What to Expect During a New Mexico Personal Injury Trial

Generally speaking, negligence or carelessness is what initiates a personal injury suit. A victim in a personal injury lawsuit, whether it involves a slip and fall or a car crash, was wounded due to another party's carelessness.

However, each state has its own set of regulations regarding personal injuries. Comparative negligence is a factor in cases like these in New Mexico.

First, familiarize yourself with the personal injury laws of New Mexico and the trial process. Contact our Albuquerque personal injury attorneys at Will Ferguson & Associates immediately if you need answers concerning New Mexico's personal injury laws or guidance on filing a claim.

Duty of Care in New Mexico

The term "duty of care" refers to an individual's legal obligation to exercise reasonable care in protecting the well-being of another. It's important to remember that not every accident may result in a valid personal injury claim.

Individuals in New Mexico have a duty of care to either offer warnings of any possible threats or to maintain a reasonably secure environment at all times.

A common personal injury lawsuit is known as "premises liability," although it does not automatically apply to accidents on private property. If the accident were your fault and not due to dangerous conditions or circumstances on the property, you would not have a case against the owner. Similarly, if the property owner provided you with enough warning of possible dangers, you may not have a case against them in court.

New Mexico's Negligence Laws

New Mexico follows a doctrine of comparative fault or negligence. Suppose the plaintiff and the defendant in a civil complaint are both found partially to blame for the occurrence at issue. In that case, the parties will split the proportion of the damages to their respective degrees of responsibility.

To rephrase, if the court deems the defendant 60% at fault, you will also be found to be 40% at fault. The defendant may then pay you sixty percent of the amount you claimed in damages due to the accident.

Personal Injury Proceedings: What to Anticipate

If you believe you have a case after reading this brief overview of personal injury law, you should see an attorney. An experienced lawyer will be able to evaluate the specifics of your accident and determine whether or not you have a case for financial compensation.

  • Your attorneys will first start collecting evidence like bills and medical records.
  • It's important to keep track of your injuries, treatments, and other relevant details throughout the claims process, which might take a while. While you wait, your lawyer will prepare your case for the Magistrate Court, New Mexico's version of a small claims court.
  • You only have three years from the date of your injuries to bring a personal injury claim in New Mexico, following the state's statute of limitations. The three-year term starts on the day of the injury, with a few exceptions.

Your attorney will investigate and write a settlement demand letter before taking the matter to civil court. In your scenario, this would be reported to the responsible party's insurance company.

You may expect your attorney's final thoughts, a summary of the relevant laws, an explanation of any necessary medical treatment, and a detailed breakdown of the money you're owed to be included in this letter. Your lawyer may even submit a sample petition on your behalf. The following items are expected to be included in this demand letter:

  • Actual and projected healthcare costs
  • The monetary cost of losing a job or having one's earning capacity diminished
  • Injuries and the pain they cause

The insurance company may either agree to the terms as they are offered, or they can propose their own changes. Your lawyer will continue to speak for you and negotiate until a satisfactory settlement is achieved.

A personal injury lawsuit may be required when an insurance claim cannot be settled with the assistance of an adjuster.

Procedures For New Mexico Personal Injury Lawsuits

If an insurer refuses to provide enough compensation for your injuries, you may have to turn to litigation as a last alternative. Litigation begins once your petition has been filed in the court having jurisdiction over your accident. Your lawyer will primarily contact the insurance company's defense attorney rather than directly with an adjuster.

From there, more insights emerge. It's an opportunity to counter the opposing side's allegations with evidence. Each party has up to 30 days to reply to the complaint under New Mexico's civil procedural rules.

One technique utilized in discovery is the taking of depositions. A deposition allows both parties to ask each other questions under oath. Depositions of witnesses and other parties are commonplace. Plus, it may be utilized as evidence in a legal proceeding.

Preparing For a New Mexico Civil Trial

If you still can't settle on reasonable terms after all that discovery and mediation, you'll have to go to a civil trial. A civil trial might last anything from a few hours to many months.

A jury will render a verdict after hearing arguments and evidence from all sides. A judge will formally issue an order documenting the ruling.

Contact a New Mexico Injury Attorney

Our clients come first at Will Ferguson & Associates. Since 1983, we've been here to support people like you who have suffered from personal injuries or disabilities. Furthermore, we operate on a contingency basis in personal injury matters, so there are no fees unless we get compensation for you.

Call the New Mexico personal injury lawyers at Will Ferguson & Associates at (505) 243-5566 if you've been injured and want to know whether you're entitled to compensation.

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    1720 Louisiana Blvd NE #100 Albuquerque, NM 87110
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    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

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