Ten Tips to Prepare for a Personal Injury Case in New Mexico

(Plus one bonus tip to help you navigate through the crazy world of a PI claim)

New Mexico personal injury case

Life comes at you fast… one minute you are enjoying time with your family driving to a baseball game and next minute – bang! It all happens so fast. Or you are walking down the grocery store aisle and before you know your feet slip out from under you and you are on the floor in a flash. 

Nobody plans for it – and nobody expects it. It always seems to happen at the worst time too. That’s part of what makes car accidents, slip and falls, and other personal injuries so damaging, physically, emotionally, and financially. When it happens though—and for most of us it will at some point—the best thing you can do is prepare for your personal injury claim so you can recover the benefits you deserve under New Mexico law. 

And I know from experience the challenges that come from being in a serious car accident. Watch my 3-minute story here to learn about my own accident.


These tips below, along with the provided examples, are designed to help you effectively prepare for a personal injury case, ensuring you take the right steps to protect your health and legal rights. Each case is unique, so always consult with your personal injury attorney for personalized advice.

With that said, let’s jump in.

1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention

This will always be the most important thing! Prioritize your health by getting medical care immediately, even if your injuries seem minor at first. Some injuries may not manifest symptoms right away but can develop complications later. Prompt medical attention ensures your injuries are properly documented and treated, providing a vital medical record that links your injuries to the incident.

Example: After a car accident, you might feel fine initially but start experiencing back pain a few days later. Visiting a doctor right away ensures that any hidden injuries are detected and documented early on.

2. Report the Incident

Notify the appropriate authorities based on the type of incident. For car accidents, call the police and file a report. For workplace injuries, inform your manager or supervisor and complete any required accident reports. Obtain copies of these reports as they provide an official record of the incident, which is crucial evidence in your case.

Example: If you slip and fall in a grocery store, immediately report the incident to the store manager and ensure an incident report is filed. Get a copy of the report for your records.

Here is a helpful link to an article that explains in detail how to report a work injury.

3. Document Everything

Take clear photos and videos of the accident scene, your injuries, any property damage, and relevant environmental conditions. This visual evidence can help establish the circumstances of the incident and the extent of your injuries, supporting your claim and helping to prove liability.

Example: After a bike accident caused by a pothole, take pictures of the pothole, your damaged bike, and any visible injuries. These photos can help demonstrate the hazard that caused your accident.

This article goes into detail about how and what to document at the accident scene of a car accident.

4. Gather Information

Collect contact details from all witnesses and involved parties, including their names, phone numbers, and addresses. Witness statements can corroborate your version of events and provide additional perspectives on how the incident occurred, strengthening your case.

Example: If you're involved in a car accident, exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. Additionally, get the contact information of any bystanders who saw the accident and are willing to provide statements.

5. Keep Detailed Records

Maintain a comprehensive file that includes all medical records, bills, receipts, and reports related to your injury. Document every interaction and expense associated with the incident, such as medical treatments, prescriptions, therapy sessions, and any other costs. Detailed records provide a clear account of your financial losses and the impact of your injuries.

Example: Keep a folder with copies of all medical bills, receipts for medications, and documentation of any lost wages due to time off work. This helps in calculating the total financial impact of your injury.

6. Follow Medical Advice

Adhere strictly to your doctor’s treatment plan and attend all scheduled medical appointments. Following medical advice not only aids your recovery but also shows that you are taking your health seriously. Failure to follow through with prescribed treatments can be used by the opposing party to argue that your injuries are not as severe as claimed or that you are not mitigating your damages.

Example: If your doctor prescribes physical therapy for a shoulder injury, make sure to attend all sessions and follow home exercise recommendations. Documenting your adherence can support your case.

7. Limit Social Media Activity

Adjust your social media privacy settings to restrict access and avoid posting about your injury, recovery process, or the legal case. Insurance companies and opposing attorneys often monitor social media accounts for evidence that can be used to dispute your claims. Even casual or unrelated posts can be taken out of context and used against you.

Example: If you post photos of yourself hiking while claiming severe back pain, the insurance company might use this to argue that your injury isn’t as serious as you claim. It’s best to avoid posting about physical activities altogether.

This article goes into more details about the risks of posting on social media about your case and gives some tips on what to do if you have already posting. Here’s a hint – don’t delete the posts!

8. Consult a Personal Injury Attorney

You didn’t think I would have a list of ten tips and NOT include hiring an attorney, did you?! Of course not, because it is the best tip I can give you for improving your outcome and it takes stress off you. Hire an experienced personal injury attorney (like me!) as soon as possible. All kidding aside, an attorney can guide you through the complex legal process, protect your rights, and help maximize your compensation. They can handle communications with insurance companies, gather evidence, and build a strong case on your behalf. And you don’t have to have money to hire an attorney since almost all personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee.

Example: After a workplace injury, consulting a personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights and the compensation you might be entitled to, including workers' compensation benefits and potential claims against third parties.

9. Understand the Legal Timeline

Be aware that the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in New Mexico is generally (there are exceptions) three years from the date of the injury. Missing this deadline can bar you from pursuing compensation. Consult with an attorney promptly to ensure all necessary legal actions are taken within the appropriate timeframe.

Example: If you were injured in a slip and fall accident on May 1, 2023, you generally have until May 1, 2026, to file a lawsuit. Consulting an attorney early ensures you don’t miss this critical deadline.

Here is a video I made that helps explain the applicable statutes of limitation in New Mexico in detail:


10. Be Kind Throughout the Process

Remember to maintain a courteous and respectful attitude towards everyone involved in your case, including medical personnel, witnesses, insurance representatives, and your legal team (of course be nice to your lawyer!) Kindness can foster a cooperative atmosphere and may positively influence how others respond to your situation. I know the situation is stressful but be mindful of the importance of showing kindness. It is not only the right thing to do, but it is helpful for your case.

Example: When speaking with your medical providers or insurance adjusters, remain calm and polite, even if you're feeling frustrated. A respectful approach can help ensure that everyone is willing to assist you and provide the necessary support for your case.

Bonus Tip: Plan for the Process to Take Longer Than You Expect

Personal injury cases can often take longer than anticipated due to slow responses from insurance companies and the complexities of the legal process. This means you should not expect to receive compensation immediately. Plan your finances accordingly to manage the potential delays and reduce stress. Budget for ongoing expenses and be prepared for a prolonged period without a settlement. If you get money sooner than you were expecting – great! But plan and prepare for it to take a while, and then if it doesn’t, then you can be pleasantly surprised.

Example: You might file a claim after a car accident and expect a quick resolution. However, the insurance company may take months to investigate and respond. In the meantime, you may need to cover some medical bills and other expenses out of pocket. Planning for this delay can help you manage your financial situation and avoid unnecessary stress.

Schedule a Consultation With Our New Mexico Personal Injury Attorney Today

I hope these tips help you. Remember, without question, the best thing you can do is seek professional legal advice to ensure your interests are well represented throughout the claims process.

Our dedicated New Mexico personal injury team here at The Injury and Disability Law Center is here to help you. Schedule your free initial consultation today by calling our office at 575-300-4000, starting a chat, or filling out our online form.

If you want even more information, feel free to download my free book, Car Accident Cases Made Simple(r), where I discuss this topic and more.

Jeremy Worley
Connect with me
Roswell, NM Personal Injury and Workers Compensation Lawyer
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