. Make sure you retain the following pieces of evidence related to your car accident injury:

  • Medical reports, including diagnoses and treatment plans
  • Medical bills
  • Out-of-pocket expenses for things like co-pays and prescriptions
  • Appointment and treatment logs
  • Photographs of damaged vehicles taken at the scene of the accident
  • Witness statements
  • Police report
  • Proof of lost wages or income due to injury
  • Communication with insurance companies or other parties involved in the accident
  • Records of property damage, including repair estimates and receipts
  • Surveillance footage from nearby cameras, if available


Communicate Wisely During the Auto Insurance Claim Process

When it comes to communicating about your car accident injuries during the insurance claim process, you must proceed with caution. Avoid discussing the details of the accident with insurance adjusters or anyone else involved in the accident without first seeking legal representation from an experienced Albuquerque car accident attorney.

The insurance adjuster may try to use your statements against you to minimize the settlement amount or deny your car accident claim altogether. By limiting communication, you can protect your rights and ensure fair treatment throughout the claims process. Here are some dos and don’ts when it comes to speaking with the insurance company.


Be Honest: Always provide accurate information to the insurance company regarding the details of the accident and your injuries.

Be Concise: Keep your communication clear and to the point, providing only necessary information without unnecessary elaboration.

Document Everything: Keep records of all communication with the insurance company, including emails, letters, and phone conversations, along with dates and times.

Seek Clarification: If you’re unsure about any information requested or provided by the insurance company, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

Consult With an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer: Before accepting any settlement offers or providing recorded statements, consult with a qualified attorney to understand your rights and options. An attorney can take over all communications with the insurance company to protect your rights and seek a fair settlement on your behalf.


Don’t Admit Fault: Avoid admitting fault or making statements during the insurance claim that could be interpreted as an admission of liability.

Don’t Sign Anything Without Review: Do not sign any documents or agreements from the insurance company without thoroughly reviewing them with an attorney.

Don’t Provide Unnecessary Details: While it’s important to be honest, refrain from providing unnecessary details about how the accident happened that could be used against you in the claims process.

Don’t Agree to Recorded Statements Without Legal Advice: Do not agree to recorded statements without consulting with an attorney first, as the insurance company can use them to limit your claim.

Don’t Accept Low Settlement Offers: Don’t feel pressured to accept low settlement offers from the insurance company without understanding the full extent of your injuries and damages. Always consult with legal counsel before agreeing to any settlement terms.

Understand Your Legal Options

In Albuquerque and throughout New Mexico, individuals injured in car accidents have legal options available to seek compensation for their injuries and damages. One potential avenue is through a personal injury claim, which allows accident victims to pursue compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company. Personal injury claims typically cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related damages incurred as a result of the accident.

In cases where insurance negotiations fail to yield a satisfactory outcome, filing a lawsuit may be necessary. Lawsuits enable injured individuals to take their case to court and seek compensation through a formal legal process, with the possibility of a jury trial if the case proceeds to litigation.

New Mexico Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit after the date of the accident. In New Mexico, the statute of limitations for most personal injury claims, including those arising from car accidents, is three years from the date of the accident. Failing to file a claim within this time frame can result in the forfeiture of the right to seek compensation.

Understanding and adhering to the New Mexico statute of limitations is paramount, as missing the deadline can significantly impact the ability to pursue legal remedies and obtain the compensation deserved for injuries and losses sustained in the accident. Therefore, seeking legal guidance promptly after an accident is essential to ensure compliance with deadlines and preserve the right to pursue compensation through the appropriate legal channels.

Contact Ron Bell Injury Lawyers

When faced with the aftermath of a car accident, understanding your legal rights and options ensures fair treatment and just compensation for your injuries and losses. Seeking legal counsel from an experienced attorney is crucial in this regard.

An experienced car accident lawyer on our team will provide clear and comprehensive guidance on your legal rights so that you understand the avenues available for seeking compensation and holding the responsible parties accountable. Discussing your car accident case with our attorneys means you can make informed decisions about how to best proceed with your personal injury claim.

What does a car accident injury attorney from Ron Bell Injury Lawyers do?

Insurance claims. Negotiations. Legal proceedings. Just the thought of navigating the complexity of these things can be daunting—especially when you’re dealing with the physical and emotional aftermath of a car accident. Thankfully, having an experienced car accident lawyer on your side can make all the difference, and choosing the best car accident lawyer for you can make all the difference.

The team at Ron Bell Injury Lawyers is dedicated to advocating for your best interests throughout every step of the process. We will communicate with the insurance companies on your behalf and represent you in court if necessary. While you heal, rest assured our attorneys are committed to securing the maximum compensation you deserve.

Call today for a free consultation

We understand that every car accident case is unique. That’s why we offer free consultations to discuss the specifics of your situation. During your initial meeting with Ron Bell Injury Lawyers, you’ll have the opportunity to speak directly with a member of our legal team. They will carefully review the details of your Albuquerque car accident case and provide tailored guidance based on your individual circumstances. Don’t navigate the complexities of the legal system alone—contact us today and take the first step toward seeking the justice and compensation you deserve.


Why Choose Ron Bell Injury Lawyers?

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