The costs and consequences of sustaining an injury due to someone else’s negligence can quickly add up. From medical bills to lost wages, the impact of a personal injury can be devastating. At Davis Kelin Law Firm, our Albuquerque personal injury lawyers understand the financial and emotional toll this situation takes on individuals and their families.
Our experienced team of trial attorneys has extensive knowledge of New Mexico personal injury law and will fight hard to recover any compensation you may deserve. For help, contact us to schedule a free consultation.
How an Albuquerque Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Here are some ways in which an Albuquerque personal injury attorney can help:
Case Evaluation and Legal Advice
A personal injury lawyer can assess the details of your case and determine its strength. In addition, they will provide knowledgeable advice about your legal rights and options in New Mexico. Your legal representation will help you understand the applicable laws and regulations related to your case and explain how they apply to your specific situation.
An Albuquerque injury lawyer will help you gather and preserve crucial evidence to support your claim. This may involve obtaining accident reports, medical records, photographs, video surveillance footage, witness statements, and any other evidence that can strengthen your case.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
An Albuquerque personal injury lawyer can accurately estimate the value of your claim then handle all communications and negotiations with insurance companies on your behalf. They are aware of the tactics often used by insurance adjusters to minimize settlements, and they will protect your rights to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
Filing Legal Paperwork
Personal injury claims often involve a substantial amount of paperwork and legal procedures. An injury lawyer will handle all the necessary paperwork, including drafting and filing legal documents, complying with court deadlines, and ensuring your case progresses smoothly through the legal system.
Representation in Court
If your case goes to trial, a personal injury lawyer will provide skilled advocacy in court. They will present your case, cross-examine witnesses, and argue on your behalf, leveraging their expertise and experience to fight for the best possible outcome.
Most Common Types of Compensation Recovered in Albuquerque Personal Injury Claims
When filing a personal injury case in New Mexico, most people are seeking compensation for their damages related to the injury. Albuquerque injury victims may be entitled to various types of compensation, depending on the circumstances of their case. For example:
Medical expenses: This includes compensation for past, current, and future treatment related to the injury. It covers hospital bills, surgeries, medication, rehabilitation, physical therapy, necessary medical equipment, etc.
Lost wages: If the injury prevents you from working temporarily or permanently, you may be eligible to receive compensation for the income you have lost. This includes wages, salaries, bonuses, and other employment benefits.
Property damage: If the personal injury accident caused damage to any personal property, such as a vehicle in a car accident, you can recover compensation to cover the repair or replacement costs.
Pain and suffering: This refers to compensation for the physical and emotional pain, suffering, and distress you experienced as a result of the accident and your injury.
Emotional distress: You may be awarded compensation if you experienced any psychological conditions due to the accident or your injuries, such as anxiety, depression, fear, sleep disturbances, etc.
Loss of consortium: If your injury affects your relationship with your spouse or family members, you may be awarded compensation for the loss of companionship, support, or intimacy.
Punitive damages: In cases where the defendant’s conduct is deemed particularly reckless, intentional, or egregious, punitive damages may be awarded as punishment and to deter similar behavior in the future.
The value of your claim and the amount of compensation you can recover will depend on factors unique to your case, such as the severity of your injuries, the impact on your quality of life, the at-fault party’s degree of negligence, and more. Your Albuquerque injury attorney can determine the value your claim and maximize compensation.
How Long You Have to File an Albuquerque Personal Injury Claim
In Albuquerque, New Mexico, the time limit within which you must file a personal injury case is governed by the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations sets a deadline of three years for most personal injury claims. That includes those arising from car accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice, etc. The three years begin on the date of the injury.
When a personal injury claim is against a government entity or public employee, the statute of limitations is two years plus a 90-day tort claim notice from the date of the accident.
The only exceptions to the statute of limitations in personal injury cases are if the victim is incapacitated or a minor. In cases involving minors, the New Mexico statute of limitations is tolled or delayed until they reach 18. For victims who are incapacitated, once they turn 18 or regain their sanity, they have one year to pursue a claim.
Wrongful Death Claims
For wrongful death cases, the statute of limitations in Albuquerque is three years, similar to personal injury cases. However, the time limit begins to run from the date of the person’s death rather than the date of the injury.
In any case, once the statute of limitations has expired, your loved one will likely lose your right to pursue legal action.
What to Expect When Filing an Albuquerque Personal Injury Claim
When filing a personal injury claim in New Mexico, you can typically expect the following stages:
Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
The first step is to consult an Albuquerque personal injury attorney who specializes in handling cases like yours. They will evaluate the merits of your claim, advise you on the legal process, and guide you through the steps ahead. Many injury attorneys, like our firm, offer free initial consultations.
Investigation and Gathering Evidence
Your personal injury lawyer will thoroughly investigate the incident to gather evidence supporting your claim. This may involve collecting accident reports, witness statements, photographs, medical records, any other relevant documentation, and consulting experts if necessary. The strength of your evidence will play a crucial role in the success of your case and receive maximum compensation.
Case Value Assessment
Once you have recovered or reached maximum medical improvement, your personal injury lawyer will evaluate the extent of your injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, and any other damages, as well as anticipated future losses, to estimate your case’s worth.
Demand Letter and Settlement Negotiation
Your injury attorney will skillfully draft a demand letter and send it to the at-fault party or their insurance company. The demand letter will detail the accident, your losses, and the figure you require to resolve the claim. The negotiation process will then begin, where your injury attorney and the opposing party try to reach a fair settlement agreement.
Filing a Lawsuit (if necessary)
Most claims settle before reaching the courtroom, but if a fair settlement is not possible through negotiation, your Albuquerque personal injury attorney may advise filing a lawsuit. The lawsuit initiates the formal legal process, and your attorney will prepare your case for trial. Keep in mind, your case may still settle at any point.
Discovery and Pretrial Proceedings
During this stage, both parties exchange relevant information and evidence through a process called discovery. This may involve depositions, interrogatories, and requests for documents. Pretrial proceedings, such as settlement conferences or mediation, may also take place to encourage settlement before trial.
Trial and Judgment
If the case proceeds to trial, both parties present their arguments and evidence before a judge or jury. The judge or jury will then determine the outcome of the case and issue a judgment regarding liability and damages.
If either party is dissatisfied, they may choose to appeal the decision to a higher court. The appellate court will review the case to ensure legal procedures were followed correctly and determine if the judgment should be upheld or modified.
Most Common Types of Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury cases often involve physical harm, emotional distress, and/or property damage. In Albuquerque, the most common types of personal injury claims include the following:
Car Accidents: A car accident or truck accident claim involves filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit for damages caused by another driver’s negligence. To receive compensation, you must prove that the other driver, whether involved in a car accident or a truck accident, was at fault in causing the accident and that you suffered injuries and damages.
Motorcycle Accidents: In cases of motorcycle accidents, individuals seek compensation for injuries and damages resulting from another party’s negligence. To succeed in a claim, an Albuquerque motorcycle accident lawyer must establish that the other party was at fault in causing the accident and that they sustained injuries as a result.
Slip and Falls: A slip and fall on ice or another hazardous condition left by an individual or entity can leave an unsuspecting victim with serious injuries.
Medical Malpractice: A medical malpractice personal injury claim involves proving that a medical professional was negligent in providing care which led to harm or death of a patient. To win this type of claim, you must demonstrate that the medical provider did not meet the accepted standard of care for providing treatment, resulting in an injury or death.
Product Liability: If you have been injured by a defective product, you may be able to file a product liability claim to seek compensation for your damages. To do so, you must demonstrate that the product was defectively designed or made and that this defect is what led to your injury or illness. Additionally, you must prove that you were using the product as it was intended at the time of the accident. Failure to warn is another form of product liability where the manufacturer of a product or the retailer selling the product fails to provide clear and accurate safety warnings regarding their product.
Work-Related Injuries: Workers’ compensation claims are filed by individuals (or their families) who have been injured while at work and have suffered an illness, injury, or death as a result. The purpose of filing an Albuquerque workers’ compensation claim is to receive financial benefits for medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs related to the incident and resulting injuries.
Albuquerque Personal Injury FAQs
Does it Cost Me Anything to Hire an Albuquerque Personal Injury Lawyer?
Hiring an Albuquerque personal injury lawyer from Davis Kelin does not involve any upfront costs or fees. Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you won’t need to pay any legal fees unless your case is successfully resolved and you receive compensation.
What Should I Do If the Insurance Company Offers Me a Settlement?
When offered a settlement by an insurance company after a personal injury, it’s vital to seek advice from an Albuquerque personal injury attorney before making any decisions. Your lawyer can help evaluate the offer in relation to your total damages, both current and potential future costs. Negotiation with the insurance company, thorough documentation, and understanding the settlement terms are key. Take your time, as accepting a settlement and signing a release may prevent further compensation. Ultimately, trust your attorney’s expertise to ensure you receive a fair resolution.
Can I Still Pursue a Case If I Was Partly at Fault for the Accident?
In New Mexico, the principle of “comparative negligence” applies, allowing you to pursue a case even if you were partly at fault for the accident. The state follows a “pure comparative negligence” system, meaning your compensation is reduced based on your percentage of fault. For instance, if you were 20% at fault and your damages were $10,000, you could still recover $8,000. Consulting a local personal injury attorney is advisable to navigate this complex process effectively.
How Long Will it Take to Resolve My Injury Case?
The duration to resolve a personal injury case varies based on factors like case complexity, negotiations, and court schedules. Some cases settle within a few months, while others might take a year or more. After meeting with your injury lawyer, a better estimate can be given after assessing the specifics of your case.
Why Davis Kelin Law Firm is The Right Choice
At Davis Kelin Law Firm, we understand the importance of taking your case. Here’s why you should work with us:
Our team of experienced Albuquerque personal injury lawyers has more than a combined 50 years of expertise and has developed a comprehensive approach to litigation that allows us to focus our attention and resources on your case.
We are meticulous and intentional in our selection of cases, which allows us to provide each client with the best quality legal services possible.
We always offer a free initial consultation to decide if we’re a good match.
With a history of successful trial outcomes, you can trust that Davis Kelin Law Firm is the right choice for your legal needs. Contact our Albuquerque, New Mexico office today to schedule a free consultation.
“Ben Davis was empathetic throughout the worse event of my life and settled my case like a true professional.” – Curtis Harper
“Very caring and fought for me when I couldn’t fight for myself.” – Joy Thompson