New Mexico is a state that offers an abundance of different activities for residents and visitors alike. Whether a person is on the job or enjoying the outdoors for leisure, the Land of Enchantment provides various opportunities for people to do different things.
When an accident occurs during any one of these activities, however, most victims can have their lives turned completely upside-down. Whether a person is harmed outdoors or indoors, an accident that is caused by another party’s negligence entitles the victim to seek compensation from that negligent party.
We Can Fight For You
Need an Injury Lawyer New Mexico works tirelessly to help many different kinds of accident victims get justice. Our firm can hold negligent parties accountable and seek fair and full compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.
We understand the tremendous emotional and financial stress that serious injuries place not just on victims, but their entire families. People in these types of situations can often feel lost and desperate for any sort of quick answers to the problems they face.
Insurance companies understand this, which is why many insurers will be quick to reach out to victims and make settlement offers. While the amounts that are proposed can initially seem generous, they rarely account for the full lifetime of care a victim will require.
Need an Injury Lawyer New Mexico can work to get you every last dollar of compensation you are entitled to. You should avoid speaking to any insurance representative until you have legal representation, as phone conversations are frequently recorded and agents will usually ask victims seemingly innocent questions that are actually intended to get victims to make statements that can be used against them later on to reduce the value of their personal injury claims.
Types of New Mexico Personal Injury Cases
Some of the most common kinds of personal injury cases that Need an Injury Lawyer New Mexico handles include, but are not limited to:
- Car Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Wrongful Death
- Commercial Vehicle Accidents
- Uber Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Accidents
While many accidents involve one party clearly being at fault, some accidents can be much more complicated. In some cases, multiple parties may bear liability for a victim’s injuries. The complexity of these claims demonstrates the importance of quickly working with an experienced New Mexico personal injury attorney.
New Mexico Personal Injury Laws
When another party is at fault for a person’s injuries, that party is usually considered “negligent.” Negligence is, quite simply, the failure to exercise proper care. The four basic elements of a personal injury claim that a victim will need to prove in order to be awarded compensation are as follows:
- Duty of Care — The negligent party had a legal or moral duty of care to conduct him, her, or itself in a reasonable manner;
- Breach — The negligent party breached the duty of care to the victim;
- Causation — The negligent party’s breach of duty directly caused the victim’s injuries; and
- Damages — The victim suffered some kind of physical or financial harm as the result of these injuries.
The four elements listed above are keys to personal injury claims in civil courts when lawsuits are filed. Not all personal injury cases reach the lawsuit stage, however, as the insurers for many negligent parties will typically prefer to settle cases rather than pay the steep costs that can be associated with such legal action.
Need an Injury Lawyer New Mexico will negotiate with an insurance company to help you get a settlement that provides for all of your past, present, and future needs. If the insurer is unwilling to provide an adequate settlement, we are not afraid of taking that party to court.
In New Mexico, a victim’s contributory negligence (meaning a victim’s failure to exercise duty of care, or his or her share of responsibility for his or her injuries) does not necessarily bar his or her ability to recover damages. Damages can be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the victim.
New Mexico is considered a “pure comparative fault” state, which means that a plaintiff can recover damages even when he or she has the greater share of blame for the accident. In other words, a person found to be 90 percent at fault for his or her own injuries could still receive 10 percent of a jury award.
Another important aspect to personal injury cases that it is important to keep in mind is that these cases are handled in civil courts, which have a much lower burden of proof than criminal courts. Whereas the defendant in a criminal case must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt (essentially meaning a jury can have no doubt about the party’s guilt), while personal injury cases must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence, which simply means that the greater weight of the evidence (more than 50 percent) supports the victim’s claims.
Types of Damages in New Mexico Personal Injury Cases
Most personal injury cases in New Mexico involve compensatory damages, which is compensation that is intended to make the victim “whole again”—or at least come as close as is possible. Compensatory damages come in two different forms.
Economic damages are generally the far easier form to determine, because they are calculable amounts that typically be easily proven. Common kinds of economic damages often include medical expenses, lost income, and property damage.
Noneconomic damages (sometimes called hedonic damages) are much more subjective because they involve types of harm that cannot be calculated. Some of the types of noneconomic damages may include pain and suffering, disfigurement, or emotional distress.
In addition to compensatory damages, certain victims may also be awarded exemplary damages (also known as punitive damages). Under New Mexico Revised Statute § 13-21-102, exemplary damages may be awarded in cases in which the victim’s injuries were the result of a negligent party’s “fraud, malice, or willful and wanton conduct.”
Exemplary damages are not intended to be compensation for a victim’s loss. Instead, they are awarded strictly to punish a negligent party for particularly egregious conduct and hopefully discourage other parties from engaging in similar conduct.
Contact a New Mexico Personal Injury Attorney Today
Do not let concerns about money prevent you from seeking legal representation after an accident. Need an Injury Lawyer New Mexico handles personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that clients do not pay our firm anything unless they receive financial awards.
Our skilled personal injury attorneys represent clients in Gallup, Deming, Albuquerque, Española, Las Cruces, Silver City, Rio Rancho, Lovington, Santa Fe, Artesia, Roswell, North Valley, Farmington, Los Alamos, South Valley, Portales, Clovis, Las Vegas, Hobbs, Sunland Park, Alamogordo, Chaparral, Carlsbad, Los Lunas, and many other surrounding areas of New Mexico. We are available 24 hour a day, seven days a week to answer your phone calls and Need an Injury Lawyer New Mexico will provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free, no obligation consultation so you can fully understand all of your legal options.