At some point in your life, you may find yourself in a situation where you suffer bodily harm through no fault of your own. This can sometimes be accredited to bad luck, other times accidents are caused by someone’s negligent behavior or reckless actions. In these situations, you may seek compensation from the party who caused your injury. It is often the case that accidents can have serious implications for your health and well being.
No two injury cases are alike, but pursuing compensation can involve filing a lengthy and complex lawsuit against the at-fault party. There are many reasons why this is best left to a professional personal injury lawyer who serves Rio Rancho and has experience in handling these matters. An attorney experienced in personal injury claims will allow you to focus your mind and efforts on making a full recovery from your accident while they guide you through the entire claim or lawsuit process. If you’ve been injured because of another person’s negligence, contact FBD Law’s personal injury firm today at (505) 305-1263.
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Do I Have a Personal Injury Claim?
The first step toward getting the compensation you might deserve will be to make sure you actually have a case against the defendants. To do this, you should call an attorney near Rio Rancho, New Mexico, and schedule a consultation. Our attorneys will offer you an initial consultation for free and provide you with some guidance and legal perspective. However, it is wise to come prepared with some basic knowledge of what makes for a viable case.
There are four main elements in most viable personal injury claims: (1) there must be a duty of care owed, (2) a breach of that duty of care, and (3) causation, and (4) injury or damages.
There are usually time limits, or statutes of limitation, that govern when a claim must be filed. The statute of limitations deadlines for personal injury differs from state to state, but in most cases in New Mexico, you will find it set at three years. However, some cases in New Mexico, such as cases against the government for personal injury, have a two-year statute of limitations. Yous should consult with an attorney as soon as possible following your injury to understand what time limits apply to your case.
The next point is causation, this means that another party caused the accident and subsequent injuries. To meet the criteria, you must prove that their actions or failure to take certain precautionary actions caused the accident and thus your injuries.
Generally, the party must owe you a duty of care in order to be liable. This means that in the situation you were in, the other person was expected to do something specific or refrain from certain behavior. For example, a motorist has a duty of care to all other motorists and must therefore adhere to traffic rules and refrain from reckless driving. You must also prove the wrongdoer breached the duty of care, for instance, by speeding.
You should consider that some cases have different depending on the surrounding circumstances. It is often simple to prove that certain events were the cause of a workplace accident or car crash. But in the case of medical malpractice, it can be harder to prove that an injury was caused by negligence and not a medical condition.
If the elements discussed above can be established, then you may have strong grounds for a lawsuit.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
Unless you have extensive experience and are well versed in personal injury law, it is always best to have your case examined by a personal injury lawyer. Our attorneys will be able to look at the details of your case and tell you what your best course of action will be.
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.
Furthermore, there is a good chance that you will not have the expertise, time, and physical and mental energy to address the details involved with filing a claim while you are recovering from your injuries. But you need to file a claim as soon as possible while the evidence is still fresh. This experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to handle the heavy lifting and allow you to focus on recovering from your accident.
Some of the things you can expect our personal injury lawyers to handle include:
When you are involved in an accident, it is essential to collect important information on what occurred. You should submit this information to your personal injury lawyer who may use it as evidence. The party responsible for paying for damages, in most cases insurance providers, will probably not accept responsibility and pay the compensation willingly. They will build a strong case and try to nullify the legitimacy of your claim. Our lawyers will do everything possible to prepare a bullet-proof case that will withstand everything they can throw at you.
Not all cases need to court or to trial because they can be settled through negotiations. In the negotiation process, the defendant will make an offer and try to convince you to settle the claim and get on with your life. Sometimes the amount they offer you may be fair, but in other cases, it makes sense to proceed to trial.
Nevertheless, you will want to have these negotiations handled by an experienced lawyer. At FBD Law, our attorneys will be able to review your case and see if the amount they are offering is actually commensurate to the damages you have suffered. We will negotiate for a significant amount. If the opposition refuses to pay this, you may need to take the matter to court.
Trial Preparation and Representation
When a lawsuit is filed in a court of law, it requires proper attention and preparation. Our lawyers will represent you as the plaintiff in the proceedings and do everything possible to convince the court that the defendant owes you compensation. The opposition will present their case against your claim. You will need an experienced lawyer to lawyer to represent you and present your case for damages.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover?
The idea behind providing compensation is to reinstate the injured party to the same situation they were in before the accident happened. This is sometimes impossible, for instance in cases involving death and permanent injuries, but the compensation paid should relieve much of the economic difficulties that the affected will experience. This brings us to the three types of damages you may recover. Generally, these are economic, non-economic, and punitive.
Economic damages are easier to calculate as they can be proven financially. Economic damages are in place to cover past, present, and future medical expenses for treatments, medications, and surgeries. They will also cover the loss of wages and future earning capacity that occurs as a result of the injuries sustained. If there were property damages, they can also be covered in economic damages.
Non-economic damages are harder to calculate than economic damages. There is no standard amount established for non-economic damages because the harm or damage varies on a case by case basis. Some examples of non-economic damages include loss of companionship, reduced quality of life, emotional distress, and future suffering.
These damages are not awarded to compensate the affected for loss. Rather, punitive damages are there for the sole purpose of punishing the negligent party for acting recklessly. If the actions of the defendant were especially dangerous, reckless or illegal, punitive damages will be applied to meet the severity of the offense.
The total compensation you may be awarded will be the total of economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
How Is Fault Determined in New Mexico?
In a personal injury case, fault refers to who is responsible for the accident and therefore for footing the compensation. The state of New Mexico is a “fault” state.
In the fault-based system, each individual is responsible for their own part in the accident. This means that if someone is responsible for an accident, that persona and their insurance provider are responsible for paying the amount of compensation due. Of course, this must be supported by footage of the accident and eyewitness testimony, along with other evidence.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
If you have been involved in an accident and suffered injuries because of someone else’s negligence, you should know that there is a time limit in which you should file your claims. This is called the “statute of limitations.” In New Mexico, this time frame generally lasts for three years from the date of your personal injuries, although some cases have a two-year statute of limitations.
The time limit starts from the date you have discovered you have personal injuries and establish that the accident caused them. This is where the “discovery of harm” clause comes into play, and it applies in most cases. No attorney can give you advice about the time limits in your case without knowing the details.
The time limits for filing the claim 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.
Some Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle
Personal injury cases can arise for a large variety of reasons and at FBD law we have plenty of experience with them all. We can handle accidents that result in injury no matter where or how they happen. Here are some of the cases we have experience with:
- Car Accidents
- Wrongful Death
- Catastrophic Injury
- Truck Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
How Much Will a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
Some people are concerned that hiring a personal injury lawyer in the wake of a major accident is the last thing they want to do. They worry about their budget. This concern is even greater when they consider the possibility of losing the case and then losing all they spent on the lawyer, which would leave them with even less money than they had when they first began. But, there is good news.
At FBD Law, our first priority is the health and well-being of our valued clients. For this reason, we will never charge you anything upfront for all our professional legal services. As a matter of fact, we will not ask you to pay anything at all in attorney’s fees unless we win the case and get you the compensation the law entitles you to. We work on a contingency fee basis and receive our payment from a percentage of your settlement amount or the damages awarded.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Lawyer at FBD Law
Personal injury cases are more complex than they seem. Bringing a case to a satisfactory conclusion will require dealing experience and attention to detail, and often, facing a strong defense team. This is especially important when the accident is serious and the injuries are especially severe. You need the proper amount of compensation to live a comfortable life again.
Insurance companies hire the best attorneys who are experienced in defending these cases, therefore, you should not risk handling your case alone. At FBD Law, our personal injury lawyers have the skills and experience to stand up to insurance companies. They serve clients with the utmost dedication and perseverance.
Knowing that these cases can have such long-reaching implications, it is a good idea to enlist the services of experienced attorneys like these at FBD Law. They will handle all the details as you recuperate and recover your strength. We have handled major cases that have been resolved in our clients’ favor. Although we can never guarantee an outcome or result, we will do everything possible to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Call (505) 305-1263 to arrange for a free consultation with our legal professionals.