New Mexico law enforcement has been cracking down on drunk driving over the last decade – and this has led to positive changes. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, alcohol-related traffic deaths have decreased by 40 percent since 2005.
Still, research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that 1.2 percent of adults in New Mexico admitted to driving after drinking too much in the last 30 days. This is unacceptable given that 116 people died in drunk driving accidents in New Mexico in 2014.
If you were the unfortunate victim of an intoxicated motorist, it is critical that you take steps to protect your interests. If you were injured, then you likely face expensive medical bills and time off work, which can cost a veritable fortune. However, you may be able to recover these losses, as well as noneconomic damages, by making a claim against the at-fault driver.
If the crash happened in New Mexico, contact The Law Office of Brian K. Branch to discuss your legal options. A personal-injury lawyer in Albuquerque will interview witnesses, gather evidence, and handle settlement negotiations on your behalf.
Our attorneys have been practicing law for more than 32 combined years. Call 505-207-4401 to schedule a free initial consultation. You can also learn more about drunk driving accident lawsuits by visiting USAttorneys.com.
Here are four steps you should take after a drunk driving crash in New Mexico:
- Call the police.
If a crash causes a death, injury, or significant property damage, you must contact the police. In fact, you should contact the police after any accident because some injuries take several hours to show symptoms.
An officer will compile a police report, which will contain details about the cause of the crash, the people involved, property damage, injuries, and other information. Your injury attorney may be able to use this report to prove negligence and liability.
- Seek medical attention.
Your top priority after any accident is to seek medical attention. If emergency responders arrive at the scene, request an examination of your injuries. If EMTs do not arrive, you should consult a physician immediately after the crash.
Your personal-injury lawyer may use the doctor’s records to tie your injuries to the accident and to calculate damages. If you put off the doctor’s visit, then the at-fault party or insurance company may argue that your injuries were not that serious, or they were not caused by the collision.
- Gather evidence at the scene.
If you are physically able, gather evidence at the scene. Take photos that show the positions of vehicles, traffic signs, property damage, intersections, skid marks, and injuries.
Record the contact and insurance information of all drivers involved. You should also write down the contact details of eyewitnesses. Your injury attorney may use their testimonies to prove liability and negligence.
- Contact a personal-injury lawyer.
Even if liability and negligence seem obvious, the at-fault driver may deny liability, or the insurance company may offer a settlement that does not cover your ongoing medical expenses. This is where an injury attorney may be able to help.
Your lawyer can gather evidence, structure your claim, and handle settlement negotiations on your behalf. He or she can also handle correspondence with insurance companies so you do not unknowingly admit fault, or sign a general release.
If you were injured by a drunk driver, contact The Law Office of Brian K. Branch. Mr. Branch is an Albuquerque injury attorney who will aggressively represent your interests. Schedule a free initial consultation today by calling 505-207-4401.