A car accident is scary, and it’s only the beginning of an entire ordeal. You’ll also need to figure out how to repair your car, handle insurance, and get to the places you usually go. Luckily, you can take steps after an accident to help with the process.
Evaluate the scene of the crash
Right after the crash, take these steps to assess the situation and get a general idea of your damages:
Check yourself for injuries
Feel around and see if anything hurts or seems out of place. Also, check to see if you have any bruises or bleeding cuts. Pay attention to any that are hemorrhaging worse than others.
Keep in mind that your adrenaline will be pumping, so you might not fully grasp how badly you’re injured until you see a doctor.
Contact the police / EMS
The authorities will block off the accident site to ensure no other motorists will be injured. The area will also give emergency medical services (EMS) space to treat injuries.
The cops will interview you, the other driver(s), and witnesses to get an idea of what happened and decide who might be at fault. All of this will go into their accident report.
Take photos / witness statements
If you can move, take photos of all vehicle damages and any objects that might have led to the crash. Also, talk to the same witnesses that the police interviewed. Get their contact information and write down their testimony.
Everything will be in the police report, but it will be helpful to have this information handy instead of waiting for the police to file their report.
Tow / Repair your vehicle
Call your insurance and see if there’s a service or auto shop that they recommend. This way, they’ll call the truck for you and cover the tow cost if your policy allows it.
If you want to use AAA or some other roadside assistance, call them, and they’ll dispatch a truck to you. If nothing else, ask the police if there’s a company they recommend to at least get your vehicle to a shop.
Document your medical care
Recovering from a severe accident can take a long time. New medical treatments might be needed along the way, and you’ll need to prove that you’re not just making things up in your accident claim to score a big payday.
Some injuries appear immediately. Others don’t cause pain or won’t be discovered until medical professionals evaluate you. That’s why it’s essential to keep an injury journal.
Write down the date, diagnosis, and treatment that was recommended and/or administered at every appointment. Write down how you feel throughout the day as well. This way, you can explain it to your doctor, and they can treat any underlying damages.
Witness testimonies that you gathered will also be necessary during your treatment. Some people try to scam the system, so make sure you have statements that back you up on the severity of the crash and your injuries.
Keep track of accident-related expenses
It’s easy to focus on repair and medical costs after an accident. But there are other expenses that you might not consider until they creep up.
Long-term financial losses
You might work for a company that doesn’t offer PTO in the event of a long recovery. Not only could this result in lost wages, but also in termination of your employment.
Now you’re not only losing money, but you’re incurring the costs that come with finding a new job. Keep all documentation related to your lost wages and keep the receipts of anything you’ll need to purchase as you look for new employment.
Your insurance policy might pay for a rental car. Or the other driver’s insurance might do it if they decide that their policyholder is at fault. But, if neither will get you a vehicle, you might have to pay for public transportation or rideshare services.
Keep all your transportation receipts or take screenshots of the rides that you order on your phone. Make sure the cost, date, and time are visible so no one can accuse you of falsifying evidence.
Pain and suffering
If you fall victim to serious injuries, you have a long, hard road of recovery in front of you. You could also face a disability for the rest of your life. This might keep you from holding a job and doing the activities you usually do.
Your medical professionals will be able to give written directions that describe what your quality of life will be. Keep those and give them to your lawyer to be entered as evidence.
Work with your and the other driver’s insurance
Your insurance and the other driver’s insurance will be a huge focal point in all of this. They’ll decide who is at fault (unless the cops already did) and where the compensation money goes. So, be prepared to work with all the adjusters who are assigned to your claim.
New Mexico Laws
Before you even hit the road, you will need to prove that you have the minimum insurance that’s mandated by state law. In New Mexico, drivers must have a minimum of liability auto insurance that includes:
- $10,000 for property damage in any one accident
- $25,000 for bodily injury to or death of one person
- $50,000 for bodily injury to or death of two or more persons
If you or the other driver are in an accident without coverage, you could face fines, jail, and lawsuits.
Your insurance provider’s role
Your provider will act on your behalf. The same will happen with the other driver’s provider. Both sides will gather all the evidence from the crash, do whatever investigating is needed, and assign fault if it has not been done so already.
From there, they determine which provider is responsible for which damages. Your insurance will also cover your costs if you have full coverage but the other driver is uninsured.
Dealing with the at-fault insurance
If the other driver is determined to be at fault, their insurance will then work with you to start covering your expenses.
However, it’s better to have a lawyer speak on your behalf. They’ll talk to the claims adjuster and submit the evidence from the expenses that you’ve accrued. Plus, an experienced attorney will know how to fight on your behalf if the provider is giving you a low offer.
Consulting a lawyer
Dealing with the physical, emotional, and financial effects of an accident is very hard. An experienced highway accident attorney will handle the legal details of your case while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
The Law Giant will:
- Calculate the value of your highway accident claim
- Investigate to determine who is at fault
- Gather evidence, experts, and witnesses to testify on your behalf
- Negotiate with the insurance company
- Prepare your case for trial
- Litigate your case in court
Get the Law Giant on Your Side
Car accidents are scary and shatter every aspect of your life. And sometimes, the experience can be so traumatic that you don’t know how to start to pick up the pieces.
But the Law Giant can help you with the healing process and get you any compensation that you deserve. We have offices in Brownsville, Laredo, Mcallen, San Antonio, and Albuquerque. Contact the respected Albuquerque highway accident lawyers at Begum & Cowen Injury & Accident Lawyers to discuss your legal options.