A car accident is often as stressful as it is traumatic. In addition to the shock of the accident, victims are often left injured and in a state of confusion about what to do next. Making the right decision during this critical time can help ensure you receive the maximum compensation for medical bills, lost wages due to missed work, and pain and suffering.
New Mexico residents who are involved in car accidents are often reluctant to deal with the insurance company, and with good reason. Insurance policies can be difficult to understand, with claims tied up in red tape and confusing policy language. Choosing an experienced attorney who’s well-versed in handling car accident cases is essential to guarding against insurance industry tactics and preserving the value of your case.
At the law firm of Keller & Keller, our Albuquerque car accident lawyers have a proven track record of past successes handling claims just like yours. Our legal team knows how to deal with insurance companies in order to get results, and with our Zero Fee Guarantee, clients pay nothing until a recovery is made on their behalf.
Common Injuries Sustained in New Mexico Vehicle Crashes
No matter what kind of car you are driving, whether you are wearing a seat belt or not, and how the accident occurred, you are likely to suffer one of the following kinds of injuries when you are in a motor vehicle collision:
- Whiplash. Common even in minor collisions, whiplash can be debilitating, but is often disputed by insurance companies because the injury does not show up in x-rays or MRI scans. Whiplash occurs when the head is jerked back and forth rapidly, stretching and straining the muscles and tendons in the neck. Victims experience a stiff neck, loss of range of motion, and chronic pain. Treatment may include pain relievers, ice packs, physical therapy, and massage.
- Traumatic brain injury. The brain can be bruised in a car crash by either a direct blow to the head, such as against the steering wheel or windshield or by being knocked against the inside of the skull when the neck is jerked back and forth. Concussion or traumatic brain injury can cause permanent cognitive and motor skill damage, requiring costly rehabilitation and life-long assistance with personal needs.
- Broken bones. In rear-end crashes, the driver is at great risk of breaking arms, wrists, and fingers due to their position on the steering wheel. Legs and ankles can also be broken when the front of the vehicle is crumpled in a head-on collision. Recovering from a broken pelvis can be particularly difficult. Broken bones can be fairly minor, requiring short-term casting, or can be very serious, with compound fractures requiring surgery and metal rods. Sometimes, victims must endure rehabilitation and physical therapy to regain full use of broken limbs and joints.
- Musculoskeletal injuries. Some personal injury attorneys will not accept cases involving soft tissue injuries because, like whiplash, they are hard to document and prove. However, we do not shy away from these kinds of injuries. We understand that torn, strained, or sprained muscles, tendons, and ligaments can be extremely painful and difficult to recover from.
- Emotional injuries. Known as “pain and suffering,” the psychological damage you suffer as a result of the trauma of the accident, the pain of your injuries, and the losses you have experienced require as much attention as the physical damages you have suffered. These damages can be difficult to quantify, but our attorneys will make sure you get what you deserve.
These injuries all require expensive medical treatment, and when the crash was not your fault, you should not have to pay for it.
How Our Albuquerque Attorneys Will Fight for the Compensation You Deserve
In order to be fully compensated by the at-fault party’s insurance company, your attorneys will need to prove liability and demonstrate the seriousness of your injuries. We accomplish these goals by doing the following:
- Proving the other driver’s liability by gathering evidence from the scene and interviewing witnesses.
- Gathering medical evidence of the seriousness of your injuries and projected cost of treatment.
- Negotiating with your insurers (such as health, disability, or workers’ compensation) to potentially reduce the amount you owe them.
- Negotiating a reasonable settlement with the insurance adjuster or defense attorney, or going to court for a fair judgment.
After a New Mexico Car Crash, You Should Always Seek Medical Treatment
Victims of car accidents should seek medical attention immediately—this will safeguard any potential claim as well as ensure your health remains a priority. Injuries that seem minor in the chaos and adrenaline of the aftermath often become more painful and serious in the days that follow.
A “gap in treatment” can harm your personal injury settlement, and depending on how long you wait to visit with a doctor, you may be risking your entire case. By visiting the emergency room or family doctor right away, you create a paper trail that directly connects your injuries with the accident. This serves as the strongest evidence in any personal injury claim.
In short, never wait to receive medical treatment and don’t miss any follow-up appointments if you can help it.
Statement From Witnesses Can Provide Key Details To Help Your Accident Claim
An accident can be seemingly minor or significant; it can occur at a busy downtown intersection or on a deserted country road. No matter the details of your crash, victims should collect contact information for any and all witnesses.
If the police are called to the accident scene, they will make a report that assigns fault to one of the drivers based—in part—on statements from witnesses. But mistakes can happen. If you are able, obtain information from witnesses, should blame fall on you, so you don’t have to rely on the officer.
During the course of the insurance company’s investigation, they might also decide to place full or partial blame on you. This is often based on little more than hearsay. Witness statements can be your best defense in a "he said-she said" situation.
An accident lawyer at Keller & Keller’s Albuquerque office will work to contact witnesses, as well as attempt to locate witnesses not listed on the report to ensure that their testimony is properly recorded on behalf of your case.
Police Accident Reports Aren’t Always the Final Story
If you believe the police report for your accident contains errors, it’s possible we can help. Based on evidence, reports can sometimes be amended to add, remove or correct information, so they should never be considered final.
Investigating officers are instructed never to interfere with medical attention; if you were injured in the accident, the police might not have been able to record your statement. In certain instances, an attorney can obtain new information that can be added to the report, even after the fact.
Reports sometimes contain inaccurate or incomplete information regarding injuries. Even if soft-tissue injuries don’t appear until later and are not listed on the report, it’s still likely that we can relate them to the crash. (It’s not uncommon for soft-tissue injuries to take 1-3 days to begin showing symptoms.)
Dealing with Insurance Companies
Accident victims should be hesitant to sign the insurance company’s medical-release forms or provide a recorded statement. Doing so can expose your medical history, which can then be used to reduce your settlement.
“Always bear in mind that insurance companies want to settle for as little as possible. They often use high-pressure tactics to get their clients to settle and employ expensive attorneys to represent their own interests.”
The insurance company might even contradict the facts of the accident, telling you it was your fault. Don’t give in to their demands and don’t accept their excuses for denying or limiting your claim without contacting one of our Albuquerque car accident attorneys.
The Clock Is Ticking
Car accident victims have a limited window of time associated with their case/claim. Under laws established by the state of New Mexico, each type of case has a specific statute of limitations. Those who fail to abide by the statute of limitations risk losing the opportunity to make a recovery for compensation.
To avoid the possibility of your claim expiring, contact one of our car accident lawyers immediately. We will be able to analyze the details of your accident and let you know how many days or months you have before your case expires.
Contact Our Albuquerque Car Accident Lawyers Today to Get Started
From our office in Albuquerque, we’re proud to serve the entire state of New Mexico. The law office of Keller & Keller has been helping injured people for more than 75 years. We know how to earn results for injured people and their families. Submit a confidential contact form via our website or call 1-800-253-5537 for a free consultation with one of our New Mexico car accident attorneys.
Testimonials from Keller & Keller Clients
I am still shocked with the amount of the settlement they got my daughter. I only expect to be reimbursed for the hospital bills and maybe my lost wages. They got her much more. Excellent service.
Compassionate people. I would send them an email with a question, within the hour they would call me back. Patiently answered all of my questions and they were always happy to help in any way possible. This impressed me, because they did not benefit from it.
They fought long and hard for my daughter, would include her in the conversations, never ignored her questions because she was a teenager and I absolutely love that they were looking out for her best interest at all times.
If you are looking for great attorneys with reasonable fees, who will fight for you, look no further.