New Mexico Traffic Accident LawyersLast updated on: July 14, 2022
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According to the New Mexico Department of Transportation, the total number of car crashes in New Mexico declined abruptly in 2020. But, as drivers returned to the road following the pandemic, the increase in traffic meant an increase in car accidents. Zinda Law Group’s New Mexico traffic accident lawyers from Zinda Law Group can help you determine your options and recover after a car crash.
Recovering Compensation for YOUR car accident
Getting the best care possible and making a full recovery should be your priority after being injured in an accident. Unfortunately, your care costs may continue to pile up during recovery. In many cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may not cover the amount of damages you’ve suffered. We’ve helped clients through the process of filing personal injury claims and recovering damages through a lawsuit.
How is the Value of My Injury Claim Calculated?
Damages are intended to restore the victim to where they were before the accident happened. Of course, assigning a monetary value to someone’s injury is difficult because physical pain and mental anguish affect people in different ways. Although it’s practically impossible for an attorney to calculate the value until well into the case, there are several factors that heavily influence how much compensation a plaintiff can recover.
When calculating the value of your claim, a New Mexico car accident lawyer would consider the following:
- Liability and injuries
- Insurance Coverage
- Actual Medical Bills and Damage
The subtle differences between each case can greatly affect the overall value of a personal injury claim. There are some online settlement calculators you could use, but a New Mexico personal injury attorney from our firm could look at the details of your case and help you see what it would mean to bring a personal injury claim.
Who is Responsible for Paying My Damages?
New Mexico has fault-based insurance laws which means that the at-fault driver is held responsible for any damages caused by the accident. If another driver was at fault for the accident in your case, then we would likely seek compensation from their insurance company. At that point, it’s up to the insurance company to decide whether they are going to pay you.
Insurance companies can and do deny policyholders’ claims. When you are seeking compensation from an insurance company, this process can be complex ,and it can be helpful to seek the aid of an attorney.
How Can a New Mexico Car Accident Attorney Help Me?
A New Mexico personal injury lawyer can build a fact-based case and calculate a fair value for your damages. Additionally, we can help with filing personal injury claims and negotiating directly with insurance companies to settle a case. If the other driver’s insurer refuses to negotiate or tries to offer a low settlement, that’s when we might file a lawsuit and take a case to court.
What Type of Damages Can I RECOVER?
As mentioned, damages refer to compensation you can collect for being injured or suffering a loss from the negligence of another person. Generally, there are three types of damages that you can collect for a car accident injury claim:
Economic damages account for financial losses including lost income, medical bills, and any other hard costs associated with your injuries. Generally, calculating economic damages is much easier than calculating other forms of damages. The amount you could receive in economic damages is based on the sum of your invoices, bills, and receipts related to treating your injuries.
Non-economic damages account for losses like pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of companionship. Calculating non-economic damages is far more difficult.. Essentially, non-economic damages compensate the victim for the impact that the injury has had or will have on their daily life. In some cases, the greatest portion of the recovery is non-economic damages.
Punitive damages function as a punishment to the defendant to deter certain types of particularly egregious conduct. While successful injury claimants always get compensatory damages, a jury is never required to reward punitive damages. Only in cases where the defendant’s actions were reckless or intentional can punitive damages be awarded.
The attorneys at Zinda Law Group know the evidentiary requirements for proving each kind of damages and can assess the facts of your case to see what damages may be available to you. Although recovering a certain type of damages can never be guaranteed, an experienced personal injury attorney can inform you of your chances of making a recovery.
Common Causes of car accidents in New Mexico
The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDT) separates contributing factors in crashes into three categories. The three categories separate contributing factors in crashes from those attributable to the driver, vehicle, or environment. Of those three categories, driver error accounts for 58% of all crashes. Below are the most prevalent factors that contribute to fatal crashes:
Driver inattention is the leading cause of non-fatal crashes in New Mexico. Section 66-8-114 of the New Mexico criminal code prohibits drivers from operating a vehicle on the highway without giving their full time and attention to the operation of the vehicle. Many people in New Mexico do not pay attention while driving, which causes most crashes in the state
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Section 66-8-102 of the New Mexico criminal code makes it a criminal offense to operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. According to NMDT, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol account for most crash-related fatalities. While drugs and alcohol are at play in only 2.9% of total crashes, drugs and alcohol contribute to 24.2% of all crash-related fatalities.
Excessive speed accounts for 10.8% of all crash-related fatalities in New Mexico. Additionally, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that excessive speeds account for nearly one-third of all traffic accidents in the United States. The speed of the vehicle influences a driver’s ability to control the vehicle and avoid accidents, as well as increases the risk of a catastrophic accident. Furthermore, speeding is especially dangerous because it hampers the efficacy of the vehicle’s safety features.
Injuries common to New Mexico Car accidents
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that Americans spend more than 1 million days in the hospital each year because of car accident injuries. In New Mexico, over 16,000 people suffered an injury because of a car accident. Among those injuries suffered, the following were the most common types of injury.
Scrapes and Cuts
Big and small injuries can become extremely painful if not treated properly. Even a minor cut can become infected and potentially fatal when not taken care of and sanitized. If you see the following symptoms after experiencing a cut or scrape from a car accident, you should receive immediate medical attention:
- Redness around the wound deepens and expands
- Increased pain and swelling around the area
- Scab gets bigger and dark in color
- Pus or fluid build-up
Paying attention to signs of infection could ultimately be lifesaving. As medical professionals will tell you, the adrenaline rush from the accident prevents some people from feeling pain from the injuries. Even if you do not realize a cut or a scrape until later, you should seek medical attention and make sure that the wound is sterilized.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Injuries affecting ligaments, tendons, and muscles are referred to as soft tissue injuries. Some common examples of soft tissue injuries include:
In car accidents, the most serious type of soft tissue injury is whiplash. Whiplash is an injury where the muscles of ligament of the neck are strained and overstretched. The treatment of whiplash and other soft tissue injuries is usually rest and immobilization.
One of the most common ways to sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is by a motor vehicle accident. A TBI is an injury that affects how the brain works. According to the CDC, around 176 TBI-related deaths happen every day. The three main types of TBI are:
- Mild TBI or concussion
- Moderate TBI
- Severe TBI
Depending on the severity of a TBI, the injury may affect victim for the rest of their life. In 2019, 91,000 children were injured in motor vehicle crashes. Furthermore, NHTSA reported that cerebrum injuries (contusions or lacerations) were the most common type of head injuries among children. Head injuries are particularly detrimental to the developing brain and may limit the child’s ability to participate in a normal life.
A broken bone injury leaves the victim with a partial or complete break in the continuity of the bone. Although bones are very strong, the force from a car accident is strong enough to break a bone. Getting thrown forward in a car crash is a common way to break a bone. A PubMed study reported that the most fractured bones in car accidents were:
- Femur (25.9%)
- Humerus (21.6%)
- Spine (17.6%)
Spine injuries from car accidents are usually very serious and potentially life-threatening. The spine is full of nerves that relay messages between the brain and the rest of the body. With 40% of spinal injuries attributable to traffic accidents, everyone should be cautioned to buckle up.
The New Mexico traffic accident lawyers from Zinda Law Group can help you after you suffer injuries in a car accident. Contact a lawyer who can help you recover compensation for your injuries. A New Mexico personal injury lawyer is eager to hear about the facts of your case and see how they can help. To speak with a New Mexico car accident attorney today, call (800) 863-5312 to schedule a free consultation with a Zinda Law Group New Mexico attorney.
Schedule your free case evaluation with Zinda Law Group New Mexico traffic accident lawyers today
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a New Mexico traffic accident, the attorneys from Zinda Law Group can help you pursue the compensation that you deserve. To discuss your case with an experienced New Mexico personal injury attorney, please call (800) 863-5312.
Our traffic accident attorneys want to help you hold negligent drivers accountable. We also offer a No Win, No Fee Guarantee. This means that you do not pay us unless we win your case for you.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.