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Albuquerque Rear-End Collision Lawyer

Rear-end collisions are a common type of car accident. They may occur due to texting while driving, distraction, or road rage. The injuries in a rear-end collision often include soft tissue injuries, fractures, lacerations, concussions, traumatic brain injury, or whiplash. In most cases, the driver of the rear-ending car is presumed to be at fault in New Mexico. Although, this presumption does not always hold. If you are hurt in a rear-end collision, you should consult an experienced Albuquerque car accident lawyer at the Fine Law Firm before talking to an at-fault driver’s insurer.

How Can an Albuquerque Car Accident Lawyer Help You?

Hiring an experienced car accident lawyer in Albuquerque can make the claims process easier and more effective. During an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, your attorney can investigate your rear-end car accident, determine liability (financial responsibility) for the crash, obtain a copy of the police report, collect other evidence and file a claim on your behalf. If necessary, a lawyer can hire an expert to strengthen your case.

A car insurance company may try to take advantage of you if you are not represented by an attorney. Insurance companies generally want to protect their profits more than their clients during car accident claims. A lawyer will protect your best interests and aggressively negotiate for maximum compensation on your behalf – all while allowing you to focus on healing and recovering. A lawyer is also capable of taking your case to trial, if necessary.

Common Causes of Rear-End Accidents in Albuquerque

Identifying the cause of your rear-end car accident in Albuquerque is necessary in New Mexico, as the state operates under a fault-based insurance system. This means a car insurance claim is filed against the driver or party at fault for the crash. Understanding how and why a rear-end collision occurred can be difficult, especially if multiple parties are at fault.

Common causes of rear-end collisions include:

  • Following too closely
  • Intentional tailgating
  • Aggressive driving or road rage
  • Distracted driving
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Texting and driving
  • Speeding
  • Making sudden stops
  • Driver fatigue
  • Vehicle malfunctions
  • Brake failures
  • Poor weather or road conditions

In most cases, the driver of the rear vehicle is found to be at fault for a rear-end collision, as it is that driver’s responsibility to maintain a safe following distance from the driver in front of him or her. However, if the leading driver makes a mistake such as brake-checking the rear driver or cutting the rear driver off, the frontmost driver could be held liable.

What Types of Injuries Are Sustained in Rear-End Accidents?

The forces of a rear-end collision can push a vehicle occupant’s back, neck and head forward and backward in quick succession. This can cause soft-tissue injuries in these areas, including whiplash and back strain. In a high-speed rear-end collision, the force of the impact can crush the frontmost vehicle and cause more severe injuries.

A rear-end collision can result in numerous types of injuries, including:

  • Back sprains and strains
  • Bone fractures
  • Burn injuries
  • Catastrophic injuries
  • Facial injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Neck injuries and whiplash
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Slipped or ruptured disks
  • Soft-tissue injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Wrongful death

At The Fine Law Firm, our attorneys handle all types of injury claims resulting from rear-end collisions. This includes long-term or permanent injuries that may affect you for the rest of your life. We will direct you to the right doctors in Albuquerque and make sure you have everything you need to recover and move forward.

Albuquerque Rear-End Collision Lawyer

Holding a Negligent Driver Accountable for Damages

In New Mexico, drivers are required to maintain a safe distance from cars in front of them. This rule gives rise to a presumption that the car traveling at the rear is at fault for the accident. However, the rear driver is not necessarily at fault in a rear-end collision. For example, if a front driver’s brake lights are not working and he comes to a complete stop, the rear driver would have no warning that he should also brake and come to a complete stop. Or, in another situation, if a driver cuts in front of a driver with insufficient space, the rear driver may not be able to slow in time to avoid a collision.

All drivers are required to use reasonable care when they drive. A failure to use reasonable care, such as by cutting in front of another driver with inadequate space or not hitting the brakes quickly enough, is likely a breach of reasonable care that can result in an accident. If you are able to establish the other driver’s negligence, you will be able to recover compensation for any injuries. Compensatory damages usually include lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, medical bills, property damage, and pain and suffering.

Pure Comparative Negligence

New Mexico follows the rule of pure comparative negligence. Based on this rule, if the defendant alleges that you or someone else is at fault, the jury will evaluate the total damages and assess each party’s percentage of fault. In a certain case, for instance, the jury may determine that the total damages are $50,000, but the victim and the defendant are equally at fault. When this happens, the victim can potentially recover half of his or her damages from the defendant.

It is important to remember there is a limited time period within which you can bring a claim after a car accident in New Mexico. This is known as the statute of limitations, and it generally bars a victim’s right to recover compensation if it is not strictly followed. There also may be more specific requirements if you are suing a government entity rather than an individual driver.

Explore Your Options with an Albuquerque Lawyer after a Motor Vehicle Collision

As a victim of a rear-end collision, you may have many legal options for pursuing a recovery. You may have the right to obtain financial compensation through a car accident insurance claim against one or more parties. You may also qualify for workers’ compensation benefits if you were injured in a rear-end collision while working. Another possibility is filing a personal injury lawsuit if a settlement cannot be reached.

Defensive Driving Tips to Avoid Rear-End Accidents

It is always preferable to prevent a rear-end car accident than to have to recover from one after the fact. As a driver in New Mexico, you can rely on a few defensive driving techniques to help you avoid getting into a rear-end collision.

Safe driving tips include:

  • Maintain the proper following distance. Keep at least three seconds of following distance between your vehicle and the car you are following.
  • Adapt to adverse conditions. If you are driving in rain, low visibility conditions, heavy traffic congestion or dangerous road conditions, increase your following distance and decrease your speed.
  • Pay attention to the road and traffic conditions. Watch the road in front of you to anticipate potential slowdowns or stops ahead of time.
  • Do not tailgate. No matter how slowly traffic is moving, avoid tailgating or following other vehicles too closely. Do not tailgate at higher speeds, either.
  • Use your mirrors. Check your rearview and side mirrors frequently to map the locations of the vehicles behind and around you. Be aware of cars approaching you quickly from behind.
  • Use defensive braking. Apply your brakes gently and early when approaching stopped traffic. Avoid sudden stops that could surprise the driver behind you.
  • Stay alert and avoid distractions. Cell phone use, eating and drinking, looking at a GPS or billboard, and other forms of distraction increase the odds of crashing into the car in front of you.
  • Signal your intentions. Before changing lanes, merging or turning, use your turn signals well in advance. Signaling correctly gives drivers behind you time to react.
  • Properly maintain your vehicle. Keep up with vehicle maintenance, including your brakes, brake lights, taillights and turn signals.
  • Be prepared for anything. Defensive driving is about staying vigilant and being prepared to react to changing road situations at any given moment.

While it may not be possible to prevent every car accident, you can decrease your chances of a harmful rear-end collision in Albuquerque by following these defensive driving tips. Remaining vigilant as a driver can help ensure your safety and the safety of others.

Call Our Albuquerque Car Accident Attorneys Today

After a rear-end car accident, pull over in a safe location and check yourself for injuries. Get medical care immediately. Call the police to report the accident, then exchange information with the other driver. Take photos of the crash scene and speak to eyewitnesses before you leave. Finally, before you file a claim with an insurance company, contact an attorney.

Contact The Fine Law Firm at (505) 243-4541 to request a free consultation about your recent rear-end car accident. A lawyer can help you understand your rights during this difficult time. We will listen to your story and give you personalized legal advice about how to move forward with a claim. We care about our clients and are here to help.