NM personal injury claims are complex enough without tossing a bunch of legal jargon into the mix. Sometimes attorneys forget that their clients don’t live in their worlds. Relying on complicated legal terms to explain rights and responsibilities is never a good strategy.
Before you schedule a consultation with a New Mexico personal injury attorney, review our helpful guide that breaks down the common language associated with personal injury claims.
In this blog you’ll learn:
A personal injury claim is a legal action you can take if you’ve suffered emotional, financial, or physical harm due to someone else’s carelessness or deliberate actions. NM personal injury claims are a way for you to seek fair compensation for your damages and other losses that are directly related to that negligence.
Several types of incidents fall under the umbrella of personal injuries in New Mexico:
Most personal injury claims are settled out of court. Whether yours ends up in a courtroom depends on the circumstances and the willingness of both parties to reach a fair resolution.
In a personal injury claim, several key people play essential roles in the process. Each person has specific responsibilities and impacts the outcome of your claim. Let’s break down all the individuals involved so you have a better understanding of everyone you might encounter during the claims period.
New Mexico is a pure comparative negligence state when it comes to personal injury claims. So, what does that mean, exactly?
Well, if you’re even partially at fault for your injuries, any amount you’re entitled to in a claim settlement or jury award is reduced by the percentage of your fault. Here’s how it works.
Let’s say you’re involved in an accident at work. The machine you were operating malfunctioned, causing you significant permanent injuries. An investigation of your personal injury claim determines you were 50% at fault because you weren’t following the safe usage guidelines for the equipment.
If a jury awards you $500,000 in damages but agrees you were 50% at fault, you may only be entitled to half that amount.
The statute of limitation for NM personal injury claims refers to the length of time you have to file your complaint from the date of the incident that caused your injuries. Under New Mexico law, you must file your personal injury claim within 3 years from the date of the accident or injury.
You can lose your right to seek fair compensation through the New Mexico courts if you fail to file a personal injury claim within the specified time. Defendants can use an expired statute of limitations to have your case dismissed.
In a personal injury case, damages refer to the losses and harm you suffered in an accident, incident, or other situation due to another person’s negligence or deliberate actions. Fair compensation for your injuries is called damages in the legal system.
There are 2 types of damages in a personal injury case.
In some cases punitive damages also may be awarded by a jury. Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for particularly reckless or intentional conduct. They go beyond compensating you for your injuries and are intended to make an example of the defendant to deter others from similar behavior.
A medical lien, sometimes called subrogation interest, is a claim or right that a medical provider or other third party can assert against a patient’s personal injury settlement. These most often happen in workers’ compensation cases where the medical treatment for your injuries exceeds the amount of workers’ compensation liability insurance coverage.
They also can happen if you don’t have adequate health insurance coverage and medical bills pile up because of your injuries.
If there’s a medical lien against your personal injury settlement, you can expect a percentage of your final financial reward to go to the lienholder to clear your medical debt.
Your personal injury attorney can sometimes convince a medical lienholder to agree to less than the amount paid for your medical care. In some cases, the amount of damages you receive may be less than your medical lien total. It’s important to work with a skilled attorney in these situations to ensure you’re not left with bills you can’t pay after settling your personal injury case.
A settlement offer in a personal injury case is a proposal made by the defendant or the defendant’s insurance company to resolve your claim without a trial. They can happen at any stage in the process. However, they are more common the closer you get to a jury trial because defense attorneys know jury trials often favor a plaintiff.
Most NM personal injury claims are settled outside the courtroom, which usually is best for the plaintiff. Avoiding a jury trial lessens the amount of stress you must endure to receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Settlement offers can include the following:
The only time a personal injury attorney rejects a settlement offer is if they know it’s not in your best interest.
Cameron & Russell’s team of highly-skilled personal injury attorneys use clear and concise language to help their clients understand their legal rights and responsibility. You can avoid NM personal injury claims jargon when you work with us on your case. We make sure you understand all aspects of your case from start to finish so you can make decisions that offer the best outcome possible.
Bill Russell and Marcus Cameron are the faces behind Cameron & Russell. We go the extra mile for our clients to pursue personal injury claims and provide criminal defense. We approach every case with a fresh eye to detail and the determination to represent our clients to the fullest extent the law allows. We passionately defend clients facing criminal charges, and relentlessly seek out fair compensation for personal injury claims. No matter your situation, we promise to tirelessly represent your legal needs.
500 Marquette Ave NW Suite 1200
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Monday – Friday: 9am to 6pm