Motor Vehicle Accidents / Crashes
The most common type of personal injury claim is the car accident claim. With millions of cars, trucks, motorcycles, and semi-trailers on the road every day and people in a rush, it is not hard to see why there are so many car accidents.
It can be misleading to use the term "car accident" though. That is because a car accident is usually caused by someone ignoring a clear rule of the road (a traffic law) or ignoring basic common sense (don't try and drive the speed limit when the roads are icy from recent snowfall). It is not uncommon for someone that caused a car accident to want to say, "I didn't mean to hurt you, so I shouldn't be responsible" or "it was just an accident." Because the term "accident" can be used to lessen the need for responsibility and accountability, it is sometimes clearer to simply refer to what happened as a car crash or car wreck. However, regardless of whether someone wants to call it an "accident" or not, if someone breaks a rule and causes a car crash, then they should expect to be held accountable for all of the harms and losses they have caused.Proving Liability – (who’s at fault) – after a Car Accident
It is important to immediately begin gathering the information you need to prove liability. This includes collecting the driver and witness information at the scene. Please review a copy of our Car Crash Information Form and place a copy of it in the glove box of your car. Please also look at our page entitled "What to do After a Car Crash." We provide some basic and common sense information that may be helpful. Additionally, we have a pocket folder which contains both pages of information and can be used to store your insurance and registration documents in your glove box. Please contact us for a free copy of the pocket folder with valuable information to put in your glove box.
New Mexico is a comparative fault state. That means that the actions of everyone involved in a car crash will be compared and fault will be apportioned. For example, if there is a car crash involving three cars, a judge or jury will have to decide whether one person is solely at fault (100%), or whether more than one person is at fault. If the judge or jury decides more than one person is at fault, then the judge or jury will have to apportion fault based on the negligence of each driver (e.g. Driver #1 = 10%, Driver #2 = 5%, and Driver #3 = 85%). To an at fault driver or their insurance company that means if they can shift some of the blame to you or someone else, then the amount of money they should pay to fix things or make up for the harms and losses caused will be reduced. Using our example above, if you were Driver #1 and really did nothing wrong but the insurance company convinces the judge or jury you were 10% at fault, then the amount they should pay you for your damages is reduced by 10%. Regardless of whether your case involves thousands of dollars or millions of dollars, that 10% can mean a lot when it means that the person at fault was not held fully responsible and accountable for all of the hurt they caused.
After a car crash, someone may accept responsibility at the scene and promise that they will pay for everything. Sometimes that promise is accompanied by a request that you not call to police or get their insurance company involved. After everyone leaves, that is the same type of person that may change their story and refuse to pay anything or accept any responsibility.
Insurance companies too will try to reject or devalue your claim based on bizarre arguments against liability. Insurance companies know that by saving a few dollars on your claim, they are making money. If they can short a hundred people, they have just made more money. As a result, insurance companies will often come up with unrealistic interpretations of a car crash and its causes. They will try to argue that you are partially at fault so they don't have to fully compensate you for the harms and losses their driver caused. If you have fully investigated the causes of a car crash and preserved evidence, it is much harder or impossible for them to quibble about liability. Holding those at fault fully accountable for their misconduct begins with clearly and convincingly proving liability.
Liability in a car accident or car crash case can also mean hiring an expert accident reconstructionist to investigate the causes of a crash or experts to determine if people were harmed because of improperly designed cars, truck, or defective parts. Poorly designed parts or tires can result in blowouts, tire separation, and significant injuries or death. Having a reputable and solid expert can be crucial to your ability to prove liability. We can help you determine if an expert is needed in your case and find the right expert for your case.
It is important to fully investigate and preserve evidence after a car crash. You may need help to do that. If you do, do not hesitate - call the Law Office of Matthew Vance, P.C. We want to help you make sure those at fault are held responsible.
We can help you with every type of vehicle accident resulting in injuries or death:
- Intersections collisions
- Highway accident
- SUV rollover
- Fatal car crash
- Accidents caused by a drunk driver
- Rear-end collision
- Motorcycle accident
- Crashes involving tractor-trailers
Even "routine" rear-end collisions can have serious results.
We want to help you make sure those at fault are held accountable for all of the harms and losses they have caused.Recovering Damages – (harms and losses) -- after a Car Crash
There is no truly small car wreck. With big trucks and SUVs on the roads, there is a lot of weight and force behind even the smallest impact. Being in a car crash can have harmful effects in a number of ways.
Recoverable money damages from a car crash or car wreck can include the following:
- Medical expenses (past and future)
- Non-medical expenses (past and future)
- Pain and suffering (past and future)
- Loss of enjoyment of life (past and future)
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of household services
- Property damage
- Loss of use damages
- Diminished value to a repaired vehicle
- Damages based upon the nature, extent and duration of an injury
- Punitive damages
In a car crash resulting in catastrophic injuries or death, there may be additional damage claims resulting from economic loss, disability, emotional anguish, loss of consortium, and wrongful death. More complex cases like these may also require the use of experts, like economists, life care planners, or medical experts to fully determine and explain how you or your family have been hurt by the actions of someone else.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may also be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages are damages meant to punish someone for conduct that is willful, wanton, or reckless. A common example would be driving drunk. If someone drives drunk and causes property damage and/or bodily injuries, then they should not only be responsible for the harms that they have caused, they should also be punished for causing those harms as a result of drinking and driving.
Our firm can help you figure out your situation and determine what damage claims you can and should pursue. You may need help to hold the at fault person accountable for all of the harms and losses they have caused you or your family. If you do, do not hesitate - call the Law Office of Matthew Vance, P.C. We want to help you make sure those at fault are held responsible for their actions and accountable for all of the harms they cause to others.Dealing with Insurance Companies after a Car Accident
Dealing with insurance companies after a car wreck can be daunting. The insurance company for the at fault driver may try to bully you or twist the facts to help their version of events. Your own insurance company may not tell you about all of the coverage available to you, or may down play the fair value for your claim. Although it shouldn't be this way, it is.
It is important for anyone that has been injured or harmed in a car crash to at least sit down with an attorney and just have some basic questions answered. Most attorneys will offer a free consultation to help figure out if you need representation or not. Contact us for a free consultation.
Uninsured or Underinsured Insurance
If the driver who caused your car crash did not carry insurance or enough insurance for the full extent of the harm, you may be able to pursue an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim with your own insurance company. You may also be able to file a claim directly against the at fault driver and seek to recover their personal assets.
The Law Office of Matthew Vance, P.C. can help you investigate every avenue of financial recovery after your car crash to ensure that the harms and losses acontact-us.html you have suffered are taken care of or made up for as best as possible. Contact us.Medical Payments Coverage
Prompt and competent medical care after a car crash can be the key to a quick and full recovery after a car crash. If you don't have health insurance or if they are denying your bills because they were the result of a car crash, you may be able to have the bills paid through medical payments coverage. Medical payments coverage is like health insurance under your automobile policy. It helps to pay medical bills resulting from a car crash. It is a claim you make with your insurance company, if you have that kind of coverage. Even though the at fault driver may be ultimately responsible for the bills, medical payments coverage may be the fastest way to get your bills paid and get you the treatment you may need.
The Law Office of Matthew Vance, P.C., can help you investigate every avenue of insurance coverage after your car crash to ensure that the harms and losses you have suffered are taken care of or made up for as best as possible. Contact us.DON'T TAKE A CHANCE - CALL MATT VANCE!