The health and well-being of our bodies can be in jeopardy at times. Accidents may be the result of bad luck, yet in other circumstances, they could be caused by negligent behavior. You may seek compensation if another person’s careless actions led to your injury. Depending on how severe the circumstances are, some of these claims can lead to a lawsuit where you need an experienced lawyer to help you.
The skilled attorneys at FBD Law will use their expertise and resources so that you can get compensation for what has happened to you. A personal injury lawyer serving Roswell will look at your entire case, assist with your claim, and help you toward getting the compensation that you deserve while you focus on your recovery.
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How to Know You Have a Personal Injury Claim
You’ll want to have an idea about whether your personal injury case is viable. Our attorneys can offer free case assessments, but it’s good to know a few things before speaking to these professionals.
There are four factors 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. In addition, there are usually time limits, or statutes of limitation, that govern when a claim must be filed.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations deadlines for personal injury differ from state to state. In New Mexico, the civil statute of limitation for personal injury is three years in most cases. 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.
Causation refers to the fact that another person or entity caused you harm. This means that their actions or inaction were directly related to the incident that you were involved in. Essentially, you need to be able to prove that it was their fault that the accident occurred and injured you.
Generally, in order to be liable, the other party must have owed you a duty of care. In other words, they were expected to take certain measures or refrain from other behavior. Examples of this would be a doctor that is responsible for caring for their patients, employers with a duty to provide a safe working environment, and drivers expected to safeguard others on the road by following traffic rules. To hold someone liable, you also need to prove they breached the duty of care.
You should take note that cases will be different depending upon surrounding circumstances. Accidents in the workplace and on the road are common, and it’s usually easy to see what leads to them. By contrast, medical negligence cases can be very hard to prove simply because it could have been a health issue that led to the problem instead of negligence.
A case that fits all these principles described above may make for a strong personal injury claim.
Reasons to Get a Lawyer
If you are well-versed in the laws of your state, specifically those related to personal injuries, you can avoid hiring an attorney. But most people should work with a personal injury lawyer instead. A skilled attorney will be familiar with the laws relevant to the incident and know how things must be handled.
An attorney at FBD Law can offer 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.
Resting and recuperating after an accident is very important, and you may not have the time, experience, or mental energy to file a claim. It is also necessary to file a claim as quickly as you can while the evidence is still fresh. It’s wise to hire a personal injury attorney who can handle the details of the claims process, which can involve some hard work. Your lawyer can also help with important decisions.
Some of the things they will handle include:
When you are in an accident, it’s absolutely essential to record the incident to the best of your ability, since it may be used as evidence to prove liability. After giving this evidence to your lawyer, they will prepare and file your claim. The party responsible for paying for damages, which is often the insurance company, will probably not pay you willingly.
They will contest your claim and try to get it dismissed so they can pay a minimum amount. Your attorney should be able to present your case strongly and effectively so that the jury sees you deserve compensation.
Not all personal injury claims need to go to court or to trial. They are sometimes settled through a negotiation process. The defendant, often the insurance company, and will try to persuade you to settle your case and just move on. The settlement amount could be fair, but be aware that it should try to restore you to the financial position you were in before the accident.
Your attorney will discuss settlement amounts with you to help you decide if accepting the settlement is the best option, or if you should continue with a lawsuit. Your lawyer will do their best to negotiate your case, preferably to convince the defendant to pay a substantial sum. If an agreement isn’t reached, you may need to take the case to trial.
Trial Preparation and Representation
When a lawsuit is filed in a court of law, you’ll need representation. Your lawyer is going to prepare evidence and try to convince the jury that you should be awarded the proper amount of compensation. The defendant is going to present a case against your claim. You need a reliable, experienced lawyer to represent you and present your case for damages.
What Type of Damages Are Paid?
Compensation for a personal injury claim has the objective of getting things back to how they were before the accident. Although this might not be possible, such as in cases involving permanent injuries or the death of a person, the claim amount should relieve the affected person as much as possible.
There are three different types of damages that people can recover, which are, generally, noneconomic, economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages include things that can be proved financially, such as loss of wages, medical bills, damage to property, and the cost of repairs. Economic damages can be easily assessed with exact figures established, for instance, through projected earning capacity, quotes or bids from an auto shop, and medical receipts.
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 depends on the accident or injury. Examples of this category of damages include distress, emotional pain, reduced quality of life, future suffering, and loss of companionship.
There are certain cases where the negligent party acted very recklessly and there is a need to punish them to deter them from doing the same thing later on. Punitive damages are used for this purpose, rather than to compensate for loss. Not all personal injury claims are eligible for punitive damages, but a reliable personal injury lawyer can tell you if yours is.
The sum of punitive damages, non-economic damages, and economic damages make up the total amount of compensation that may be awarded.
New Mexico Fault Determination for Accidents
To be at fault means a person was responsible for the accident and is thus responsible for paying for the damages. States have different systems for judging fault, and New Mexico is a “fault” state. This can apply, even if most states have moved to a no-fault system.
The traditional fault-based system holds each individual liable for their mistakes. Suppose that someone else causes an accident and you are hurt. The person at-fault and their insurance company have a responsibility to pay the compensation amount. When making a case the other party was at fault and should compensate you, you should have evidence like recordings of the accident scene, eyewitness testimony, and other types of evidence.
The Length of Time You Have to File a Claim
If you happen to be involved in an accident and are injured, you should file all of your claims and charges by a certain time, save for certain exceptions. Three years is the civil statute of limitations for most personal injury claims in New Mexico, but some cases have a two-year statute of limitations.
The time limit begins the moment that you are injured and it is determined that the accident caused these injuries. This is called a “discovery of harm clause” which will apply 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.
Different Types Of Injuries That We Can Handle
There are many different scenarios where personal injuries can arise and at FBD Law, we will handle your case regardless of how it occurred. Some of the cases we handle most often are:
- Catastrophic Injury
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Wrongful Death
- Car Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
If you or a loved one have been injured by any of the accidents listed, contact us today so we can discuss representing you.
How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Lawyer For My Injury Claim in Roswell?
Some people would want to pursue a personal injury claim on their own because they don’t want to pay a lawyer. There are other cases where people are worried they’ll still lose the case after hiring a lawyer, which means they will have even less money than when they began.
Here at FBD Law, our priority is serving our clients and we won’t charge any money upfront. We work on what is called a contingency fee and that means we will only get money when you receive compensation. This is a motivator for us to provide you with the best possible service. If we do lose the case, you will not have to pay us anything in attorney’s fees.
Contact FBD Law Today
Dealing with personal injury lawsuits involve lots of work and you are often up against a strong defense team. These can be very difficult cases, especially if your injuries were serious, thus increasing the total amount of compensation that you will need to get to live comfortably. Insurance companies have skilled, tough attorneys on their side who are experienced at defending these cases, and you really cannot risk trying to do this on your own.
Given the importance of these cases, you should work with skilled professionals like our team at FBD Law. We can handle everything and let you focus on recovering from your injuries. We have extensive experience and have handled major cases that have been resolved in our clients’ favor, such as securing a multi-million dollar settlement. Although we can never guarantee an outcome or result, we will do everything possible to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today at (505) 305-1263 for a free case assessment.