We all go through scenarios that can harm our bodies and affect our health sometimes. In some instances, these scenarios can be a result of bad luck, but in others, they arise due to the irresponsible behavior of other people. Here, you may seek full compensation if another individual’s actions or inaction caused you bodily harm and affected you significantly.
Depending on how severe the matter is, some cases end in lengthy and complicated litigation that can only be handled by a qualified and experienced attorney. That’s why it is prudent to enlist the services of a personal injury lawyer serving Las Cruces and make sure that you get the compensation you deserve for your damages. An experienced personal injury attorney at FBD Law will guide you through the whole claim or lawsuit process and handle the legal details while you focus on recuperating.
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Do I Have a Personal Injury Claim?
It is vital to be enlightened whether your personal injury claim is viable or not before seeking the services of a personal injury lawyer near Las Cruces. While our attorneys will conduct a free case analysis, it is prudent to know a few things about these cases and how they span out for you to make a proper judgment.
Most viable personal injury claims meet four conditions:
- There must be a duty of care owed
- A breach of that duty of care
- Injury or damages
Statute of Limitations
In addition, there are usually time limits, or statutes of limitation, that govern when a claim must be filed. The statute of limitation deadlines for personal injury vary from state to state, but in most cases in New Mexico, the deadline is three years. However, some cases in New Mexico, such as cases against the government for personal injury, have a two-year statute of limitations.
It is important for you to consult with an attorney as soon as possible following your injury to understand what time limits apply to your case.
The causation aspect means that another party caused you harm. Here, you need to prove that their actions or failure to act led to the accident. To sum things up, you need to show that the wrongdoer caused the accident and thus harm or injury.
In order to be liable, generally, the other party must owe you a duty of care and be expected to act in a certain way. This means the other person had a responsibility to do something specific or avoid doing something specific, such as driving drunk. For example, medical professionals are expected to care for their patients, employers should see that their workers are protected, and road users are expected to be mindful of others. You also need to prove the wrongdoer breached the duty of care owed to you.
Understand that personal injury cases may differ depending on the surrounding circumstances. For common accidents such as ones in the workplace or on the road, it is often easy to prove liability. For complicated ones such as those involving medical malpractice, it can be hard to show negligence caused the injury.
If your personal injury claim satisfies all the elements mentioned above, then you may have strong grounds for a case.
Why Do I Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
It is necessary to seek the services of a diligent personal injury lawyer near Las Cruces if you need top-notch legal representation, as chances are you don’t know all the legal details surrounding personal injury claims. The attorneys at FBD Law are familiar with personal injury law in New Mexico and have plenty of experience handling these cases.
Our attorneys will conduct a free case assessment. In some cases, you may be partially responsible for the accident or incident causing injury but still able to pursue a claim. New Mexico generally follows the doctrine of comparative negligence, comparing the fault of all parties involved.
You need time to recuperate after you’ve been injured in an accident. While it’s best to file a claim not long after the accident happens while the evidence is still fresh, you may not have the time or be well enough to do so. You should let an experienced personal injury lawyer handle the claims process while you recover. They will do all the hard work and offer counsel on vital decisions.
A couple of things your personal injury attorney will deal with are:
Preparing the Case
If you happen to get an accident, try to record the critical parts of the scene to the best of your abilities. You should take any photos or video you record to your lawyer, as these may be used as evidence. Note that the party responsible for paying for the damages, most often an insurance company, is unlikely to pay you the amount willing.
They face these claims regularly and will form a strong defense to try and reduce the compensation to a minimal amount. Your lawyer understands these tactics by the defense, and they will build a strong case to prove to the jury that you deserve the amount you are requesting.
Negotiating for Settlement
Not all personal injury cases need to go to court or to trial because they can be settled through negotiation. Here, the defendant, often the insurance company, will offer you an amount of money to settle the claim. In some cases, this amount could be enough but remember that it should try to restore you to the position you were in before the accident.
You should consult your lawyer about the settlement amount to determine whether you should consider accepting it or whether it makes more sense to settle the matter in court. The attorney will hold negotiations with the defense to try and convince them to pay a significant amount. If they do agree, you may need to proceed with a trial.
Lawsuit Preparation and Representation
When a lawsuit is filed in a court of law, your case needs attention and preparation. Your attorney will need to gather evidence and represent you before the jury to try and convince them to award you the proper compensation amount. The defendant will present a case against your claim. You will need an experienced lawyer to represent you and present your case for damages.
What Kind of Damages Can I Recover?
The main reason why you seek compensation after a personal injury is to try and reinstate you to the position you were in before it happened. This is not possible in all cases, such as when accidents lead to death or permanent injuries, but the amount should try and relieve the affected person as much as possible. This leads us to the three forms of damages one can recover, generally: economic, non-economic, and punitive.
Economic damages entail things that have financial proof. Examples of economic damages include medical bills, lost wages, and damage to property, among others. It is easy to assess their financial value and determine what amount should be paid to the victim through, for instance, medical receipts, quotes or bids from an auto shop, and projected earning capacity.
Noneconomic damages are just as important but not always as easily measured. There is no standard amount established for non-economic damages because the harm or damage varies with each accident or injury. Examples of non-economic damages include emotional pain, reduced quality of life, and loss of consortium.
Punitive damages are not meant to compensate for harm. They come into the picture when the responsible entity was grossly negligent, and the court wants to punish them and deter them from acting that way in the future. Not all personal injury lawsuits include punitive damages, but a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer will advise you about whether you could be entitled to them.
The total compensation amount you may receive is a sum of these three categories of damages.
How Is Fault Determined in New Mexico?
In personal injury lawsuits, fault is a term used to define the entity liable for the accident who thus needs to compensate the affected party. Note that the way fault is established varies from state to state. New Mexico is a “fault” state. This holds even if most states have shifted to a “no-fault” system.
The traditional fault-based system sees everyone held liable for their actions. If someone causes and an accident, then that person and their insurer will be required to compensate the affected parties. You need to prove that the party caused the accident using recordings of the scene and statements from eyewitnesses, along with other evidence, for the court to award you the compensation amount.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
The law states that you need to file for a personal injury compensation claim within a specific time limit, save for a few exceptions. In New Mexico, the civil statute of limitations for personal injuries is generally three years, although some cases have a two-year statute of limitations.
This time limit starts when you become aware that you have suffered the injuries and establish that the accident caused them. Here, the “discovery of harm” clause comes into play, and it applies to most cases. No attorney can give you advice about the time limits in your case without knowing the details.
The time limits cannot normally be extended unless there are certain extenuating circumstances, such as if the injured person is not legally capable of filing the claim because they are too young. For instance, children who suffer from harm generally do not have the clock running until they are no longer minors, according to state law.
Examples of Injuries We Handle
Many things can cause personal injuries and here at FBD Law, we assure you that we will be happy to discuss taking on your claim. Common injuries that we handle include:
- Car crashes
- Motorbike crashes
- Truck crashes
- Wrongful death
- Catastrophic injury
- Medical negligence
If you or a loved one were hurt by these types of accidents or any other kind, reach out to us today.
How Much Do I Need to Pay a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Some people may want to avoid hiring a personal injury lawyer so they do not have to pay for their services. In some cases, people fear that they might lose the lawsuit and still have to pay the lawyer, which will leave them in a worse financial situation than they were before.
Here at FBD law, we try to create the best environment for our personal injury victims and won’t charge you any amount upfront. Our working terms are on a contingency fee basis, where we get our share of funds as a percentage of the compensation amount awarded. This gives us the motivation to go all in and ensure that you get a fair amount. If we do not win the lawsuit, we won’t ask you to pay anything in attorney’s fees.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Who Serves Las Cruces at FBD Law
Personal injury lawsuits are very tough as they entail a lot of work assembling the evidence needed and are often up against a strong defense. This is especially true when the accident is severe and the resulting injuries are very serious, increasing the amount of compensation you need to recover and lead a comfortable life after the crash.
Insurance companies hire lawyers who specialize in defending these cases, and you do not want to take your chances facing off against them alone. Understanding how such matters can have serious implications, you should hire the experienced attorneys at FBD Law and let them do the heavy lifting for you. They will deal with everything regarding the case and allow you to recover from your injuries.
We have dealt with important cases that resolved in our clients’ favor. Although we can never guarantee an outcome or result, we will use all our skills to ensure that you are rightfully compensated. Reach out to us at (505) 842-9960, and we will be glad to look at your case.