Have You Sustained a Catastrophic Injury in Albuquerque?
Catastrophic injuries are those that may cause a permanent impairment, require extensive healing and therapy, shorten a lifespan, result in the loss of use of certain body parts or systems, cause a deformity or extensive scarring, affect the ability to work in the future, and cause extensive pain and suffering. Some victims never recover from a catastrophic injury and it can affect them for the remainder of their life.
Damages that can be recovered in a New Mexico catastrophic injury case include scarring, loss of use, lost earning capacity, lost wages, pain and suffering, punitive damages, diminished lifespan, and past and future medical expenses.
In addition to those that are injured, catastrophic injuries may have devastating effects on families. Spouses may be forced to stop working to care for a loved one while young children may lose the guidance and counseling of a loved one. Both of these types of damages are recoverable as well. Typically known as loss of consortium, these damages are intended to address the effect on a family that catastrophic injury may have.
When handling a catastrophic injury case it is important for the personal injury attorney to be experienced and familiar with all aspect of damages that may be recoverable.
What Is Considered a Catastrophic Injury?
A catastrophic injury in personal injury law is one that will significantly and/or permanently affect the victim. It is an injury that will have a major impact on the victim’s life, such as by causing a long-term disability or the loss of an important bodily function. Causes of catastrophic injury range from, car accident, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, product liability, slip and fall, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, and government liability.
A catastrophic injury claim is a civil lawsuit that is filed by the victim, or plaintiff, in pursuit of financial compensation from the party at fault for the injury (the defendant). If the defendant is found to be more likely than not responsible for the plaintiff’s catastrophic injury, the defendant (or the defendant’s insurance company) will be ordered to pay the plaintiff financial compensation. The amount awarded in a catastrophic injury claim is meant to make the victim financially whole again, as if the accident had not happened.
Due to the severe nature of catastrophic injuries, these claims are often worth a lot in financial compensation for years or a lifetime of medical costs and other damages the victim will suffer. Unfortunately, insurance companies would rather protect their bottom lines than offer fair financial compensation to clients. This can make it difficult for a victim with a catastrophic injury to obtain the monetary recovery that he or she deserves without assistance from a personal injury lawyer.
Most Common Catastrophic Injuries
Accidents can cause a wide variety of serious or catastrophic injuries. Unintentional injuries are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If a victim will suffer from the symptoms or effects of an injury for a long period of time or the foreseeable future, it will be deemed a catastrophic injury for the purposes of an accident claim.
Some of the most common types of catastrophic injuries suffered in traumatic accidents are:
- Broken bones
- Head and skull injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Third-degree burns
- Organ damage or internal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Paralysis (e.g., paraplegia, quadriplegia)
- Significant scarring or disfigurement
A catastrophic injury can cost a victim and his or her family hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical care alone. It can also result in significant losses of income and future opportunities to earn due to a disability. The physical, emotional and financial toll that a severe injury has on a victim can be immense. A personal injury claim in Albuquerque can help a victim move forward.
Catastrophic Injury Claims in Albuquerque
Filing a catastrophic injury claim can bring a victim answers, justice and financial relief. The type of lawsuit you may be able to file if you’ve been diagnosed with a catastrophic injury in New Mexico depends on the cause of your injury. It is important to learn your type of case, as each kind comes with unique laws and statutes that you or your lawyer must navigate.
Common lawsuit options after a catastrophic injury are:
- Car accident claim. Every year, thousands of victims suffer serious injuries in preventable car accidents in New Mexico. These collisions are often caused by negligent, distracted and reckless drivers. A car accident claim can result in financial compensation granted from the at-fault driver’s car insurance company for medical bills and property repairs.
- Truck accident claim. Commercial trucks often cause catastrophic traffic accidents due to their large size and weight. The commercial truck company may be held financially responsible for an accident caused by the company or one of its drivers. This includes collisions caused by poorly trained drivers, unmaintained trucks and lost cargo loads.
- Premises liability claim. This type of lawsuit holds a property owner responsible for a dangerous property defect that causes a catastrophic injury. A slip and fall accident, elevator or escalator accident, swimming pool accident, dog attack, violent crime, or staircase accident could all result in a premises liability lawsuit.
- Product liability claim. If a defective or dangerous product causes a catastrophic injury, the manufacturing company or distributor may be held liable. The three types of product defects are design flaws, manufacturing errors and marketing mistakes. Most product liability lawsuits are strict liability claims, meaning proving negligence is not necessary to recover compensation.
- Workplace accident claim. A catastrophic injury or serious illness that arises due to a victim’s occupation could result in a workplace accident lawsuit or workers’ compensation claim. Both types of cases can pay a worker for his or her necessary medical care, short-term or long-term disability, lost wages, and other damages.
An attorney from the Fine Law Firm can review your case and determine which type of lawsuit is right for your situation. Then, we can help you file the required paperwork and navigate the laws involved in your claim. Our team of attorneys will make the legal process as simple and efficient as possible so that you can focus on healing.
Compensation You Can Recover in a Catastrophic Injury Claim
The value of your catastrophic injury claim is something that must be discussed with a lawyer, as no two cases are exactly alike. Value can only be assigned after an attorney has analyzed the facts of your case, such as the extent of your injuries, the cost of your present and future medical care, the amount of time you had to take off work, and the insurance coverage available. In general, the more severe your injuries are, the higher the value of your claim.
The types of compensation that are often available for a catastrophic injury include:
- Hospital and health care costs
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Live-in care or nursing aides
- Medical devices and mobility aids
- Prescription medications
- Disability expenses
- Property damage
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Attorney’s fees and court costs
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress or mental anguish
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Diminished quality or enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages, in some cases
Many catastrophic injury claims in New Mexico reach settlements. A settlement is an agreement between the plaintiff and defendant to resolve the legal dispute for a specific amount of money. It prevents a lawsuit or stops one that has already been filed from progressing. If the insurance company refuses to offer a reasonable amount, however, the case may have to go to trial. A trial can end in a positive verdict awarded to the plaintiff, or an amount that the defendant must pay in damages as ordered by a jury.
What Is the Statute of Limitations to File an Injury Claim in New Mexico?
The statute of limitations is an important law to know as a victim of a catastrophic injury. If you wish to file a personal injury claim, you must do so by New Mexico’s statute of limitations. This is a legal deadline for filing a lawsuit. If you miss the statute of limitations, the courts will most likely refuse to hear your case. This is why it’s important to contact an attorney in Albuquerque as soon as possible about a potential claim.
New Mexico’s statute of limitations on personal injury claims is three years from the date that the cause of action accrues. This typically means the date of the accident but may mean the date that the victim discovered or should have discovered the injury through reasonable diligence. If a catastrophic injury takes the life of a loved one, the statute of limitations is three years from the date of the decedent’s death.
How Our Lawyers Can Help
Hiring a catastrophic injury lawyer at the Fine Law Firm in Albuquerque can make filing a claim and collecting fair financial compensation easier during this difficult time in your life. Our lawyers can handle the more complicated aspects of your injury claim while you concentrate on healing and recovering. Our law firm has the resources, personnel and connections to experts that you need for a stronger case.
One of our experienced personal injury attorneys can perform all of the following tasks for you, among others:
- Accident investigation
- Evidence preservation and collection
- Eyewitness interviewing
- Document and record retrieval
- Injury claims filing
- Insurance settlement negotiations with claims adjusters
- Representing you at trial, if necessary
You can rest assured that your attorney will work tirelessly to achieve the best possible results for your catastrophic injury case. Your lawyer will go up against insurance companies and their claims adjusters on your behalf, fighting for fair compensation using proven and aggressive legal tactics. Most importantly, hiring a lawyer can provide you with greater peace of mind while you cope and adjust to life with a catastrophic injury.
Speak to an Albuquerque Catastrophic Injury Lawyer Today | Free Case Reviews
You are not alone as someone who recently suffered a catastrophic injury in a preventable accident in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Our local injury lawyers at the Fine Law Firm are here to help you and your family understand your legal rights, recover from a life-changing injury and secure the financial compensation that you need to move forward. Start with a free initial case consultation at our local law office. Please call (505) 889-3463 or contact us online today.