As in every state, car accidents in New Mexico are generally believed to be caused by the carelessness of one or more drivers. Whether it involves a single vehicle or multiple vehicles, an accident can occur because a driver is texting while driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving without adequate training, among other reasons.
Still, an automobile accident can take place when a driver has taken every reasonable precaution on the road and has exercised prudent and responsible driving. Regardless of the circumstances that led to a crash, certain duties must be performed by a driver afterward to protect anyone involved in the crash and to protect property and vehicles. In many cases, performing these steps can save lives.
New Mexico statutes require a motorist to immediately stop his or her vehicle at the site of the crash. The driver involved must not leave the site, even if the crash is a minor one. A driver who leaves the scene of an accident even if he or she was not at fault can be held criminally liable. State law also requires that if a driver has left the accident scene, he or she must return to the site of the crash or near it as soon as possible.
Next, a driver involved in a crash must try to contact emergency help if a party has been injured in the crash. To avoid causing further harm, only drivers trained in emergency first aid should attempt to provide emergency help at the scene. The driver then must provide as much information about the incident as possible to responding and investigating authorities.
Drivers are required to report accidents because they have a duty to provide information. An attorney can also be consulted if the driver is entitled to compensation.
Source: NMBar.org, "What To Do In Case of An Auto Accident," accessed on Nov.13, 2014