The average American spends more than 100 hours commuting to work every year, according to the United States Census Bureau. To put that in perspective, it’s more than the average vacation time most people clock in a single year: two weeks, or 80 hours.
And that’s not including all the time you spend in your car travelling for other reasons, whether it’s running errands or simply having a day out with the family. Something you might not have considered, however, is that the more time you spend in your car, the more at risk you are of falling victim to a negligent driver.
Here is just one side effect of all that driving: More than 2.5 million Americans were admitted to the emergency department in 2012 after being involved in car accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you were injured in a car crash that another driver caused in New Mexico, contact The Law Office of Brian K. Branch. Mr. Branch is an Albuquerque personal-injury attorney who will explain your legal options. You may be entitled to compensation for noneconomic damages, medical bills and lost income.
Our attorneys have been representing accident victims since 1997. Call 505-764-9710 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Here are six steps you should take immediately after a crash:
- Stop and Stay at the Scene
Driving off after an accident is unwise – not to mention illegal. If you do leave, you could face serious criminal charges for fleeing the scene of an accident.
- Check on Other People
If there were other people involved in the accident, check to see if they require medical attention. If anyone is injured, call the police immediately and tell them to contact emergency medical services.
- Alert Oncoming Drivers
You should always carry a reflective triangle or flares to alert oncoming drivers about an accident. Set these behind your vehicle, and activate your hazard lights.
- Call the Police
This is especially important if there are passengers or drivers who have suffered an injury, or if the vehicles involved have been significantly damaged in the crash. However, you should contact the police even if it appears that nobody sustained an injury. You may notice symptoms several hours or days after the collision, and your car accident lawyer might use the police report to prove negligence and liability.
- Exchange Information with Other Drivers and Witnesses
Give other drivers your full name, contact details, physical address and insurance information, and ask for theirs. You should also gather witnesses’ contact details. Your personal-injury attorney may use their testimonies to support your claim.
- Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
Even if liability and negligence seem obvious, the at-fault driver might deny liability, or the insurance company may undervalue or deny your claim. As such, you should contact a personal-injury attorney immediately after the crash.
Your lawyer can interview witnesses, gather evidence, evaluate the police report and doctor’s records, and structure your claim. If your case goes to trial, your car accident lawyer can represent your interests in court.
If you were injured by a negligent driver in New Mexico, contact an Albuquerque personal-injury attorney from The Law Office of Brian K. Branch. Schedule a free initial consultation by calling 505-764-9710.