Personal Injury Lawyers in Deming, New Mexico
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If you are reading this article, chances are you received an injury near Deming, NM, because of someone else’s intentional or negligent act. Perhaps you were in a car accident or perhaps you believe your doctor committed medical malpractice. Now you are trying to determine how to proceed in a legal action. That’s why it’s important to call Deming personal injury lawyers who can answer your questions.
This article will inform you about personal injury cases and how New Mexico personal injury attorneys help their clients succeed. There are different categories of personal injury cases that require different approaches, and we will provide a brief overview of those so that you feel somewhat acquainted with the legal process.
If someone caused your injury near Deming, NM, contact a Zinda Law Group attorney at (800) 863-5312 and receive your free case evaluation. You are much more likely to succeed in filing your claim and pursuing compensation if you have our professional guidance by your side.
Personal Injury law
Civil personal injury claims, sometimes called torts, can come in the form of claims for intentional acts, claims for strict liability of a manufacturer, and claims for negligent acts. First, each of these kinds of torts must be brought within a certain time frame, that is, within the correct statute of limitations. Then, the victim must prove the liability of the defendant and the damages the victim is owed.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations marks the amount of time the plaintiff has to bring a claim, starting from the day the injury-causing event occurred. According to New Mexico’s statute section 37-1-8, a plaintiff has three years to bring a claim in personal injury. That means if your injury occurred three years and one day ago, you no longer have the right to sue the person or manufacturer who caused your injury. The time limit is the same for each of the three personal injury categories.
If you reasonably realized your injury later than the date it happened, then the date of your discovery might serve as the start date for the timer on the statute of limitations. For example, if a doctor used a medical device on you that was only found to have a design defect ten years later, then you might be able to bring the claim thirteen years later when you learned of the defect—not when the injury occurred. A New Mexico attorney can help you determine whether you are within the statute of limitations to file your claim.
Intentional torts include assault, battery, false imprisonment, trespass to land, trespass to chattels, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. This list is not exhaustive, and there are many other torts that are recognized by the court in Deming, NM. Each claim has its own unique set of elements that the plaintiff must prove in order to successfully reach a settlement or judgment.
Intentional torts, as the name implies, happen when one person intentionally harms another. Intentional torts tend to have specific elements that the plaintiff must prove, and these elements differ for each kind of claim.
For example, for a battery claim you must show that the defendant had the intention to make harmful or offensive contact with you and that the defendant did make harmful or offensive contact with you. In an assault claim, you must prove that the defendant put you in apprehension of imminent harmful contact or imminent offensive contact, but not that the defendant made contact with you. However, you can file an action for both battery and assault based on the same incident since someone can put you in apprehension of imminent harmful contact and also make intentional harmful contact with you.
Liability for Intentional Torts
Proving liability for intentional torts is often straightforward: The person you sue is the person who intentionally caused your injury. The challenge there is that you must have the correct identity of the offender; this is easier if the person is someone you know, like a boss or coworker. If the person obscured his or her identity or abandoned the scene before you could gather his or her contact information, you have some investigative work to do.
For example, a grocery store may be liable if its inability to keep the floor free of obstacles caused you to slip and fall. Similarly, a contractor might be liable if an unsafe construction environment caused your injury
Damages for Intentional Torts
For any claim you file, you must seek relief and be able to show what kind of compensation you deserve. To do this, keep track of all of your medical bills for treatment as well as your missed wages from time off of work. These are your economic damages.
Your noneconomic damages are meant to help you recover for your pain and suffering. Sometimes punitive damages are available to punish the defendant if the injury was particularly severe.
Strict Liability claims
Intent is not a factor considered in strict liability claims; instead, a defendant must automatically take liability for the damages to the victim under certain sets of circumstances. One such set is owning certain animals—some states make a dog owner strictly liable for a victim who was bitten by the dog. Hosting abnormally dangerous activities also makes a party strictly liable for a participant’s injuries.
However, the most common form of strict liability is products liability. Perhaps you have seen commercials from law firms advertising their services to help victims of a medical device that was later found to be defective; those are products liability cases. In those, a company or manufacturer is held strictly liable for injuries that its products inflicted on consumers.
The elements of a products liability case include the following:
1. The defendant company sold a product that the plaintiff uses.
2. The defendant company is the commercial seller of the product.
3. The plaintiff victim suffered an injury from using the product.
4. The product was defective when the defendant company sold it.
5. The product’s defect caused the plaintiff’s injury.
Liability in Strict Liability Claims
As long as you can pin down the company that made the product causing your injury, you can properly assign liability in a products liability case. For strict liability in general, you should similarly be able to tell who the owner of the animal or the host of the dangerous activity is. If you are not sure whether you have a strict liability claim, talk to a New Mexico attorney.
Damages in Strict Liability Claims
Again, you need to have suffered an injury for which you can receive compensation in order to recover for your damages. Sometimes in products liability cases, manufacturers will streamline this process. They might simply require proof of purchase and refund you for the product.
The third kind of personal injury claim is that of negligence. While the elements of a negligence claim are the same in Deming, NM, as they are across the country, they can be difficult to comprehend and prove. Experienced Deming, NM, injury lawyers know the elements by heart and have seen enough cases to understand whether your case fits into them.
Negligence is a blanket term that covers many kinds of accidents, with some of the most common being car accidents and medical malpractice. Every negligence action involves a duty to provide a standard of care, the breach of that duty, and a compensable injury resulting from the breach of that duty.
A duty to provide a standard of care arises under certain circumstances and relationships; for example, a doctor has a duty to provide a patient with a standard of care to the degree that the average doctor living in that community would take precautions to prevent foreseeable harm. A doctor who fails to do that has breached her duty to provide care to the patient. The victim of a negligent act must receive an injury for which he can receive compensation, and that injury must have been caused by the defendant’s act or omission.
Liability in Negligence Claims
Liability can be trickier to determine in negligence claims, and you might want to consult with a New Mexico attorney to ensure that you are suing the right person; for example, in the doctor scenario described above, the doctor may have used a defective product. If the doctor used the product at a time when other doctors were using that same product because it was thought to be safe, then the doctor is probably not negligent and you have a products liability case rather than a medical malpractice case. However, if the doctor used the product long after the product was revealed to be unsafe, then you have a medical malpractice/negligence case.
Damages in Negligence Claims
In negligence cases, you can be contributorily or comparatively negligent, and this impacts the amount of compensation you receive. Under pure comparative negligence law, if a jury determines that you were 30% at fault and the other party was 70% at fault, then only 70% of your damages are available for you to recover. Deming, NM, injury lawyers understand how to apply the state’s comparative negligence law.
Where can I find injury lawyers near me?
Do not wait any longer to talk to a lawyer about the injury that someone else caused you. You deserve timely recovery in the form of compensation, and our Deming, NM, injury lawyers are ready to help you meet your goals. Call the Zinda Law Group attorneys at (800) 863-5312 and they will help you schedule your free consultation.
Whether your injury was the result of someone’s negligence, intentional act, or a defective product, you will need to be ready to prove your claim to the appropriate court. Our experienced lawyers want to make the system work for you. We have a No Win, No Fee Guarantee to ensure that you will not pay us unless we win your case for you.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.