According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), roughly 682,000 hit-and-run accidents happen every year. Hit-and-runs are considered illegal in every state, but offenses vary. That being said, most states—including New Mexico—agree that fleeing a hit-and-run scene is a punishable crime.
If you have been involved in a hit-and-run situation and want maximum compensation for your injuries, contact Shapiro Law Team—the firm Albuquerque residents can count on no matter what.
A hit-and-run is a traffic collision that involves hitting another car, piece of property, or even a person in which the driver at fault fails to stop. It doesn’t matter how minor of an accident the collision is. If you’re the one at fault, you must stop—even if it’s a small fender bender. Fleeing the scene is illegal, and you could wind up facing serious consequences.
The New Mexico Department of Transportation reported over 6,000 hit-and-run crashes in 2020. In fact, New Mexico has one of the highest hit-and-run rates in the country.
Even though it may seem unfathomable to leave the scene of a hit-and-run, it does happen—and more often than you might think. Common reasons why people flee hit-and-run situations include panic, alcohol abuse, being under the influence of drugs, being uninsured, or being wanted by the law.
It’s always smart to brush up on your motorist knowledge in New Mexico. If you want to avoid an accidental hit-and-run, there are several pointers we want you to follow and understand. If you’ve been injured in a hit-and-run accident and need superior representation, Shapiro Law Team is only a phone call away.
Let’s take a look at seven tips you should adhere to every time you get behind the wheel.
For many, driving is a regular activity. And frankly, most people hop into their vehicles without giving road dangers a second thought. Ensure that you’re always paying attention to your surroundings, whether you’re in rush hour traffic or taking a leisurely Sunday drive through your neighborhood.
Many drivers text or eat while driving. Distracted driving has become a common occurrence, especially in the age of smartphones. Even hands-free phone calls can pose a risk to others. If you’re the driver, opt to put the phone or cheeseburger down. It can wait.
Traffic signs help you navigate the roads safely. Many drivers don’t give traffic signs enough consideration, or they downright overlook them. Never brush off traffic signs, and always be sure to follow the rules of the road.
The more passengers, the more distracted you are. If you’re behind the wheel of a loud, crowded vehicle, you’re more than likely to be distracted. This becomes a hazard to your passengers, other drivers on the road, and yourself.
Parking lots are brimming with activity. From families walking to and from the front door of a grocery store to those pushing carts, parking lots are chaotic. Be hyper-aware of your surroundings, and always drive slowly when entering and exiting parking lots. Look behind and around you before backing out of a parking spot.
If you’re the one who caused an accident, no matter how small, always leave your contact information. This also counts for fender benders that happen all too commonly in parking lots. Regardless of the accident’s size, always leave your contact information and exchange insurance details.
Always call the police after a collision has occurred. The police are responsible for taking a report and tending to anyone who’s injured. If you’re not at the scene when the police arrive, you’ll be charged with a hit-and-run violation.
Were you involved in a hit-and-run accident? You might be wondering who is liable and who pays for the damages. In New Mexico, you’re required by law to report a car accident. The at-fault driver will likely be the one held liable and will be responsible for compensating damages, both economic and non-economic.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you should always exchange information with the other driver. This, of course, isn’t possible if the at-fault driver flees the scene.
In this case, you should contact law enforcement and provide as much information as possible. Police will want to gather evidence from any witnesses and review any additional information, like dashcam footage and vehicle manufacturer. Take pictures of everything, and contact an accident lawyer like Shapiro Law Team.
The more information, the better. Try your best to identify the make, model, and license plate of the at-fault vehicle. This will help the police track down the driver at fault after a hit-and-run accident.
Check yourself and others for injuries sustained from a hit-and-run accident. Be sure to maintain comprehensive records of your injuries and medical care for maximum compensation.
Always call the police, regardless of how minor you think the accident is. Even if the at-fault driver fled the scene, the police will make a report using your vital information.
Document everything. Take pictures, gather witnesses, review any dashcam footage, and write down the make and model of the at-fault vehicle. Include any unique characteristics like bumper stickers and special license plates.
Chances are, someone witnessed the accident. Look for any potential witnesses who can give a statement. This includes anyone who was walking or driving near the scene of the accident.
Call your insurance company to file a hit-and-run claim, but make sure you’re getting the medical attention needed. Don’t give away too much information to your insurance company before speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Insurance companies are not your friend. Always consult with an auto accident attorney, like ours at Shapiro Law Team. We’ll guide you in the right direction to ensure no wrong steps are taken.
New Mexico requires you by law to report car accidents involving damages that reach up to $500 or more. This includes commercial vehicles and crashes that occur on a state highway. If the driver who hit you flees, you must still contact the police to file a report.
Liability coverage is required by state law and helps protect you financially if you were the cause of an accident. If the accident wasn’t your fault, then the other person’s liability coverage will be awarded to you to assist in paying for medical expenses and property damage.
Getting into an accident is devastating. But getting into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist can be financially detrimental. Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM) was created to protect drivers from motorists without liability coverage. This coverage typically covers injuries and property damage.
You don’t have to navigate the complexities of hit-and-run accidents alone. Clients choose Shapiro Law Team thanks to our comprehensive legal care, years of experience, proven record of success stories, and contingency fee basis. This means that you don’t pay us unless we win your case.
If you’ve been involved in an accident and need help filing a claim, contact us at (505) 207-4887. We’ll guide you through the process of filing a claim after a hit-and-run. Reach out today for a free, confidential consultation.
Suffering the consequences of another’s negligence is frustrating to say the least. Hit-and-run situations can be scary, leaving you feeling at a total loss. We’re here to help with that. Shapiro Law Team will fight for maximum compensation following a hit-and-run event. You deserve justice, and we’re here to achieve it. Contact Shapiro Law Team today for your free consultation.