Rear-End Car Accidents in New Mexico
Were you hit from behind by another vehicle? Are you dealing with expensive repair bills, medical expenses, and painful injuries? If so, you’re probably wondering why you should have to pay the cost of an accident that wasn’t your fault.
You shouldn’t, and that’s why you need to contact Parnall Law Firm today. A rear-end collision lawyer can listen to your story and advise you of your options for free. We look forward to hearing from you and finding out how we can help.
I Was Rear-Ended. Should I Get a Lawyer?
Do you need a lawyer if you were not at fault for a rear-end collision? There are many good reasons to consult with an experienced New Mexico car accident attorney. First, even if you exchange information with the other driver at the collision scene and the other driver is clearly at fault, you could run into some problems when it’s time to file the claim. The other driver may tell their insurance company that you caused the crash, and you might have difficulty proving otherwise. A lawyer can independently investigate the incident, build a compelling account of what actually happened, and use it to push back against the at-fault driver and their self-interested insurer.
Here are some other ways our legal team can help you after a rear-end collision:
- Completing all paperwork and legal filings – If you pursue a lawsuit against the other driver, the paperwork can be complicated, and any error could cause delays in the process or jeopardize its outcome.
- Investigating the crash – Your attorney can interview witnesses, gather evidence, and build a strong case against the other driver.
- Maximizing compensation – Your lawyer knows how to accurately account for every type of compensation you could be owed and can demand the maximum compensation for your losses.
- Negotiating with the insurance company – Your attorney can present your case to the at-fault driver’s insurer and fight back if it attempts to question its policyholder’s liability or downplay the extent of your injuries.
- Representing you at trial – If the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, your lawyer can file a lawsuit to seek fair compensation.
Who’s at Fault for a Rear-End Collision in New Mexico?
Many assume that rear-end collision liability falls on the driver in the trailing vehicle. While that’s often the case because the driver followed too closely and failed to leave enough space to slow or stop in time, it is not automatically so.
In some situations, the front car has the greater share of liability in the rear-end wreck. If the car’s taillights are broken, the following driver may not be able to tell when it slows or stops. Or, the front driver could suddenly slam on their brakes, leaving the rear driver unable to stop in time.
As such, your attorney will need to review a wide range of evidence to determine what happened and why. This might include:
- The police report
- Witness testimony
- Dashcam footage
- Traffic cam or security camera footage from nearby businesses
- Physical evidence, such as skid marks on the road or the type of damage to each car
Common Causes of Rear-End Accidents in Albuquerque
Here are some common causes of rear-end accidents in Albuquerque:
- Distracted driving on the part of one or both drivers
- Following too closely
- Defective taillights on the front car
- Failing to signal turns
- Slamming on brakes, or “brake-checking”
- Poor road conditions like ice, snow, or standing water that leave the rear car without enough traction to stop or slow down
An experienced rear-end collision attorney can complete an in-depth investigation into the accident to determine its cause and identify the evidence to prove the other driver was at fault.
Common Injuries Sustained in Rear-End Collisions
Whiplash is the most common injury in a rear-end collision, according to research published by the National Library of Medicine. The force of being hit from behind causes the head to snap violently back and forth, like a cracking whip. Whiplash overextends the muscles and tendons in the neck. You may face weeks or months of painful healing, stiffness, or difficulty turning your head if you suffer a whiplash injury.
Other injuries rear-end car accident victims suffer include:
- Broken bones or hairline fractures
- Concussion or other brain injuries
- Painful lacerations from flying glass
- Eye injuries or partial vision loss
- Partial hearing loss or a punctured eardrum
- Crushing injuries
- Internal bleeding or internal organ damage
- Soft tissue injuries
What Compensation Is Available for My Injuries?
If you’ve been injured in a rear-end car accident, the at-fault driver could owe you money for the financial and emotional harm you’ve suffered, such as:
- The cost of all medical care, including surgery, medications, and hospital stays
- Rehabilitative care, like physical or occupational therapy
- Lost wages from time missed at work, including reimbursing any sick time or PTO you used
- Vocational training, if your accident injuries prevent you from continuing in the line of work you were in before the accident
- Any modifications to your home or vehicle to accommodate a disability
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and suffering from your injuries
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of companionship or consortium
What Should I Do If I Was Rear-Ended?
Always call the authorities after an accident, even if the other driver just wants to exchange insurance information.
Here’s what you can do in the days and weeks following to protect yourself and strengthen your claim:
- Get medical care. Seeing the doctor ensures you are treated for any injuries you suffered, including any you might not have noticed. Plus, the doctor’s records from your post-crash exam can link your injuries to the crash, which can provide important evidence for your lawyer to prove that the other driver is responsible for your injuries.
- Save all documentation about the crash. This includes medical records, the police report, any photos or videos you took at the crash scene, letters or emails from the other party or their insurer, and an estimate from a car mechanic for your property repairs.
- Keep a pain journal. Note each day how your injuries impact your daily life, your ability to work, and your pain levels. This substantiates the intangible losses you’ve suffered.
- Get in touch with a lawyer. An experienced rear-end collision lawyer can protect your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve while you rest up.