Rio Rancho Personal Injury Attorney
Personal Injury in Rio Rancho, New Mexico
When you or a loved one suffer injuries in an accident, the experienced legal team of New Mexico personal injury attorneys at The Fine Law Firm is available to guide you through your time of need. We will seek the justice and compensation you deserve for your injuries. We help clients throughout New Mexico receive quality legal care for injuries they suffer due to the negligence of others.
The Fine Law Firm is:
- An established leader in personal injury law both nationally and locally
- A proud provider of legal services in New Mexico for more than forty years
- Experienced in trial litigation against large corporations in the courtroom
- Contact us today and schedule a free consultation. At The Fine Law Firm, our legal fees are reasonable, and you never pay unless we win your case. Se Habla Español.
What a Rio Rancho Personal Injury Attorney Can Do for You
Experienced Rio Rancho personal injury attorneys, like those at The Fine Law Firm, can ensure you recover compensation for losses. We use our knowledge of personal injury laws, our considerable resources, and our legal skills, to build your injury claim as well as do the following:
- Personally handle your case and address all of your questions
- Calculate and document all of your financial, medical, and property losses
- File all court documents, insurance claims, and other paperwork correctly
- Gather any needed evidence
- Interview necessary witnesses
- Represent you during negotiations with insurance companies
- If required, take your case to trial before a judge or jury
Insurance companies are businesses; therefore, their priority is in lowering their costs and increasing their profits. Never accept a settlement from an insurance company without speaking with an experienced Rio Rancho personal injury attorney. You may be signing away your right to further compensation.
Understanding Why Insurance Companies Deny Personal Injury Claims
Because Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, the target goal of all insurance companies is to make a profit by taking in more money in premiums than they pay out for claims. For this reason, insurance companies routinely find reasons to negotiate the lowest possible payout or deny a claim outright. It is the job of an insurance adjuster to minimize payouts by undervaluing and denying personal injury claims. There are many reasons insurance companies use to justify denying a claim, including four of the most common grounds for denial.
You haven’t proven that the accident caused your injury and lingering pain.
This is one of the main reasons insurance companies deny personal injury claims. Often, they will deny a claim by trying to show that your injury is a pre-existing condition that’s unrelated to the accident. Traumatic injuries from accidents can potentially impact areas of the body well beyond the obviously affected body part. For instance, a neck injury may result in chronic headaches or a knee injury may cause back pain. Insurance companies are often quick to deny a connection between chronic pain and an injury caused by an accident. A skilled Rio Rancho personal injury attorney can help prove the link between an injury and chronic debilitating pain.
Too much time lapsed between the accident and your medical treatment.
If you waited too long to seek treatment for an injury, an insurance company may use this fact to deny your claim. New Mexico law demands that you report an accident right away and it’s best to seek medical treatment as soon as possible, not only for your own health but also for documented evidence of your injury.
The insurance doesn’t cover the type of accident that caused your injury or wasn’t in effect during the time of your accident.
Cars used during transport services, customized vehicles, and private vehicles used for commercial deliveries are examples of some instances when insurance companies may deny a claim by citing that the coverage wasn’t in effect at the time of the accident. They may also deny a claim if a natural disaster led to the accident. For example, if flood waters or an icy road caused a vehicle to slide into your car an insurance company may try to deny your claim based on the premise that the extreme weather is a natural disaster that led to the accident.
An experienced New Mexico legal team can help you navigate the policy issues around your claim even when insurance companies initially deny coverage.
Insurance companies may try to say that you shared fault in the accident.
As an injured person, if investigators find you at least partly responsible for the accident, New Mexico’s comparative negligence rule may apply to your case. This limits the amount of money in damages you’re awarded by a percentage that’s equal to the determined percentage of your fault in the accident. Insurance companies save money by attempting to show that the victim shared fault in the accident in some way.
What is a Personal Injury Claim?
A personal injury claim is a civil legal claim that occurs when one person suffers an injury due to the negligence or recklessness of another. Generally, the at-fault person’s insurance company pays compensation to the injured person for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Costs of future medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional trauma
Most personal injury claims resolve during an informal settlement proceeding. When settlement talks fail, a personal injury attorney files a formal lawsuit in civil court. In New Mexico, there is a time period, or statute of limitations, to file a personal injury lawsuit of three years.
What Medical Expenses Do Personal Injury Claims Cover?
Personal injury settlements typically cover all medical expenses related to the injury incurred as a result of your accident. This includes all expenses related to your medical care and recovery period, including hospital stays, surgeries, physical therapy, medications, at-home healthcare, and follow-up visits.
Medical expense coverage also includes projected costs for the future in relation to recovering from your injury.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life Damages
If you’ve been injured as the result of someone else’s negligence in New Mexico, you may also be entitled to loss of enjoyment of life damages. This is a separate category from pain and suffering and is based on the understanding that an individual’s lifetime value is more than just the amount of money they’d earn in their lifetime but also a matter of their personal enjoyments such as pursuing hobbies, athletics, family activities, new career opportunities, travel, and emotional well-being. In New Mexico, a skilled attorney may help you to gain an award for loss of enjoyment of life even when you can’t prove a significant economic loss due to your accident.
Types of Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury claims involve a wide variety of circumstances. Some of the more common accidents that result in personal injury claims include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Premises liability
- Workplace accidents
Remember, in New Mexico, you have three years after an accident to file a personal injury case, but the sooner you file following the accident or incident, the more likely you are to gain compensation.
How Long Does a Personal Injury Case Take?
While 97 percent of cases reach a settlement without a civil trial, the process may take anywhere from a few months to a few years depending on the specific facts of each unique case. A personal injury lawyer in New Mexico will always seek a settlement by engaging in a negotiation process before taking a case to court as a last resort.
A skilled legal team must first investigate your case and issue a demand to the insurance carrier for the person at fault in your accident or injury. Then they will attempt to negotiate a fair settlement for medical expenses, lost earnings, lost future earnings, pain and suffering, property damage, and in some cases, loss of enjoyment of life. Only if the attempts to negotiate a settlement out of court are unsuccessful does the legal team file a personal injury lawsuit. After filing a lawsuit there follows a discovery phase where each side of the lawsuit obtains related facts from the other. This requires document requests and often depositions of those involved. Next, is a mediation phase to again attempt a settlement agreement. Only then does the case proceed to a civil trial if both parties can’t agree to a satisfactory settlement.
How is a Medical Malpractice Case Different Than an Accident-Related Personal Injury Claim?
Timelines may be different for establishing a medical malpractice case compared to a typical personal injury case. While both are examples of personal injury cases, the subset case of a medical mistake or medical negligence leading to an injury requires more complex documentation, a longer discovery period, and expert witnesses. Hospitals, doctors, and medical professionals are much more likely to deny fault than drivers or those responsible for workplace accidents. In many cases, medical malpractice is more difficult to prove and requires more time. A highly skilled attorney like those at the Fine Law Firm can help you navigate the legal complexities of a medical malpractice case.
New Mexico’s law places a cap on the amount of money in damages a victim may receive in a medical malpractice case at $600,000. This cap doesn’t include costs for medical care.
How to Get the Most Out of A Personal Injury Claim
A skilled legal team can help you to get the most out of your personal injury claim so you can focus on recovering from your accident. You can help to strengthen your case against a negligent party whose insurance company is not on your side. Remember— their interests are in NOT paying you, or in paying as little as possible. To reinforce your side of the case there are several steps you can take toward an effective strategy.
First, decide on an appropriate amount for your settlement after carefully looking over your records and estimating continuing losses in the future, including medical costs, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. Be sure to keep your bottom line figure in mind, because insurance companies will certainly throw amounts at you. By demanding a carefully considered figure you’re less likely to settle for less than you need and deserve or settle too quickly before you can know for certain the long-term ramifications of your accident, including future surgeries or physical therapy.
Also, be very thorough in your medical record-keeping. Make sure to discuss every symptom and every affected part of your body with your doctor and have the medical professionals carefully document your case. Be sure to follow every treatment plan your medical team recommends including filling all prescriptions and seeing a PTSD therapist if your doctor recommends you do so. Your medical records are the most important part of your case for showing not only your expenses for medical care but also the impact on your quality of life. A skilled attorney can help you with the record-keeping and document gathering for your case.
Finally, avoid discussing your case with anyone other than your medical professionals and legal team. Do not post about your case on social media and remain aware that any photos you post or remarks you make on social media may hinder your case.
If you’re experiencing deep pain but post a photo of yourself smiling at a ball game or traveling on a vacation the opposition may use it against you.
Get In Touch With Our Legal Team Today
No victim should suffer in silence or pay for injuries resulting from another person’s negligence. To learn more about compensation in a personal injury claim or to schedule a professional evaluation of your claim, contact The Fine Law Firm. If your injuries prevent you from coming to the office, we will come to you. We serve clients across the state of New Mexico, including Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Roswell and Albuquerque.