Get names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information from everyone who was in the accident.
Get names, addresses, and phone numbers from everyone who witnessed the accident.
If police investigate the accident, get a card from the officer that includes the police report case number.
If you are hurt and you are offered emergency transport to the hospital, take the ambulance. It is safer.
Follow the E.R. doctors’ orders regarding medication and recommendations for timely follow-up care by your personal physician.
Check your auto insurance policy. Make sure you have coverage for medical payments and that you have uninsured motorist coverage on all of your vehicles. If you have health insurance through work, that coverage can help pay your medical bills. If you do have health insurance, insist that your medical providers submit their bills to your health insurance company first. Don’t let them bleed your auto coverage before your health insurer pays its contractual share.
Don’t forget about property damage claims. The at-fault driver may be responsible for damage to your vehicle, loss of use of your vehicle, and any damaged personal property in your vehicle. If you are liable for a deductible under your policy, your carrier should pursue the at-fault party to reimburse you for any deductible you have to pay.
The “other guy’s” insurance company is not your friend, and sometimes, neither is yours. Depending on the extent of your injuries, a “speedy” settlement offer from the insurance company may not be right for you.
The statute of limitations for many types of injury claims is three years from the date of the accident, but some claims must be filed within two years. Governmental entities may require notice within 90 days of the accident. If you don’t file in a timely manner, you may lose the right to pursue your claim.
An attorney who is experienced in handling personal injury matters can help you evaluate the worth of your claim before you try negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. Talk to an attorney with the Justice Project of New Mexico as soon after the accident as possible. We negotiate so you don’t have to.