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Albuquerque Highway Accident Attorney

A highway accident, or a car accident that takes place on one of New Mexico’s main roads or interstates, can inflict severe damage on a victim. Highway accidents can occur at high speeds, include three or more cars, or involve dangerous vehicles such as semi-trucks.

If you or a loved one gets injured in an accident on one of Albuquerque’s highways – such as the Pan American Freeway, Coronado Freeway or various U.S. Highways – an experienced Albuquerque car accident attorney can help you seek justice and fair financial compensation.

Steps to Take Immediately After a Highway Accident in Albuquerque

The steps that you take in the immediate aftermath of a highway accident in Albuquerque can affect your health, safety and ability to obtain compensation from an insurance company.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Pull over immediately and check yourself for injuries.
  2. Call 911 to report the highway accident.
  3. Request an ambulance or seek medical care immediately.
  4. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s) involved.
  5. Take pictures of the crash scene using your cell phone, if possible.
  6. If other people witnessed the accident, write down their names and phone numbers.
  7. If your crash involved a large truck or delivery vehicle, report it to the company.
  8. Contact your car insurance company to notify them of the collision.
  9. Don’t accept a fast settlement offer from an insurer without first seeking legal advice.
  10. Consult with a highway accident attorney in Albuquerque to explore your options.

If you cannot complete all of these steps immediately after your highway accident, don’t worry. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you proceed with a claim at any stage.

Common Causes of Highway Accidents in Albuquerque

As is the case with any type of motor vehicle collision, driver error is the number one cause of highway accidents in Albuquerque. Drivers can engage in dangerous, careless and reckless behaviors behind the wheel that put everyone else on a state or interstate highway at risk.


Types of driver mistakes that are often behind highway accidents include:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Texting and driving
  • Driving under the influence
  • Driver fatigue
  • Following other vehicles too closely
  • Making unsafe lane changes
  • Weaving in and out of multiple lanes
  • Ignoring traffic laws or signals
  • Aggressive or road-rage driving
  • Failing to maintain a motor vehicle

If a driver falls short of the duty of care that he or she owes to others – meaning the legal obligation to drive safely and obey traffic laws – this is referred to as negligence. A negligent driver in Albuquerque can be held liable, or financially responsible, for a highway car accident he or she causes.

Some highway accidents in Albuquerque are traced back to a cause other than driver error. Examples include road defects such as potholes, unsafe roadside construction zones, hazards specifically related to large trucks (e.g., lost cargo loads) and vehicle part defects. You may need an attorney to investigate your highway accident to determine its cause.

Types of Injuries Sustained in Highway Accidents

Highway accidents may be statistically less common than collisions in other areas of New Mexico, such as at intersections, but the speed at which vehicles tend to travel on highways can make these accidents particularly severe. Victims may suffer life-changing injuries in highway and interstate crashes.

Examples include:

  • Bone fractures
  • Head, skull and brain injuries
  • Concussions
  • Neck injuries and whiplash
  • Back and spinal cord injuries
  • Permanent paralysis
  • Disk rupture or herniation
  • Cuts, scrapes and severe lacerations
  • Burn injuries
  • Soft-tissue injuries
  • Internal injuries or organ damage
  • Eye or ear injuries
  • Permanent scarring or disfigurement
  • Amputations
  • Fatal injuries

In addition to serious physical injuries, survivors of highway accidents may also suffer from psychological trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), for example, can arise in people who live through traumatic events such as devastating car accidents.

What Types of Recoverable Damages Can You Receive?

New Mexico is a fault-based car insurance state. This means that after a car accident takes place on a highway, the person or party at fault for causing the crash can be held liable. By contrast, in a no-fault state, drivers seek compensation from their own car insurance providers regardless of fault.

A successful insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the party at fault for a highway accident in Albuquerque could lead to financial reimbursement for the following types of losses:

  • Medical expenses: past and future necessary medical care, which may include surgeries, doctor’s appointments, medications, medical devices, physical therapy and rehabilitation.
  • Lost wages: income and employment benefits lost due to a serious injury, including future lost capacity to earn due to a permanent disability.
  • Property damage: the cost of motor vehicle repairs or the total pre-crash value of a car that is totaled in a highway accident, as well as the replacement of any damaged personal belongings.
  • Pain and suffering: physical pain, discomfort, emotional distress, psychological trauma, anxiety, depression, PTSD, loss of enjoyment of life and other intangible losses.
  • Wrongful death damages: losses associated with the death of a loved one in a fatal highway accident, such as funeral and burial costs, final medical expenses, lost earnings, and the victim’s pain and suffering.

The potential value of your Albuquerque highway accident claim will depend on factors such as the gravity of your injuries. It is important to seek a case evaluation from an attorney so you understand how much your case is worth before negotiating a settlement with a car insurance company.

New Mexico Statutes of Limitations for Highway Accident Claims

In New Mexico, a law called the statute of limitations imposes a time limit on a car accident victim’s ability to pursue financial damages. In general, if you do not take legal action within three years of your highway accident, you will lose the right to hold someone else accountable. New Mexico Statutes Annotated section 37-1-8 states:

Actions must be brought against sureties on official bonds and on bonds of guardians, conservators, personal representatives and persons acting in a fiduciary capacity, within two years after the liability of the principal or the person for whom they are sureties is finally established or determined by a judgment or decree of the court, and for an injury to the person or reputation of any person, within three years.

Under this rule, car accident victims have three years from the date of the crash or the date of injury discovery to file a personal injury claim, with some exceptions. Specific circumstances can shorten or extend the statute of limitations, however. This is why it is essential to contact an attorney as soon as possible after a highway accident in Albuquerque.