What should I do if I’m in a car accident while on vacation in New Mexico?

New Mexico is not called the Land of Enchantment for nothing. National parks and monuments, vibrant cities, and unique events draw nearly 40 million Vacation Luggage in the Back of a Carvisitors to our fine state every year. However, nothing ruins a vacation faster than being involved in a car crash in an unfamiliar place. Whether you are driving to While Sands National Park, looking for the Georgia O’Keefe Museum in Santa Fe, fighting the crowds at the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival, or trying to park at Carlsbad Caverns, a collision with another car could put an abrupt end to your family vacation and leave you seriously injured. So what should you do to make the best of a bad situation? Follow our guide here.

Steps to Take Right Away When You Are in a Crash

Everything is unfamiliar—you don’t know where the local police station is, you can’t call your own doctor, and you might even be in a rental car. But that doesn’t mean you should do anything differently than what you would do if you were in an accident at home. If you are from out of state and are in a crash in New Mexico, you should do the following:

  • Call 911. We have a universal emergency number for a reason. You don’t have to know what police jurisdiction you are in; simply call 911 to report the crash. When the officers arrive, they will fill out a report about the accident that will be crucial if you need to pursue the other driver’s insurance company later on.
  • Take photos of the scene. If you are able, take photos and videos of the cars involved, capturing license plates, road signs, close-ups of damage, and views of the placement of the cars from a distance. Once the cars are cleared away, it will be difficult to recreate the scene.
  • Go to the local emergency room. It is very important that you and your family members be evaluated for injuries as soon as possible. Since you don’t have a local doctor, it is best to go to urgent care or hospital emergency room. The police should be able to direct you to the closest location. The record of your visit will play a key role in your injury claim.
  • Call a New Mexico lawyer. If you think the crash was not your fault, and you or a family member is injured to the point of needing medical treatment, your next move should be to talk to a car accident law firm that practices in New Mexico. They can advise you on what to do next and, if you have a claim for compensation, they can take over the case when you return to your home state.

You will also have to report the accident to the rental car company and your own auto insurance company, but your lawyer can help you with that as well.

Call Keller & Keller to Learn More

We are proud of all that New Mexico has to offer, and we love that so many people visit from other states. We are genuinely sorry that your vacation ended in a serious crash. We understand that you probably just want to go home and deal with the fallout from there, but we urge you to call us for a free consultation about your situation. We will not waste your time with false promises. Instead, we will give you an honest assessment of your claim. If we think we can prove that the other driver was at fault and that we can add value to the compensation you are owed as a result, we will be clear about how we will help. The best part is that we don’t get paid until and unless the other insurance company pays up, so you won’t owe us anything out of pocket. If you are hit by a negligent driver in New Mexico, call the police, get to a hospital, and then call Keller & Keller in Albuquerque. We will be here for you even after you have gone home.

 

James R. Keller
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Partner at Keller & Keller