Personal injury and wrongful death claims cover a wide range of law and cases. For the most part, personal injury and wrongful death claims are governed by the same laws, rules, insurance issues, deadlines and other principles.
As such, in New Mexico, they both fall under the umbrella of personal injury law and are handled by what are customarily referred to as personal injury attorneys.
The thing that separates the two are the recoverable damages (allowable compensation). In most cases, a wrongful death case will involve far greater damages than a personal injury case. However, there are situations where the damages may be much higher in case of very serious personal injuries due primarily to future medical expense and lost future wages.
Albuquerque personal injury lawyers, Collins & Collins, P.C. handle a wide variety of injury and wrongful death cases including medical malpractice, auto accidents, trucking accidents, slip & fall accidents, defective products and nursing home abuse & neglect.
Though located in Albuquerque, Collins & Collins, P.C. handles personal injury matters throughout New Mexico in both state and federal courts so long as there is court jurisdiction in New Mexico.
If you or a loved one have by harmed by the negligence or other wrongdoing of another, feel free to give us a call at (505) 242-5958 or contact us online for a free case review.
The Essence of a Personal Injury Claims is that One Person is Harmed by the Wrongdoing of Another
Despite the wide variety of cases, the essence of a personal injury claim is that one individual is harmed by the wrongful behavior of another. The wrongful behavior that serves as a basis for a personal injury claim may involve simple negligence. In other cases, the behavior may be construed as reckless. Then of course, there can be actual intentional harmful acts that may even be criminal in nature.
Defendants Come in All Shapes and Sizes
The responsible party, or the defendant in case of a personal injury lawsuit, can be an individual, company, business, non-profit, corporation or governmental entity. Often, the greatest challenge to a personal injury lawsuit is in identifying financial resources for the recovery of damages.
In cases of individual defendants, there may simply be no money or assets to recover. In cases of business and corporations, there may be bars to suit in cases of New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Act exclusive remedy provisions. There are many more bars against governmental claims.
Strict Deadlines Apply to All Personal Injury Claims
There are also strict statutes of limitations on personal injury claims. The statute of limitations for claims against the government is only 2 years. In addition, there is a 90 day tort claims notice requirement for claims against any local, county or state governmental entity. To confuse things even further, claims against the federal government have their own set of complex procedures. Claims against private individuals or entities have a more generous 3 year statute of limitations but even this can sneak up on injured persons if they delay in pursuing their claims. Failure to meet the deadlines in a personal injury claim will bar the claim completely.
Many Potentially Complex Issues in Personal Injury Lawsuits
The issues of liability and fault, statutes of limitations, and identification of the proper and financially responsible defendants can range from the simple to the extremely complex. The insurance issues can be extremely confusing and frustrating. Every case is different requiring careful evaluation. Delay in addressing these issues can be very detrimental, and sometimes fatal to a personal injury claim.
No Substitute for Experienced Legal Counsel
Hopefully, the pages that follow will provide some insight. However, they are not intended as a substitute for consultation with an experienced injury or accident attorney, nor are they intended as legal advice to guide those seeking to go it alone. Personal injury claims are extremely complex and rife with hazards for the untrained. To pursue a claim, it is highly advisable that an injured person seek the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney.
Do Not Delay – Time is of the Essence!
As mentioned, there are very strict deadlines on all personal injury matters. In cases against a governmental entity or actor, the first deadline runs in as little as 90 days. In addition to the deadlines, there are some important first steps take in personal injury case. These will depend on the type of case, the nature of the defendant, the nature of the injuries and other unique circumstances in each case.