Frequently Asked Questions About Injury and Disability

It is natural to have many concerns and questions as you recover from an accident or injury. Here, the lawyers at the Injury and Disability Law Center, LLC, share their perspective on many of the most common worries. Find out what to expect from the legal system, what compensation may be available, how to protect your claim, and much more.
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  • How soon should I contact a lawyer after a truck accident?

    Semi-Truck and Car Crash on a Busy RoadYou should retain an experienced truck accident lawyer immediately after being injured in a truck collision caused by a negligent truck driver in Roswell or Southeastern New Mexico. If you do not hire an attorney right away, you could make mistakes that might hurt your claim and may be taken advantage of by the insurance company for the trucker and trucking company. Here are five reasons it is in your best interest not to delay getting an attorney who can guide you through the process of filing and settling your claim.

    Reason #1: Determine the Cause of the Truck Crash

    Truck accidents are very complicated because of the size and weight of a big rig truck and the federal regulations truck drivers and trucking companies must follow to prevent wrecks. Your lawyer would thoroughly investigate the cause of the truck accident to prove that the truck driver and trucking company’s negligence caused your crash. Speeding, distracted driving, intoxication, and drowsy driving are a few common ways truckers cause devasting truck accidents.

    Reason #2: Collect Evidence

    You must prove the trucker and trucking company’s negligence, the seriousness of your injuries, and the damages you deserve to be entitled to compensation under New Mexico law. You establish this through the use of evidence. It is important to begin collecting the evidence you need right after the truck crash before it is lost or destroyed.

    An attorney will know the types of evidence you need to win your case and will collect it for you. Some of the information could be challenging to obtain because the trucking company may have it. They would be unwilling to give it to you unless they are forced to by a lawyer.

    There are many types of evidence you could need to prove your claim. Some common types of evidence your lawyer may collect include:

    • Police report
    • Eyewitness statements
    • Photos and videos of the crash
    • Truck black box
    • In-cab camera
    • Trucker’s logbook
    • Receipts from the truck driver’s trip
    • Trucker’s personnel file
    • Cellphone records
    • Trucker drug and alcohol testing results
    • Maintenance records for the truck
    • Medical records
    • Paystubs and other documentation for your lost wages claim

    Reason #3: Avoid Mistakes

    Trying to deal with the insurance company on your own can be very frustrating. You could make mistakes that they could use to try to deny your claim, delay settling your claim, or try to pay you less compensation than you deserve. In addition, the insurance adjuster could try to get you to agree to give a recorded statement, sign a release so they can obtain all your medical records, or convince you to accept a lowball settlement offer.

    Reason #4: Negotiate Your Settlement

    Your lawyer will take over all communications with the insurance company and negotiate your settlement with them. They will have strategies to defeat the insurance adjuster’s arguments about their liability to pay you or the value of your claim and will fight so that you receive the full value of your claim. You are much more likely to receive the maximum recovery in your settlement if a skilled attorney represents you.

    Reason #5: Meet Deadlines and Litigate Your Case

    A lawyer will know the statute of limitations, which is the deadline you have to file your case, and will file a lawsuit for you before it expires. They would also sue the trucker and trucking company if their insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement. You need an attorney who is not afraid to take your case to a jury trial if necessary and would aggressively litigate your claim.

    Were you or a family injured in a truck collision in Roswell or Southeast New Mexico? Our dedicated truck accident lawyers are here to fight for your rights. Schedule your free initial consultation today by calling our Roswell office at 575-300-4000, starting a live chat, or filling out our online form.

     

  • Should I accept a quick settlement of my motorcycle accident claim?

    Signature on Settlement PapersIf you were injured in a motorcycle collision in New Mexico, you might be surprised to receive a settlement offer from the insurance company soon after you file your claim. It may be tempting to accept their offer if you need the money and want to resolve your case quickly to move on with your life. However, it is rarely in your best interests to accept the first offer that the insurance adjuster makes.

    Why the Insurance Company May Offer You a Quick Settlement

    The real reason the insurance adjuster may want to settle your claim quickly is to save the insurance company money by settling your claim for less than you deserve. They want you to accept their offer before you know the full extent of your injuries and speak to a knowledgeable personal injury attorney who can tell you how much your claim is really worth.

    Reasons Not to Accept the First Offer You Receive

    You are entitled to recover compensation for your past and future medical expenses, lost wages, property damages, and pain and suffering from the negligent driver and their insurance company under New Mexico law. Here are some of the reasons it would be a bad idea to settle your claim too quickly:

    #1: You Don’t Know How Serious Your Injuries Are

    First, you should not accept a quick settlement because you can’t know how serious your injuries are or the medical treatments you will need right after the motorcycle accident. You should wait until you reach your maximum medical improvement (MMI) to settle your claim. This is the stage in your treatment when you have fully recovered or recovered as much as possible, and your doctor can give you a final prognosis.

    You cannot know the cost of your future medical care or how your injuries will impact your ability to work until you reach your MMI. It could take months or more than a year to reach this stage of your medical recovery, especially if you suffered a long-term injury or multiple injuries.

    #2: The Offer Is Too Low

    The insurance company’s first offer will most likely be for much less than the total value of your claim. They hope you are desperate to settle your claim, even if it is for far less compensation than you deserve.

    #3: Settlements Are Final

    Once you reach a settlement with the insurance company, they will send you a release of all claims form to sign before they mail you your check. When you sign the release, you agree that this is a final settlement of your claim. You would be unable to reopen your claim later to request more compensation if you discover that your injuries are more severe than you thought or that you can no longer work.

    What You Should Do if You’re Offered a Quick Settlement

    You should never accept a settlement offer without first consulting with a lawyer. You should retain an attorney immediately if you do not have one and leave negotiating your settlement to them.

    The insurance company could send you a check before you agree to settle your case. Do not cash the check. You could give up your right to pursue your right to seek all the damages you are entitled to under New Mexico law.

    Were you or a loved one injured in a motorcycle accident in Roswell or Southeast New Mexico? Our experienced personal injury lawyers can explain your rights, collect the evidence you need to win your case, and go up against the insurance company so that you receive the maximum recovery in your settlement. Call our Roswell office at (575) 300-4000 or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation today to learn about our track record of success in motorcycle crash cases and how we can assist you.

     

  • How long will it take to settle my dog bite claim?

    Desk Calendar Sitting on the TableIf you are filing a claim for compensation under New Mexico’s dog bite laws for injuries you suffered in a dog bite, you will want to know how long it will take to settle your claim. Unfortunately, an experienced personal injury lawyer cannot give you a precise answer on when your case will be settled because every claim is unique. However, understanding the factors that influence the length of time to resolve a claim can give you a sense of how long it will take to settle yours.

    What Is the General Time Frame for Settling a Dog Bite Case?

    There is a broad time range of how long it can take to settle a dog bite claim. Some cases will be settled within a few months, while others can take a year or more to be resolved, especially if the case is litigated and goes to trial.

    What Factors Can Affect the Length of Time it Takes to Resolve a Dog Bite Claim?

    There are a number of factors that can affect how long it will take to settle a claim with the insurance adjuster. Here are important ones that can impact on how long the process will take.

    Seriousness of Your Injuries

    If you suffered minor injuries and recover from them quickly, the value of your claim will be lower. The insurance adjuster for the dog owner may be willing to offer you a settlement quickly that fully compensates you.

    However, if you suffer a long-term injury, such as scarring or disfigurement, nerve damage, an amputation, or organ damage, you will be entitled to more compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Even if you have a strong case, the insurance company could raise many defenses and fight for longer to deny your claim or pay you less money in your settlement.

    How Long It Takes You to Recover

    You might not realize that how long it takes you to recover can affect the length of time it takes to settle your claim. However, you should not try to resolve your claim until you fully recover from your injuries or recover as much as possible, and your doctor can give you a final prognosis. If you suffered severe or multiple injuries, it could take months, a year, or longer for this to happen.

    You cannot know the amount of damages you are entitled to, especially your future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, or if you will fully recover until you reach this stage in your medical treatment. Once you settle your case with the insurance company, your settlement will be final. You cannot reopen your claim if you later discover your injuries were more serious than you thought.

    Your Partial Fault

    It could take longer to resolve your case if the insurance adjuster claims you were partially to blame for causing the dog to bite you. They could argue that you provoked the dog—even if it is not true. Your attorney may need to collect additional evidence or file a lawsuit to convince the insurance company of their liability to compensate you.

    Litigation

    Your attorney will need to file a lawsuit if the statute of limitations, which is the deadline you have to sue the dog owner, will expire soon or if the insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement. It can take over a year to litigate a case, especially if it goes to a jury trial.

    Most cases will be settled at some point in the litigation process. However, litigation significantly increases how long it can take to settle a claim.

    Did a dog bite you or a family member in Roswell, Carlsbad, or Southeast New Mexico? Our skilled personal injury attorneys can help collect the evidence you need to win your case and go up against the insurance company for the compensation you deserve. Call our Roswell office at 575-300-4000 or fill out our online form to schedule your free initial consultation today to learn more about how we can help you.

     

  • How much is my pedestrian accident claim worth?

    Injured Pedestrian Laying on the RoadIf you are like many pedestrian accident victims in New Mexico, you want to know how much your claim is worth at the beginning of your case. While this is understandable, there is no precise answer to this question. However, if you retain an experienced car accident lawyer, they can give you a general sense of what you can expect to receive in your settlement with the negligent driver’s insurance company.

    Compensation You Can Recover in a Pedestrian Collision Case

    The first step in determining the value of a claim is to calculate the amount of compensation you are entitled to under New Mexico law. Keep in mind that you should receive your past and future damages if you have not yet fully recovered from your injuries or have suffered a long-term injury that will affect you for the rest of your life—which is common in pedestrian accident cases. Types of compensation you should receive in your settlement include:

    • Medical expenses. You are entitled to reimbursement of the cost of all necessary medical treatments to treat your injuries. This can include surgeries, hospitalizations, doctor visits, diagnostic tests, physical therapy, and medications.
    • Lost wages. If you missed work while you were recovering from your injuries, you should be compensated for your lost wages, lost sick and vacation time, lost commissions, and other lost perks of your job.
    • Lost earning capacity. If you must make a career change and take a pay cut due to your injuries or become permanently disabled, you can ask for lost earning capacity damages in your settlement. You may need to hire an economic expert witness to determine the value of this portion of your claim.
    • Property damage. You can recover the cost to repair or replace any personal property, such as a cellphone, damaged in your pedestrian accident.
    • Pain and suffering. You should also receive compensation for the pain and suffering you experienced due to your injuries. You need the help of a knowledgeable car accident attorney to determine how much you should recover for this part of your claim.

    Five Factors That Can Affect How Much Your Claim Is Worth

    In an ideal world, your lawyer would determine the value of your claim, and the insurance company would quickly offer you a settlement for all the damages you are requesting. Unfortunately, the settlement of your claim will probably not work like that. The insurance company could try to deny your claim, delay settling it, and pay you less compensation than you deserve in your settlement. This is a common insurance company tactic, especially since the pandemic.

    In addition, there are a number of factors that will increase or decrease the value of your claim. Here are a few factors that can affect how much your claim is worth:

    • Severity of your injuries. If you suffer severe injuries, you will need more long-term medical care and miss more time at work. This will increase the overall value of your claim, including the pain and suffering portion of your claim.
    • Disputes. Legitimate disputes with the insurance company about the liability of the driver who struck you or the seriousness of your injuries will weaken your case and decrease the value of your claim.
    • Your fault. If you were partially at fault in causing your pedestrian accident, this would affect your claim’s value. Under New Mexico’s pure comparative negligence law, the amount of compensation you can recover would be reduced by your percentage of fault in causing the crash.
    • Your actions. The actions you take right after a pedestrian accident will directly impact how much your claim is worth. Contacting the police at the accident scene and obtaining prompt medical care will strengthen your claim and its value. However, if you made mistakes, such as agreeing to give a recorded statement, you may have hurt your case and have to accept less damages than you would otherwise be entitled to in your settlement.
    • Insurance coverage. Even if you have a strong case, the insurance company is only responsible for paying you up to the driver’s liability insurance coverage. If the motorist only purchased the minimum amount of insurance required in New Mexico, this would significantly lower your claim’s value.

    Were you or a family member injured in a pedestrian accident in Roswell, Carlsbad, or Southeast New Mexico? Our dedicated car accident lawyers can value your claim and go up against the negligent driver’s insurance company for the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call our Roswell office at 575-300-4000 or complete our online form to schedule your free consultation today.

     

  • How can an attorney help me if I am injured in a motorcycle accident?

    Motorcycle and Car Wreckage in the Middle of the RoadIf you were injured in a motorcycle collision caused by a negligent driver in New Mexico, you may wonder if you should file your claim or hire a lawyer to represent you. The best choice would be to let an experienced personal injury attorney negotiate your settlement if you want to obtain all the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Here are seven ways an attorney can help you.

    #1: Communicate With the Insurance Company

    One way a lawyer will assist you is to take over all communications with the insurance adjuster. If you try to talk to the insurance company yourself, you could inadvertently say something that could be misconstrued as an admission of guilt or otherwise hurt your case. The insurance adjuster could also take advantage of you and get you to agree to give a recorded statement or sign a medical authorization to get ammunition they can use to deny your claim. You avoid all these problems by letting your lawyer deal with them.

    #2: Collect the Needed Evidence

    You must prove the other driver’s negligence in causing your motorcycle accident, the seriousness of your injuries, and the amount of compensation you should receive from the insurance company. You do this by collecting evidence that proves your case. A skilled personal injury lawyer will determine what evidence you need and will collect it for you.

    While you may be able to obtain some evidence on your own, other types of proof could be difficult to get. Helpful evidence your attorney may collect to establish the motorist’s negligence includes:

    • Police report
    • Photos and videos of the collision
    • Eyewitness statements
    • Business surveillance camera footage
    • Black box data from the negligent driver’s motor vehicle
    • Inspection report about the damage to your motorcycle
    • Accident reconstruction expert report

    #3: Obtain Medical Records and Doctor Reports

    Another way an attorney can help you is to obtain and organize your medical records and medical information from your doctor. Having strong medical evidence is essential to achieving a favorable outcome in your case. A lawyer will do the following for you:

    • Get and organize your medical bills and records
    • Contact the health care provider for any missing bills or medical records
    • Work with your physician to ensure that they provide the information you need to show that your injuries were caused by your motorcycle accident, the seriousness of your injuries, the treatments you need, and your final prognosis 

    #4: Determine the Value of Your Claim

    In New Mexico, you are entitled to recover compensation for your past and future medical expenses, lost wages and lost earning capacity damages, property damages, and pain and suffering when an at-fault motorist caused your injuries in a motorcycle crash. Determining what your claim is worth can be complicated, especially if you are entitled to future medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who handles many motorcycle accident claims in their practice can value your claim and advise you on what you can realistically expect to receive in your settlement.

    #5: Negotiate Your Settlement

    Your lawyer will negotiate your settlement with the insurance company. Unfortunately, since the pandemic, it is even more common for insurance companies to try to delay settling a claim when a victim tries to resolve their claim on their own. Insurance adjusters use many excuses, such as that they are working from home or have been sick, and can take longer to return calls.

    An attorney may be able to speed up the time it takes to settle your claim. If the insurance adjuster raises disputes to deny your claim or pay you less money—which is common—your attorney will have strategies to refute their arguments.

    #6: Work With Lienholders

    You may have a lien placed on your settlement by a health care provider or medical insurance company that must be paid when you settle your claim. Your attorney can negotiate with them to try to reduce the amount of the lien so that you receive more money.

    #7: Litigate Your Claim

    You will need to file a lawsuit if the insurance company refuses to offer you a fair settlement, or the statute of limitations to file your complaint will expire soon. You will need a lawyer licensed to practice law in New Mexico to litigate your case.

    Were you injured in a motorcycle accident in Roswell or Southeast New Mexico? Call our Roswell office at 575-300-4000, start a live chat, or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation today to learn how we can help you.

     

  • How do insurance companies investigate car accident claims?

    Car Insurance Adjuster Inspecting a Car After a CollisionYou will need to file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company if you want to receive the compensation you deserve for the injuries you suffered in an auto collision in New Mexico. Settling a claim with the insurance company may be complicated and frustrating. It can be helpful to know how the insurance company investigates car crash claims in our state, so you know what to expect and can protect your rights.

    Why Will the Insurance Company Investigate Your Claim?

    There are several reasons why the insurance company would want to investigate your claim before offering you a settlement. First, they need to assess the validity of your claim and how much compensation you should receive. They cannot offer you a settlement until they determine this.

    They also want to protect against insurance fraud. Unfortunately, some claims are fraudulent. This can also happen when they are made by a third party claiming they were injured in a collision.

    Another major reason insurance adjusters investigate claims is to try to find reasons to deny a claim or pay the victim less damages than they are entitled to under New Mexico law. Why would they do this? Insurance companies are businesses with the goal of making a profit. If the insurance adjuster can deny a claim or pay a lower settlement, they will save their employer money.

    How Do Insurance Companies Investigate an Auto Collision Claim?

    The insurance company will take several steps to investigate your claim. If you suffered long-term injuries and the value of your claim is higher, the investigation could be more extensive and take more time to complete. Here is what you can inspect to happen.

    #1: Assign a Claims Adjuster to Your Case

    When you file your claim, a claims adjuster would be assigned to your case. They would investigate how your car accident occurred and your injuries before deciding whether to offer to settle your claim. If the insurance company suspects your claim is fraudulent, they may also assign a special investigator trained to identify fraud and possible criminal activities to examine your claim.

    #2: Review the Police Report

    The insurance adjuster would review a copy of the police report. It will contain helpful information, such as details of how the collision occurred, the police officer’s conclusions about who was at fault, and whether any traffic citations were issued.

    #3: Conduct Interviews

    Another important step the insurance adjuster would take is to interview you, other victims, passengers in any of the vehicles, and eyewitnesses. They may ask you to give a recorded statement, which is a question and answer session that is tape-recorded and transcribed into a written document.

    You do not have to give a recorded statement to settle your claim, and agreeing to their request would be a mistake. You could inadvertently say something that hurts your claim and be used against you in settlement negotiations or court.

    #4: Review the Crash Scene and Photos

    The insurance adjuster would also review any photos taken right after your car accident occurred and may visit the crash scene. This can help them determine the cause of the collision.

    #5: Inspect Your Vehicle

    The insurance company will most likely want to inspect your car before it is repaired. Looking at the damage to your auto can help them determine how your accident occurred and the value of your property damage claim.

    #6: Review Your Medical Records

    You should also expect the insurance company to request a copy of your medical records to determine the seriousness of your injuries and the medical treatments you need. The insurance adjuster would also be looking to see if you delayed seeking medical care after the accident, if you have gaps in your treatment, and if you followed your doctor’s advice.

    In addition, they would look for preexisting injuries. They would use this information to argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim or were caused by another incident.

    #7: Search Your Social Media Sites

    Another investigative tactic the insurance company would employ is to search your social media sites. They may do this several times while your claim is being resolved. They would try to find statements you made suggesting you caused the accident or that your injuries are not severe. They would look for evidence that you are engaging in activities you should not be able to do given your injuries.

    How Can You Protect Your Rights During an Insurance Company Investigation?

    The best way to protect yourself while the insurance adjuster is investigating your claim is to hire an experienced car accident lawyer immediately. They will take over communications with the insurance company, help you avoid mistakes that could weaken your claim, and go up against the insurance company so that you receive all the compensation you deserve in your settlement. To learn about our track record of success in these cases and how we can assist you, call our Roswell office at 575-300-4000 or complete our online form to schedule your free consultation today.

     

  • How do I prove my car accident was not my fault?

    Two Cars Involved in a Head-on Collision on a New Mexico RoadIf you were hurt in an auto collision, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries from the negligent driver under New Mexico law. However, their insurance company could claim that you caused the crash in order to deny your claim or try to pay you fewer damages than you deserve. When you file your claim, you need to be prepared that this could happen and know what you can do to fight back.

    What Do You Need to Prove to Win Your Claim?

    To obtain the compensation you are entitled to, you must prove your case. In New Mexico, you need to establish the following elements of a negligence claim:

    • The driver owed you a duty. All drivers in New Mexico have a duty to drive safely and obey traffic laws.
    • The driver was negligent and breached their duty to you. Speeding, talking or texting on a cellphone, or driving while intoxicated are a few ways they could have caused your car accident.
    • The driver’s negligence was the direct cause of your injuries.
    • You suffered damages as a result of their negligence. You will also need to prove the amount of compensation you should receive. 

    How Do You Prove Your Car Crash Was Not Your Fault?

    The best way to establish that you did not cause your auto collision is to collect evidence that proves how the wreck occurred. You need to start collecting evidence right after the accident occurs. Here are some of the steps to take to prove who’s at fault after a crash:

    Take Pictures

    Use your cellphone camera to take pictures of the damage to both vehicles, road and weather conditions, your injuries, and anything else you believe could help show the cause of your crash. Your photos can help a skilled car accident lawyer or an accident reconstruction expert prove that the other driver’s negligence caused the collision.

    Obtain Contact Information

    You must get the contact information for the other motorist and their insurance company. You cannot file your claim without this information.

    Contact the Police

    Call the police immediately and wait for them to arrive. An officer will investigate the cause of the collision and write a police report. The report can contain helpful information that may help prove you were not to blame for the crash. Useful information that the report may contain includes:

    • Date, time, and place of the wreck
    • Details of how the crash occurred
    • Statements by the other motorist, witnesses, and you
    • Officer’s conclusions as to who was negligent
    • Any traffic citations issued

    Talk to Witnesses

    Eyewitnesses who do not know you and have no stake in your claim can be extremely helpful in proving that you did not cause the car accident. If possible, you should talk to any witnesses at the crash scene and obtain their contact information. If you do not get this information right away, you may not be able to locate essential witnesses at a later date, or their memories of how the crash happened could fade.

    Retain a Lawyer

    You should hire a knowledgeable car accident attorney as soon as possible after your collision. They will help you collect the evidence you need to win your case. An attorney will also have strategies to defeat the insurance company’s arguments that you were the negligent driver and will go up against them for all the compensation you deserve. If the insurance company refuses to be reasonable or the statute of limitations to file your lawsuit will expire soon, they can file your complaint and litigate your claim.

    Get the Help You Need to Get the Compensation You Deserve

    Were you or a loved one injured in an auto crash that was not your fault in Roswell or southeastern New Mexico? Is the other driver’s insurance company falsely claiming that your negligence caused the wreck? Our experienced car accident lawyers are here to explain your rights to you and aggressively fight for the maximum recovery you are entitled to in your settlement. To learn more about how we can help you, call our Roswell office at 575-300-4000, start a live chat, or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation today.

     

  • How do I pay to rent a car after a car accident?

    thumb pressing auto start button that says rent

    If you were involved in an auto collision that was not your fault, you are entitled to compensation from the negligent driver and their insurance company. Even if you suffered no injuries, they could be responsible for paying for the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle.

    If you are like many car accident victims, you will need to rent an auto while yours is in the repair shop or while you are waiting for a new vehicle. However, the cost of renting a motor vehicle can add up quickly. You need to know your options for paying the car rental fees.

    Two Ways to Obtain Reimbursement for the Cost of Renting a Car

    You have more than one option for getting your car rental fees paid while you do not have your own automobile. They include:

    • Negligent driver’s insurance company. The insurance company for the at-fault driver is responsible for compensating you for your losses caused by the car crash. This includes paying the cost to repair or replace your auto and rent a vehicle.
    • Your insurance company. In New Mexico, you are not required to purchase insurance to cover the cost of renting an auto while yours is in the shop. However, if you have this coverage, you could file a claim to pay for your car rental fees with your insurance company.

    Which Insurance Company Should You Ask to Pay for Your Car Rental Costs?

    One of the decisions you will need to make is whether to file a claim with your or the negligent motorist’s insurance company. Here are the considerations you need to weigh when making your decision:

    • It will be faster to get your car rental fees paid by your own insurance company, which will make it easier to rent a vehicle if you cannot afford to pay for it while you wait to settle your claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company.
    • Under your insurance policy, you will only be entitled to reimbursement of your car rental costs for a certain number of days. They will also only authorize a specific daily rate for renting a vehicle, which may not be enough money to cover the cost of renting a vehicle that meets your family’s needs.
    • There is no fixed limit on how long you can rent a vehicle or the per-day cost of the rental when you are filing a claim with the other driver’s insurance company.
    • The negligent motorist’s insurance company will take longer to investigate your claim and agree to pay the car rental costs for you. You may have to be without a vehicle or pay for it yourself while you wait for them to settle this portion of your claim.

    What Type of Motor Vehicle Can You Rent?

    The insurance company for the at-fault driver is responsible for compensating you for the cost of renting a vehicle that is comparable to the one damaged in the car accident. While your own insurance company is also responsible for paying for a similar auto to yours, they are only required to pay the daily rate stated in your contract. This may not be enough to rent a comparable automobile, and you could have to pay the balance owed after the car rental company receives their payment.

    Will You Have to Pay a Deposit to Rent a Car?

    The rental car company will most likely require you to provide your credit card information when you pick up the rental vehicle. If you do not have a credit card, you will need to find out if they will accept a debit card or other form of deposit.

    If you were injured in a car accident caused by another driver and have questions about your right to payment for your car rental fees and other damages you may be entitled to, our dedicated car accident lawyers are here to help. We handle claims for auto crash victims in Roswell and southeastern New Mexico. To learn how we can assist you, call our office at 575-300-4000 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation.

  • What should I do if the negligent driver lies to their insurance company?

    If another driver’s negligence was the cause of your car accident in New Mexico, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries from their insurance company. However, Driver Lying to the Police About a Car Wreckyou should not assume it will be easy to settle your claim—even if you have solid proof that they were to blame for the crash.

    It can be even more challenging to obtain the damages you deserve if the motorist lies to their insurance company about how your crash occurred. If you are in this situation, do not give up hope of holding the driver and their insurance company accountable. Here are the steps you need to take to build a winning case against them.

    Five Steps to Take If the At-Fault Motorist Lies About Your Car Accident

    The driver who caused your accident may misrepresent how your auto crash occurred because of worries that their insurance premiums could increase. This is true even if it is the first time they have caused a collision. Here are five steps you can take to protect yourself.

    #1: Don’t Argue

    Avoid arguing with the other motorist if they misrepresent how your auto accident occurred. You will not change what they say by getting into an argument. In addition, you might say something that could hurt your claim and can be used against you by their insurance company.

    #2: Be Honest

    When talking to the police and the insurance company, you need to stick to the facts about how the crash occurred. If you do and are consistent in what you say, you will be a credible witness—unlike the other driver. Even though you may still have to fight long and hard before you can reach a fair settlement of your claim, it is much more likely that you can convince the insurance company to pay you what you deserve.

    #3: Write Down Details

    As soon as you can, you should write down how your car accident occurred while they are fresh in your mind. Some of these details could help you establish that the other driver was the negligent party.

    #4: Collect Evidence

    The building blocks of a strong case are evidence that proves the at-fault driver’s negligence, seriousness of your injuries, and the amount of damages you should receive. Collecting evidence is even more vital if the motorist lies about what happened. Here are crucial types of evidence to obtain to establish how your crash occurred:

    • Contact the police. Call the police at the collision scene. They will conduct an investigation and write a police report. The police report will have helpful information that can help you, such as driver and witness statements, details of how the auto accident occurred, the officer’s conclusions as to who was at fault, and whether any traffic tickets were issued.
    • Take pictures. Use your cellphone camera to take pictures of the crash scene, damage to the cars, your injuries, and anything else you believe could be helpful. Your photos could assist a lawyer or expert in determining the cause of your wreck.
    • Obtain witness contact information. If there were eyewitnesses to your collision, you need to get their written statements while the crash is fresh in their minds and you can locate them. Collect their contact information right away so that you do not lose the chance to get their testimony, which can help win your case.
    • Hire an expert. You may need to retain an accident reconstruction expert to determine who caused your accident and create a computer-generated re-enactment of it.

    #5: Retain a Lawyer

    If the other driver is lying to their insurance company, you should retain a knowledgeable car accident lawyer immediately. They will conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of your wreck and will collect the evidence that can be used to prove the other driver’s negligence. They will also go up against the motorist’s insurance company so that you receive the maximum recovery you are entitled to under New Mexico law.

    If you or a family member were injured in a car accident in Southeastern New Mexico or Roswell, our experienced car accident attorneys are here to help you with your claim. Start a live chat, call us at 575-300-4000, or contact us online to schedule your free consultation today.

     

  • How do I pay my medical bills after a dog bite?

    You could suffer serious injuries if you are bitten by a dog and may require expensive medical treatments to treat them. You may be worried about how you will pay your mounting medical bills. This is a common worry for many dog bite victims. Here are ways you can get your bills paid without paying them yourself.

    Ways to Get Medical Bills Paid for by the Dog Owner

    Stack of Past Due Medical BillsUnder New Mexico’s dog bite laws, dog owners are strictly liable to compensate you for a dog bite if they knew or should have known that their dog was vicious or had a tendency to be vicious. They can also be held responsible if their negligence caused the dog attack. Here are the ways you can obtain the compensation you deserve from the dog owner:

    • Homeowner’s insurance. If the dog owner owns their home and has homeowner’s insurance, their policy will most likely cover dog bite injuries. You could file a claim to reimburse your medical expenses under this policy.
    • Animal liability insurance. The owner may have purchased an animal liability insurance policy. This coverage would cover injuries and other damages a dog caused and would be a way to get your medical bills paid.
    • Car insurance. If you were bitten by a dog while in the owner’s vehicle, or the dog jumped out of it and attacked you, you may be able to file a claim under the owner’s car insurance. There must be a direct connection between the motor vehicle and the dog bite.

    Should You Use Your Health Insurance to Pay Your Medical Bills?

    It could take you months or longer to settle your claim with the owner’s insurance company if they raise defenses to your claim—which is likely. You do not want to go into your savings to pay your medical bills while waiting for your settlement proceeds.

    A better option would be to have your health insurance company pay your medical expense and reimburse them out of your settlement. Your attorney may negotiate an agreement with them to accept less than the full amount paid when they settle your claim with the dog owner’s insurance company.

    What Are Your Options if the Dog Owner Has No Insurance?

    If the dog owner does not have insurance coverage, it can be more complicated to get your medical bills paid. They would still be liable to pay your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

    However, you may need to file a lawsuit against the dog owner to obtain any compensation from them. You would need to understand that they may not have the financial resources to pay you all the damages awarded to you. In addition, depending on their circumstances, they may pay what they owe you in a small payment plan over time that never fully compensates you.

    Using your health insurance to pay for medical bills is essential if the dog owner has no insurance and does not have the financial resources to reimburse you for these expenses. It is also important to pursue claims against all potentially liable parties, such as a dog handler, if they were taking care of the dog when you were bitten.

    How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You

    If you or a family member suffered dog bite injuries, you should retain an experienced personal injury attorney immediately. They will be able to determine what insurance coverage the dog owner or other negligent party has, collect the evidence you need to win your case, and go up against the insurance company to receive the maximum recovery you deserve. They can also help you explore any other avenues of compensation that you may have if the dog owner has no insurance.

    At the Injury and Disability Law Center, we understand how challenging it can be to pay your medical bills after a dog attack, especially if you are off work recovering from your injuries. We are here to aggressively pursue your claim with the insurance company. We handle these cases on a contingency fee basis, so you only owe us attorney fees after settling your claim or winning your case at a jury trial. Start a live chat or contact our Roswell office to schedule your free case evaluation today to find out more about how we can assist you.