Personal Injury Legal Terms

In New Mexico, a jury's allocation of fault is crucial to determining the plaintiff's and defendant's respective monetary awards. Of course, when you file a personal injury claim in New Mexico, you must demonstrate many other elements as part of your claim, including the other party's fault and subsequent duties. Moreover, your case's specific details will be used to determine your share of the fault. .

But what types of personal injury legal terms come into play when you're going through the process of proving fault in a New Mexico accident case? Read more to learn about the essential terms in a high-level overview of how personal injury works in our state, and in the meantime, contact an attorney as soon as you can. An experienced Albuquerque personal injury lawyer will handle every aspect of your claim so that you can focus on your recovery.

Key Personal Injury Terms in New Mexico

In the United States, everyone is responsible for taking reasonable precautions to avoid putting others in danger. If this responsibility is disregarded or violated, the offending party may be held financially responsible for any harm or damages that result.

This is one of the major personal injury terms that will arise, defined as a "duty of care" in New Mexico. A stronger duty of care to avoid injury may be imposed by law on people in specific roles or occupations. For instance, say a patient is harmed because they were treated by a doctor who lacked the expertise or level of experience of a comparably-trained colleague. The doctor may have violated their duty of care and be considered at fault for a patient's injuries since they failed to refer the patient to another provider and do their job properly.

What is Comparative Fault in New Mexico?

Keep in mind that numerous states have adopted a "no-fault" system. For example, if you are injured in a car accident in a no-fault state, your own vehicle insurance will cover your property damage and a portion of your medical expenses up to the no-fault limitations.

Most states include exclusions for deaths and catastrophic injuries. If your injuries are so serious that they surpass your insurance coverage, you may sue the responsible party for the remaining amount.

On the other hand, New Mexico follows a tort-based system, which is the same as a fault-based system.

In other words, under New Mexico's pure comparative negligence law, the amount of compensation available to an injured party is limited by an amount proportional to that party's degree of fault. Moving to an example of a slip-and-fall injury, let's say you were shopping at a local retail store when you tripped on a broken tile. Because you were on your phone at the time, you failed to notice the tile. The court rules that you are 10% at fault, and the store is 90% at fault. If your total damages end up at $2,000, you would be awarded $1,800 (the total settlement minus your proportion of the fault) under New Mexico's comparative fault law.

Details on Personal Injury Involving Multiple Parties in New Mexico

When more than one accident occurs, or when one injury leads to further damages or dramatically exacerbates the first injury, personal injury lawsuits can become extremely complicated. Successive tortfeasor liability is the legal term when comparative negligence laws apply to more than one negligent party in a single claim.

This occurs when the same third-party plaintiff suffers harm from two or more seemingly unrelated acts of negligence. For instance, after an accident victim is sent to the hospital, they could sustain secondary injuries or losses due to medical negligence.

Personal Injury Terms in Proving Fault in New Mexico

Now that we've covered the details and laws surrounding how fault is defined in New Mexico, we can review how to prove fault. There are three fundamental characteristics that must be proven, regardless of the type of accident you were involved in, so that you can secure damages if you file a personal injury claim in New Mexico:

  • The defendant had an obligation to the injured party or plaintiff, also known as the duty of care we mentioned above.
  • The defendant breached or violated this duty of care.
  • The plaintiff suffered demonstrable injuries or other damages in an accident that were caused directly by this breach.

This may all seem basic, but it may get complicated. Suppose you have preexisting injuries and are involved in an accident. Even if another driver caused the collision, the insurance company might claim that the collision did not cause your injuries.

You must also demonstrate the magnitude of your losses and damages. How severely were you injured, and how much compensation do you deserve for your injuries? This is where other personal injury terms such as economic damages, non-economic damages, loss of consortium, and more come into play.

Contact a New Mexico Personal Injury Attorney

Whether you were hurt in a car crash on a local highway or fell down the stairs at a convention center, you shouldn't have to pay for the damages if you weren't at fault in such an accident. If another party was responsible for the accident that left you injured, you may be entitled to seek financial restitution. There are several reasons to pursue a claim for damages against a negligent party, and it's important for a potential claimant to be familiar with key personal injury terms.

The fact that negligent persons will be held liable for their acts strengthens accountability in our society, and victims can receive compensation for their losses. However, personal injury lawsuits are difficult to win. The cause of your accident and the parties responsible for your injuries need to be determined, so an investigation is required. You'll need to collect evidence and negotiate a settlement. Fortunately, a New Mexico personal injury attorney from Will Ferguson & Associates is here to take your call.

Call our accident attorneys at Will Ferguson & Associates at (505) 243-5566 to find out whether you are eligible for compensation for your injuries. Contact us immediately for a free, no-obligation consultation when you've suffered injuries at the hands of a negligent party in New Mexico.

Why Choose
Will Ferguson & Associates To Fight For You?

No Fees Unless We Win

We Communicate with You Every Step of the Way

Free Consultations

Over 40+ Years
Defending The Injured

Millions Recovered For Our Clients
Contact Us

Request a FREE Case Review.

    Required Fields *

    1720 Louisiana Blvd NE #100 Albuquerque, NM 87110
    Rio Rancho

    333 Rio Rancho Boulevard Northeast Rio Rancho, NM

    1720 Louisiana Blvd NE #100 Albuquerque, NM 87110
    Rio Rancho

    333 Rio Rancho Boulevard Northeast Rio Rancho, NM