Experiencing a car accident in New Mexico can be a stressful and overwhelming event. In the aftermath, you may feel uncertain about your next steps, particularly when it comes to reporting the incident to your insurance company. At Roadrunner Law Firm, we understand that this decision can significantly impact your claim and potential compensation. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the timelines for reporting a car accident in New Mexico, the importance of consulting a personal injury lawyer before contacting your insurer, and the tactics insurance adjusters may use to minimize your claim.

How Long Do You Have to Report a Car Accident in New Mexico?

In New Mexico, prompt notification of a car accident to your insurance company is crucial. While the specific timeframe can vary depending on your insurance policy, it’s generally advisable to report the accident within a few days to a week.

New Mexico follows a fault-based system, meaning that the at-fault driver’s insurance is responsible for covering damages. Timely reporting is essential to establish a clear and accurate record of the incident. Failure to report within the allowed time could result in denial of your claim, potentially leaving you responsible for all expenses.

It’s important to note that New Mexico law requires drivers to immediately report any accident resulting in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $500 to the police. A written report should be made within 5 days of the accident.  This does not apply to your insurance company, however.

After a car crash, a woman calls her lawyer before calling insurance.

Why You Should Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer Before Reporting an Accident to Insurance

Before contacting your insurance company, it’s highly beneficial to consult with a personal injury lawyer. Here’s why:

  1. Accurate claim assessment: Personal injury lawyers can properly evaluate your claim, considering immediate expenses and long-term impacts like lost wages and pain and suffering.
  2. Protection of your rights: A lawyer can ensure you don’t inadvertently waive any entitlements when communicating with insurers.
  3. Managed communication: Insurance companies may use your statements against you. A lawyer can handle all communications, preventing misinterpretation of your words.
  4. Skilled negotiation: Attorneys are experienced in countering insurance company tactics and advocating for maximum compensation.

Tactics Insurance Adjusters Use to Minimize Your Claim

Insurance adjusters are trained to protect their company’s financial interests. Be aware of these common tactics:

  1. Quick settlement offers: Adjusters may present a low initial offer, hoping you’ll accept before fully understanding your damages.
  2. Disputing liability: They might argue you were partially responsible, potentially reducing your compensation.
  3. Downplaying injuries: Adjusters may challenge the severity of your injuries or request unnecessary medical examinations.
  4. Delaying tactics: By prolonging the claims process, they hope you’ll settle for less out of desperation.

A woman calls her insurance company

The Importance of Timely Reporting

While it’s crucial to consult a lawyer first, you shouldn’t wait too long to start the claims process. Prompt reporting helps:

  • Preserve crucial evidence (witness statements, accident scene details)
  • Document injuries, establishing a clear link to the accident
  • Expedite financial relief for medical bills and other expenses

What Is the Statute of Limitations in New Mexico?

If you’re dissatisfied with the insurance company’s offer, you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit. In New Mexico, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including those from car accidents, is three years from the date of the accident. For wrongful death claims, it’s also three years, but from the date of death.

Missing these deadlines can bar you from pursuing legal action, underscoring the importance of timely reporting and legal consultation.

How Roadrunner Law Firm Can Help You

Navigating the aftermath of a car accident in New Mexico can be challenging, but you don’t have to face it alone. At Roadrunner Law Firm, we’re dedicated to helping personal injury victims in Albuquerque and throughout New Mexico secure the compensation they need. Here’s how we can assist:

  1. Free initial consultation: We offer a no-obligation meeting to discuss your case, answer questions, and outline your options.
  2. Insurance negotiations: We handle all communications with insurance companies, protecting your rights and striving for maximum settlement.
  3. Legal representation: If a fair settlement can’t be reached, we’re prepared to take your case to court, providing robust representation throughout the legal process.
  4. Contingency fee basis: You pay nothing unless we win your case, ensuring our interests align with yours.

Reporting a car accident to your insurance company is a critical step that shouldn’t be delayed, but it’s wise to seek legal guidance first. At Roadrunner Law Firm, we’re committed to protecting your rights and helping you secure the compensation you deserve. If you’ve been in a car accident in New Mexico, contact us today for the support and representation you need.

Contact Roadrunner Law Firm: Phone: 505-444-4321 Website: www.roadrunnerlaw.com

Remember, your path to recovery and fair compensation starts with informed decisions. Let us guide you through this challenging time and fight for your rights under New Mexico law.