Insurance companies are a significant obstacle everyone must go through after a devastating car accident. These profit-motivated organizations will do anything to limit your payout and protect their insured. They might even use bad-faith practices, leaving you without compensation to cover your damages.
Understanding the claims process is essential to recovering what you lost. A New Mexico car insurance lawyer has the resources and knowledge to handle greedy insurers and fight for what’s fair. Contact the Law Giant today at 505-900-0000 to schedule your free consultation.
You might not know where to start when filing a car insurance claim to recover your damages. Here are the following steps you should take in the process:
The moments after a car crash are crucial for your claim’s success. You should contact 911 immediately after your accident so the police can investigate your crash and you can receive the medical treatment you need.
New Mexico law also requires you to give immediate notice “by the quickest means of communication” of an accident causing bodily injury or death. Take photos or videos of the accident scene and your car’s damage to further support your claim. Lastly, remember to exchange insurance information with the other driver.
Once you’ve recovered from your accident and gathered the necessary information, you will contact your car insurance provider to report the accident. Be sure to have the following information:
Prepare to receive a phone call from the at-fault party’s insurer. Do not provide a statement and tell them your attorney will contact them. Their goal is to get you to accept a low-ball offer or say something limiting their insured’s liability.
After you report your accident to the insurance company, they will have an adjuster come out and investigate the accident. They’ll assess your damages and determine an appropriate settlement offer. This is where the evidence you gathered comes in handy.
Photos, videos, and witness statements could help determine the other driver’s negligence. Further, police reports, medical records, and car repair quotes can all assist the insurance adjuster when evaluating your claim.
When the insurance adjuster finishes their evaluation, the insurance company will make you an offer. Keep in mind that the insurance company’s first offer will be insultingly low. You may be struggling to pay medical expenses and unable to return to work, and an initial $10,000 offer may be tempting.
While this offer may help with some expenses, it won’t last. Your settlement should account for all the ways your accident has impacted your life. You might require long-term medical treatment and emotional therapy to recover from your crash fully.
*The outcome of any individual case depends on factors unique to that case. Past case results listed on this website do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any similar or future case.
Your main goal after a car accident should be to recover, not go to war with an insurance company over the compensation you need. A car insurance claims lawyer knows how to deal with insurance companies and helps you fight to recover the max for your suffering.
Here’s how an attorney helps your claim:
A car insurance claims lawyer can help you navigate the tedious negotiation process. Remember, you should never accept the first offer that comes your way. Your attorney can push back against lowball offers and provide evidence that strengthens your claim.
They may recruit vocational experts to calculate your earning capacity. They might recruit other experts like accident reconstructionists to recreate your accident and determine fault. Your attorney will do whatever it takes to negotiate for fair compensation.
The insurance company may deny your claim because the at-fault driver lacks coverage. If your or the other driver’s insurance company denies your claim, your attorney can review the reasons for the denial and appeal it. They’ll handle the entire appeals process and draft the necessary paperwork to overturn the insurance company’s decision.
You might expect an insurance company to evaluate your claim honestly, but unfortunately bad faith insurance practices are common. Insurance companies are legally required to promptly investigate your accident and approve or deny your claim within a reasonable time frame. Insurance companies may drag their feet and fail to assess the entirety of your damages, leaving you with no choice but to accept a lowball offer.
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New Mexico law requires all drivers to carry the following minimum insurance requirements:
If the other driver doesn’t have insurance, you must recover compensation through your own insurance company using your uninsured motorist coverage. You most likely have this coverage unless you reject it in writing.
Although New Mexico’s minimum insurance requirements may seem more than enough to cover your expenses after an accident, you’ll likely need more compensation. Damages like pain and suffering, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity could require significantly more money for you to get by financially. If your case is worth more than the at-fault party’s insurance can cover, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to fight for fair compensation.
New Mexico is a pure comparative negligence state, meaning you can recover compensation from the at-fault party as long as you are not 100% liable for the crash. The catch is that your percentage of fault reduces your compensation. For example, if the insurance company offers you $100,000, and your 10% at fault, you only receive $90,000.
You are not required to accept the insurance company’s first offer. In fact, we strongly advise against doing so. It’s our job to negotiate with the insurance company to arrive at a settlement that’s in your best interest. This process may go back and forth a few times before we obtain fair compensation. If negotiations break down, we are more than willing to fight for your recovery at trial.
Negligence is the crux of every injury claim — a driver owed you a duty of care, they breached that duty, and this breach caused your accident that resulted in monetary damages. Your car accident lawyer will gather evidence in the form of photos, videos, witness testimony, expert testimony, and more to prove the at-fault party’s negligence.