Should I Call 911 After a Car Accident in Albuquerque?
June 27, 2023 | Car Accidents
The moments after a car crash can be confusing. The other driver might try to talk you out of reporting the crash. The rule of thumb to remember is that it is in your best interest to have an official report confirming you were involved in a car accident.
What Does New Mexico Law Require for Reporting Car Accidents?
New Mexico Statutes Annotated §66-7-206 requires the driver of a motor vehicle to notify the police of an accident by the quickest means possible if the accident involves:
- Property damage of $500 or more
- Bodily injuries
- Traffic fatality
Section 66-7-207 requires the driver to forward a copy of the written accident report to the New Mexico Department of Transportation within five days after the accident. The Department could require the driver to file a supplemental report if the original report is insufficient. Police officers who investigate car accidents and are required by law to complete a report have 24 hours to file the report with the Department.
The “quickest means possible” for notifying the police is calling 911 from the accident scene. The dispatcher sends police officers from the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the accident scene.
Why Should You Call 911 After a Car Accident in Albuquerque?
The primary reason for calling 911 after a car accident is to comply with the laws requiring you to report a car crash. Failing to report a car accident required by law can result in fines, driver’s license suspension, and other penalties.
However, there are other reasons for calling 911 to report a car accident, which include but are not limited to the following:
- The police report provides written documentation that the crash occurred, which eliminates the risk that the other driver will try to claim the accident never occurred to avoid liability.
- The accident report contains details about the crash that can be helpful when filing an insurance claim, including the other driver’s name, address, and insurance information.
- The police officer notes whether either party contributed to the cause of the crash and if they were cited with a traffic violation. The officer’s determination of fault can help settle some insurance claims in the injured party’s favor.
- The accident report provides other details that could be helpful during a personal injury case, including the road and weather conditions at the time of the crash and whether the officer interviewed witnesses.
- It is crucial to have a police report if a hit-and-run driver caused the accident.
- The officer often notes the property damage to each vehicle, which could be essential if the other driver causes more damage to try to obtain a larger settlement.
Depending on the extent of the investigation by law enforcement officers, the accident report could contain other helpful information when filing claims. Without an official car accident report, you might miss vital information you could use to build a car accident case. Furthermore, insurance companies might fight claims more aggressively when there is not an official accident report prepared by police officers.
How Do You Obtain a Copy of a Report for an Albuquerque Car Accident?
Your Albuquerque car accident lawyer will request a copy of the car accident report while investigating your claim. However, you can also request a copy of an Albuquerque car accident report yourself.
You can obtain a copy of a car, truck, motorcycle, pedestrian, bicycle, or bus accident report online for $7.50 through the Albuquerque Police Department’s website. You can also request copies of traffic accident reports in person at the Law Enforcement Center.
Steps To Take After an Albuquerque Car Accident
In 2021, there were 13,955 traffic accidents in Albuquerque. According to the Department of Transportation, Albuquerque had the highest number of traffic crashes each year from 2017 through 2021. If you drive in Albuquerque, you could be involved in a traffic accident sometime during your lifetime.
Therefore, knowing what to do after an Albuquerque car crash is wise to protect your right to fair compensation for your damages. Steps to take after a car accident include:
- Stop at the first safe location near the crash site.
- Call 911 to notify the police and emergency medical services that you need help.
- If it is safe to do so, take photographs of the vehicles and the accident scene. Also, make a video of the entire accident scene, including the vehicles.
- Do not discuss the crash with anyone other than the police. When giving your report to the officer, do not accept blame for causing the accident.
- Seek medical treatment for your injuries immediately.
- Avoid discussing the claim with the insurance adjuster until after you meet with a lawyer.
Contact an Albuquerque injury lawyer to discuss your car accident case as soon as you can. An attorney can help you avoid mistakes that could hurt your chance of receiving a fair settlement amount.
Contact the New Mexico Car Accident Lawyers at Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers Today
If you were injured in an accident in Albuquerque, NM, and need legal help, contact our Albuquerque car accident attorneys at Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free case review today.
Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers
5151 E Broadway Blvd. Suite 1600
Tucson, AZ 85711