Santa Fe Personal Injury Attorney
Personal Injury in Santa Fe, New Mexico
When you or a loved one suffer from injuries due to the negligent or reckless behavior of another person, let the compassionate personal injury attorneys at The Fine Law Firm seek justice on your behalf. We pride ourselves on delivering outstanding results for fellow residents of New Mexico.
The Fine Law Firm Is:
- A locally and nationally recognized firm
- Deeply rooted in the community
- Proven successful with millions of dollars in recovery for clients
We will do everything within our power to help you rebuild your life and move past your injuries. Your consultation is free, and you will not pay any legal fees unless we win. Call The Fine Law Firm today to experience our personalized service and learn how we are different from other firms.
How a Santa Fe Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You
While there are many reasons to have a personal injury attorney help with your injury claim, having an attorney aid in accident investigation, filing deadlines, and claim assessment and valuation is crucial. Most victims do not possess the resources, legal knowledge, and access to experts needed to meet these legal necessities.
From start to finish, The Fine Law Firm will guide you through the claims process, which may include the following:
- Determining who was at fault in the accident or incident
- Collecting evidence
- Meeting with accident experts to determine how the crash occurred
- Preparing for any meetings or hearings
- Gathering medical records and bills associated with the claim
- Meeting with medical and financial experts to assess medical and financial needs, both present and future
- Assisting you in submitting all paperwork when due
- Representing you at trial or in settlement negotiations
Do not unknowingly accept a lower settlement offer than you deserve. Call The Fine Law Firm right away to find out what your case is worth. We will give you an honest evaluation and fight for fair and just compensation for your injuries.
What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A personal injury lawsuit is a type of civil claim. It is filed by an injured accident victim to pursue justice in the form of financial compensation for related injuries, bills and losses. The purpose of a personal injury claim is to make a victim whole again after suffering losses due to the careless or wrongful acts of another party.
If a reasonable and prudent person would have prevented your accident and injury in New Mexico, you most likely have grounds to bring a personal injury cause of action against the negligent party. A successful suit could repay you and your family for the losses that you suffered in association with the preventable incident.
How to Prove Negligence
Negligence is the legal doctrine on which most personal injury claims are based. If someone is negligent, it means he or she has failed to meet the appropriate or necessary level of care. An example of negligence is a motor vehicle driver looking down at a text message instead of paying attention to the road. If one person’s negligence gives another person an injury or property damage, the victim can file a personal injury lawsuit in pursuit of financial compensation. This person will become the plaintiff and the negligent party is the defendant.
It is the plaintiff’s burden to prove a personal injury case. This means the plaintiff or his or her attorney must prove negligence based on a preponderance of the evidence, or clear and convincing evidence. The four elements of negligence are:
- The duty to exercise reasonable care. This is an obligation to use the amount of care and prudence that a reasonable party would in the same or similar circumstances.
- A breach of the duty of care. A breach can refer to any departure from the amount of care that should have been used based on the situation. A breach could be an action or omission.
- Causation. There must be evidence that the plaintiff’s injuries would not have occurred but for the defendant’s breach of the duty of care.
- Damages. Finally, the plaintiff must have sustained specific and compensable losses, or damages, because of the defendant’s wrongful or negligent act.
There must be enough evidence presented against the defendant to prove that these elements are more likely to be true than not true. Although this is less than the burden of proof in criminal law (proof beyond a reasonable doubt), it can still be difficult to meet without assistance from an attorney. An attorney can help you collect evidence and present it in a way that is clear and compelling for an insurance company, judge or jury.
Personal Injury Claims in New Mexico
Accidental injuries and medical errors affect millions of people in the United States each year. Many of these injuries are preventable and leave victims with chronic pain and physical disabilities. Some of the most common personal injury claims in New Mexico are:
- Car accident claims. These are the most common personal injury claims in the United States. Most car accidents are due to driver negligence.
- Slip and fall accidents. Slip and fall accidents may result in mild to severe injuries and cause victims lifelong injuries.
- Medical malpractice. Medical malpractice, or negligence by a medical professional, arises from a healthcare professional’s failure to deliver competent care such as a surgical mistake, birth injury, misdiagnosis, or medication error.
- Workplace accidents. Workers may file workplace personal injury claims when hurt by the negligent acts of a third-party at the job site or during the performance of their job. Often these claims involve unsafe working conditions or malfunctioning equipment.
- Premises liability. Premises liability claims arise from accidents occurring on the property of another. They are the result of dangerous or hazardous conditions of which the victim is unaware.
- Product liability. When a defective product injures a consumer, the manufacturer is liable for the injuries.
- Dog bites. In New Mexico, owners are liable for injuries caused by their dog if the victim can prove the owner “should have known” the animal was dangerous.
These are all practice areas and types of cases that we accept at The Fine Law Firm. Our personal injury attorneys have represented clients in many different cases over the years. Find out if we can accept your case during a free consultation in Santa Fe.
Compensation Available for a Personal Injury Claim
It is important to understand how much your personal injury case is worth before you accept a settlement from an insurance company. The insurance company may try to protect its profits by offering a settlement that is less than the true value of your claim. By consulting with a lawyer and understanding how much your injuries are worth, you will stand a better chance of negotiating a fair and full settlement. You may be eligible for the following damages, and more:
- Present and future medical costs
- Lost earnings and the potential to earn
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress or mental anguish
- Psychological damage
- Property damage
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Legal fees and court costs
- Punitive damages
Every personal injury case is unique. There is no average settlement value that you can use to determine how much your case is worth. Case value is based on numerous factors, including the type and severity of your injuries, whether your accident caused any property damage, your income potential before and after the accident, your age and overall health, the amount of insurance coverage available, and more. Discuss your particular case with our attorneys to find out how much it’s worth before accepting an insurance settlement.
Limits on Personal Injury Claims in New Mexico
New Mexico has set time limits for filing personal injury claims. A victim has three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury case in court. There are exceptions to the three-year rule for filing against a negligent government employee or agency and for late-onset of injuries.
New Mexico also places limits on damages a victim can receive for a personal injury claim if that victim was partially to blame. In New Mexico, the victim retains their percentage of fault. For example, if a victim is 10% at fault for an accident, that victim receives 90%, rather than the full 100%, of the damages.
There are limits on money damages in medical malpractice claims in New Mexico. New Mexico caps damages in medical malpractice cases at $600,000. This cap only applies to medical malpractice claims. It does not affect the amount of punitive damages or costs for past and future medical care a victim receives.
Do All Cases Go to Court?
No. The majority of personal injury cases that are filed in New Mexico do not require court trials. Instead, they end in insurance settlements. Most parties prefer settlements, as they are faster and cheaper than going to trial. There are some situations, however, that can result in a personal injury case turning into a trial in New Mexico. If the insurance provider wrongfully denies the claim or refuses to make a reasonable settlement offer, for example, the case may go to court.
What to Look for in Your Personal Injury Attorney
Hiring the right attorney can make a valuable difference to your personal injury case. A skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer can walk your family through the legal process while defending your rights. Having a lawyer that you trust in your corner can give you greater peace of mind and improve your overall legal experience. An attorney working for you could also increase the value of your final settlement or judgment award.
It is important to take your time when choosing a personal injury lawyer in Santa Fe, as not all attorneys are created equal. Look for the following traits when hiring your attorney:
- Experience. Ask the attorney about his or her level of experience with your type of case and personal injury law in general. The attorney that represents you should have the experience and knowledge to best handle your case.
- Results. While a good lawyer never guarantees positive results, the lawyer that you select should have a history of securing positive case outcomes for past clients. A track record of success can show you that the lawyer has what it takes to win your case.
- Reviews. Check for reviews, ratings and client testimonials so that you can have a better idea of what to expect from the attorney. Clients should have positive things to say about the lawyer and law firm.
- Resources. You need an attorney with the professional resources to build a strong personal injury claim on your behalf. Search for a law firm that has the right technology, connections in the industry, personnel and capabilities to take on your case.
All in all, you should have a good feeling about the attorney that you hire. Schedule free consultations with a few top options in your area so that you can speak to the attorneys in person, have a conversation and get to know them. Then, choose the attorney that gives you the best impression that they care and can help. When you have so much at stake, select a personal injury lawyer who stands out from the rest.
How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer in New Mexico Cost?
It is normal to be concerned over how much a personal injury attorney costs to hire. After all, you may be dealing with enough financial stress connected to your accident already. At The Fine Law Firm, we recognize that accident victims cannot always afford to pay for attorneys out of pocket. This is why we operate on a contingency fee basis. Here’s how this payment system works during a personal injury case:
- You’ll receive a free initial case consultation. Before we accept you as a client, you can speak to one of our attorneys about your recent accident and injuries at no cost or obligation to hire our law firm.
- You won’t pay anything upfront to hire us. Your attorney will start on your case right away without requiring you to pay a retainer fee.
- You won’t pay while your lawyer litigates your case. We will front all of the costs associated with bringing a lawsuit for you, leaving you with none of the financial risk.
- You won’t pay if your lawyer does not secure financial compensation for you. If we don’t win your case, you won’t pay our fees – guaranteed.
- You will pay us directly out of an amount won – if we win. If we do succeed in recovering financial compensation for your personal injury case, we will bill our fees as a percentage of your overall settlement or judgment award. That way, you never have to pay out of pocket for our services.
At The Fine Law Firm, we keep our fees at a flat rate of one-third (33 percent) of your settlement. If necessary, we will reduce our fee rate to ensure that we never receive more compensation than you do. We are dedicated to helping our clients recover and move forward – not turn a profit. For more information about our fees in personal injury cases, contact us.
Call Our Legal Professionals
At The Fine Law Firm, our priority is our clients. When you retain our firm, we are available to you for answering questions and updating you about your claim. Schedule your free claim evaluation today and meet with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.