What to do when you're in a car accident in New Mexico!
If you’ve been in a car accident, it's important to remain calm and follow these steps to ensure everyone’s safety and to document the incident properly:
1. Check for injuries and move to a safe location: Assess yourself and any passengers for injuries. If anyone is injured, call emergency services immediately. If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location, away from traffic. Turn on your hazard lights and use cones, flares, or warning triangles if available.
2. DO NOT ADMIT FAULT: The other driver may be emotionally distressed after an accident. You might feel compelled to comfort them by apologizing or admitting some responsibility for the incident. Refrain from doing so, as your words could be used against you later, with the other driver asserting that you contributed to the accident.
Generally, the driver responsible for the accident is liable for the damages incurred. New Mexico is a “Pure Comparative Negligence” state, so even if you share some of the blame, you may still receive compensation from the driver who predominantly caused the accident. Your percentage of fault offsets your recovery.
3. Call the police: Notify the police about the accident, even if it's minor. A police report may be required when filing an insurance claim.
4. Exchange information: Collect the following information from all involved parties:
· Names and contact information
· Driver's license numbers
· License plate numbers
· Insurance company names and policy numbers
· Vehicle make, model, and color
· Location of the accident
5. Document the scene: Take photos of the accident scene, including damage to all vehicles, injuries, skid marks, traffic signs, and other relevant details. This documentation may be helpful during the insurance claim process.
6. Gather witness information: If there were any witnesses to the accident, gather their contact information and ask for a brief statement of what they saw.
7. Notify your insurance company: Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident and start the claims process. Provide them with the information and documentation you've collected.
Seek medical attention: Even if you feel fine, getting a medical check-up after an accident is a good idea. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent.