Your visit to the Land of Enchantment might have been for business, or maybe it was a family vacation. After all, New Mexico has a lot to offer as a destination for both tourists and professionals. But work and/or fun came to a crashing halt when you were involved in a car accident caused by another driver’s negligence. If you were seriously injured, you could be owed compensation by the at-fault party, but how do you fight for it when you have to leave the state to go back home? You leave it in the hands of a New Mexico law firm. At Keller & Keller, we are happy to represent out-of-state clients in their fight for justice with the negligent party and their insurance company.
How New Mexico Crashes Happen
It’s not easy navigating a new city in an unfamiliar car, but that doesn’t mean you are automatically to blame for a crash if you are involved in one. In fact, out-of-state drivers are often more cautious and more likely to obey the speed limit and other traffic laws because they are unfamiliar with the area. Common causes of crashes involving tourists or business travelers that we have seen include:
- Road rage. Local drivers can be dangerously impatient with out-of-town visitors who are trying to find their way. Tailgating, risky passing, cutting in, and even outright aggression can cause a serious crash.
- Speeding. Drivers who are familiar with an area are more likely to speed, making the route dangerous for drivers obeying the speed limit. Speeding drivers are less likely to be able to stop or maneuver to avoid a crash.
- DUI. Tourists and business people are often in areas with a lot of bars and restaurants, increasing the likelihood that they will be sharing the road with impaired drivers as they head back to their hotels.
- Distraction. You are well within your rights to slow down and look for landmarks or road signs as you navigate unfamiliar routes. However, if another driver is looking at their phone or adjusting their radio, they could fail to notice the change in speed and hit you.
- Weather. If you are caught up in a New Mexico dust storm, unexpected downpour, or icy roads at higher elevations, you might slow down or pull over. If a local driver is speeding or not paying attention, they could cause a crash.
- Semi-Trucks. Long-haul truckers pass through every state in the country, but the long, flat roads of New Mexico can put truckers to sleep, endangering other drivers on the road.
If it is determined that another driver caused the crash that left you injured, we can help you pursue the compensation you deserve. It can be very helpful to your claim to lay the groundwork at the scene of the crash, if possible.
What to Do After the Crash
Regardless of where you live, there are a few steps you can take at the scene of the crash that will make pursuing compensation much easier. Obviously, if you or another occupant of your car is hurt badly enough that an ambulance is needed, that is your priority, and you shouldn’t worry about anything else. However, if you or someone else in your group is able, it is helpful to do the following:
- Call the police. This is true for any accident, but especially important if you are from out of town because the police report will be a vital piece of evidence after you have gone home.
- Get contact information. Exchange information with anyone else involved in the crash so that your attorney can follow up with them.
- Take pictures. Use your cell phone to document the damage, the conditions in the area, and the entire scene before the cars are moved.
- See a doctor. Go to a local hospital or urgent care as soon as possible to be examined for injuries and to document a diagnosis.
- Call Keller & Keller. The sooner you get a local personal injury law firm on the case, the better off you will be. This is especially true if you are transported from the scene to the hospital. Call us, and we will come and see you there!
Once we have accepted your case, you are free to go home and focus on your recovery.
Types of Serious Injury That Warrant a Claim
Fortunately, cars are so safe these days that most car accidents result in minor injuries, and there is no need to deal with another driver’s insurance company. Your own rental car insurance, automobile policy, and health insurance will take care of you. However, when you suffer a catastrophic injury that will require a long-term recovery, it is well worth it to pursue damages from the at-fault driver. These kinds of injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Bone fractures
- Loss of limb
- Severe soft tissue damage
It can take some time to fully understand the extent of your injury, so leaving your case in our hands while you return home to recover is important to get the full value of your claim.
Go With the Home State Advantage
You might have a trusted attorney at home, and he or she might even be a personal injury attorney. However, laws vary from state to state, and it is a big advantage to you to work with an attorney who practices in the state where the accident happened. At Keller & Keller, we not only know the law, but we also know local insurance adjusters, courts, rental car companies, medical experts, and more. Our connections here are a big part of the advantage we can provide. And, in most cases, you won’t even have to return to New Mexico to see your case through. We can be your representative here.
If you are involved in a crash that was not your fault and need immediate medical care, reach out to our office in Albuquerque as soon as possible to discuss your case in a free consultation. We are here to help!