Santa Fe Personal Injury Lawyers
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Accidents are a part of life. Though many accidents that occur to us may have little impact on our lives, some accidents can alter our lives for a long time, or even permanently. If a catastrophic personal injury accident has occurred to you, you may be worried about how you are going to pay the medical bills and other living expenses.
Common Types of Personal Injury Cases
Car accidents are the most common type of personal injury cases. They often occur because a driver is distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Trucking is one of the most common jobs in the United States, but it is also a highly exhausting one. Truck drivers are expected to drive for extremely long hours. As a result, they may be sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation is a major factor for automobile accidents, and a vehicle as large as an 18-wheeler can cause massive damage if it crashes into other vehicles on the highway.
Bike accidents may occur because drivers do not pay attention to bicyclists on the road, or because both parties believed they had the right-of-way.
Motorcycle accidents are also unfortunately common. Motorcycles can be difficult for drivers to see and offer much less protection than a standard passenger vehicle.
Pedestrians are susceptible to all sorts of hazards in the streets. Whether it be cars, bicycles, or even electronic scooters, pedestrians are not exempt from road injuries just because they may not be operating a motor vehicle.
Workplace injuries do not only occur in workplaces that involve physical labor. They can also occur in air-conditioned offices. Because New Mexico employers must have workers’ compensation because of the Workers’ Compensation Act, you may be unable to sue your employer if you get injured at the workplace. However, if your employer was grossly negligent, you may nevertheless be able to sue your employer.
Read More: Santa Fe Construction Accident Lawyers
Generally, property owners owe a duty to people whom they invite a safe premise. If an accident occurs on their property, they may be liable for resulting injuries, depending on who was injured and whether the property owner knew or should have known about the dangerous condition.
Though we may not expect a product that we buy to harm us, defective products have been known to cause severe injuries to their users. If you end up getting injured by a consumer product, you may have a claim against the company that made the product.
Dog Bite Injuries
New Mexico law implements the “one bite” rule for dog bite accidents. This means that a dog owner may be liable for his or her dog only after the dog has had one incident of aggressively biting another individual.
Family members of a deceased accident victim may file wrongful death actions when their loved one was killed by the negligent or intentional actions of another.
Though different types of personal injuries can lead to different injuries, here are some common injuries that may occur from a personal injury accident.
What to Do After Being Injured in an Accident
1. Get Medical Attention
After an accident, you should get a medical examination. This is true even if you feel fine after the accident. Furthermore, receiving medical attention will document your injuries, which may be useful if you decide to file a lawsuit.
2. Gather Evidence and Receipts
If you can, take photographs of the scene of the accident. If there were witnesses, get their names, addresses, and phone numbers. You will also want to collect receipts of expenses that resulted from the accident. For instance, you will want to collect medical bills or repair bills.
3. Call a Lawyer
Even if you feel comfortable filing a personal injury claim on your own, you should ask an experienced lawyer for some advice. An experienced lawyer who has handled hundreds of cases like yours may be a valuable asset.
Whom Can I Sue for My Personal Injury?
In most cases, you will be able to sue the at-fault party or their employer for your injury. If the person directly responsible for your injury is your employer and you have workers’ compensation, you may only sue the employer if the employer was grossly negligent or intentionally caused your injury. Otherwise, you may be limited to filing a workers’ compensation claim.
How to File a Personal Injury Claim
1. See if Your Insurance Company Can Cover Your Injuries
The person who injured you may not always have adequate insurance to compensate you for your injuries. In such cases, if you have insurance that covers your own injuries, you may wish to avoid the hassle of a lawsuit and simply get compensation from your insurance company.
2. Consult with Attorney
Minor injuries may not warrant acquiring a lawyer. If your accident was severe, however, you may wish to consult an attorney to help maximize your compensation.
3. Decide Whether to File a Lawsuit
Lawsuits are generally the last resort in a personal injury case. Many personal injury cases settle before a lawsuit is even filed, and they rarely go all the way to trial. If you are seeking compensation from another party, you may simply be able to file what is called a “third-party” claim against the party’s insurance carrier. If you don’t receive an adequate settlement through this process, then you may wish to file a claim in your state court.
Personal Injury Compensation
If you win a personal injury case, you may receive compensation for economic losses and non-economic losses. Economic losses are objective financial expenses. These include medical bills and lost wages. Non-economic losses are subjective and non-monetary. These include pain and suffering and disfigurement.
Dealing with Insurance Companies
1. Don’t Sign Medical Releases Provided by Another Party’s Insurance Company
When you get injured in an accident, the other party’s insurance company may contact you and ask you to sign a medical release. You should not sign any release because they will be able to access your medical records, and they may try to use the information from the records to dispute your injuries and avoid paying you any compensation.
2. Don’t Settle Your Claim Quickly
Though you may want to move on with your life after being involved in an accident, you may not want to move too quickly. Once a settlement is over, it is over for good. If you settle without fully evaluating your claim, you may be shortchanged.
3. Don’t Believe Insurance Claim Adjuster’s Value of Your Injuries
Because insurance companies need to make a profit, they will not always give you the amount of compensation you deserve. Thus, when a claims adjuster tells you how much your injuries are worth, take it with a grain of salt.
Read More: How to Calculate the Value of a Case
How Long Does a Personal Injury Claim Take?
A personal injury claim can take weeks or years. Every personal injury is unique, but there is a general timeline. Once you hire your lawyer, they may try to negotiate with the opposing party. Your lawyer may also file a claim in court. The lawsuit process will likely include discovery, which is a process where your lawyer will find and gather evidence to support your claim. The opposing party or their insurance company may make a settlement offer at any time throughout this process. If there is no settlement, your lawyer may represent you at trial. After the trial, if it was a jury trial, the jury will decide whether you are entitled to compensation, and if so, how much.
When Do I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
Not every personal injury case calls for a lawyer. If your injury is minor, for example, then you probably will not need to call a lawyer. Even if you have a viable claim against the other party, there may be no need to go through a costly legal process if your damages were not severe. On the other hand, if you received severe injuries, you may want to consider a lawyer to help make sure you are fairly compensated.
Before you call a lawyer, you should also ask whether your injury was caused by another individual. If you caused the injury yourself, then the strength of your claim diminishes. You should also ask how comfortable you are with the law. Though the law may sometimes seem straightforward, there are complexities that an experienced lawyer may be better suited to handle. In such cases, you should call a lawyer rather than attempting to file a lawsuit yourself.
What Is the Difference Between Personal Injury and Bodily Injury?
Bodily injury coverage and personal injury coverage differ in the individual that they cover. Personal injury coverage covers for your own personal injury or death, while bodily injury coverage covers for other people’s injury or death.
Statute of Limitations in New Mexico
If you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit, you have three years from the date of the injury to do so. It is important that you file before the three-year deadline passes because a court will not hear your case if you file past the deadline.
CONTACT A SANTA FE PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER
The experienced attorneys at Zinda Law Group may be able to help you with your personal injury claim. After an accident, you shouldn’t have to worry about affording legal representation, which is why we work on a contingency fee basis. You don’t owe us anything unless we win your case.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.