First, check to see if you or anyone else is injured. If, so, you should try to render aid, if you can safely do so. Even if you think someone else is at fault, it is a good idea to try to prevent further injury.
Second, try to prevent causing any additional accidents. If you are in the middle of traffic, safely move off of the roadway. If your vehicle is in the middle of traffic, place flares or warning triangles on the road. Allow police and other emergency personnel investigate the scene with the vehicles in place and move them safely out of the way.
Third, call the police. Tell them immediately if you or anyone else is injured. Answer their questions honestly, but do not admit fault. If you are confused or in a daze, tell the police you need medical treatment and aren’t able to accurately discuss the events at the moment. Remember, anything you say can be used against you in a court proceeding. Even if you think the damage wasn’t too bad, or you weren’t injured, having a police report can help you pursue or defend against a claim that arises later.
Fourth, get all the information you can from the other drivers. Make sure to get their names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, make and model of their vehicles, license plate numbers, and insurance company and policy numbers. Get contact information for any witnesses, also.
Fifth, take pictures of the scene and any vehicles that may have been involved. Take your valuable belongings out of the vehicle if it is safe to do so. If you are too injured, take pictures or remove your valuables, do so as soon as you are able.
Sixth, if you are injured, get medical treatment. Don’t decline treatment to save money or to be strong. If you are not hurt, do not accept treatment you don’t need. Remember, though, after an accident you may not feel the pain of the injury until hours or days later. Seek medical help as soon as you feel the injury.
Seventh, contact a good attorney as soon as you are able to after your initial treatment. The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner he will be able to gather important evidence and prevent your insurance company from taking advantage of you. Do not give any statements to your insurance company until you have met with an attorney. A good attorney can help you obtain higher settlements and prevent you from making expensive mistakes.
Eighth, you need to need to report the accident to your insurance carrier, but keep in mind you need the protection of an attorney before you make any statements regarding the accident.
Ninth, do not agree to settle with the other person, even if you were the one at fault. This rarely works to your advantage. Never agree not to call the police. Police reports can determine the fault for an accident can be greatly advantageous. Not calling the police only gives the other party an opportunity to change his story once the police will no longer investigate the accident.
Tenth, don’t pay a traffic citation without fighting in court if you believe you weren’t at fault, and don’t agree to accept a payment for your vehicle repairs without knowing the actual cost of the repairs.
If you’ve had a motorcycle or automobile accident in New Mexico, please contact our law firm. We have the experience you need to ensure you are represented and get the compensation you deserve.