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 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.

     

  • How much is my medical malpractice claim worth?

    If you were the victim of medical malpractice, you will want to know how much your claim is worth before you decide to pursue it. Many factors go into valuing a claim. Here are some of the important factors that an experienced personal injury lawyer would use when determining how much your claim is worth.

    Compensation You Can Receive in a Medical Malpractice Case

    Gavel, Law Books, and a Medical StethoscopeOne of the first steps an attorney would do is determine the amount of compensation you are entitled to under New Mexico law. You can recover your past and future damages. They include:

    • Medical expenses. You are entitled to reimbursement of your medical expenses. If you now have a medical condition that you will never recover from, you may need medical treatments for the rest of your life.
    • Lost wages and lost earning capacity. If you must take time off work, you should recover your lost wages. You would be entitled to lost earning capacity damages if you must take a cut in your salary or have become permanently disabled due to your injuries.
    • Pain and suffering. Putting a monetary value on your pain and suffering, mental anguish, and reduced qualify of life is the most difficult part of your claim to value. You will need the help of a knowledgeable attorney to determine how much pain and suffering damages you should receive.
    • Punitive damages. Punitive damages are not commonly awarded to medical malpractice victims. They are designed to punish the negligent party for their intentional or grossly reckless acts.

    Caps on Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases

    In New Mexico, there is a cap on how much compensation you can recover in a medical malpractice case, except for your past and future medical expenses and punitive damages. You can receive up to $750,000 against an individual medical provider and $4,000,000 against hospitals and medical provider clinics.

    Other Factors That Can Affect Your Claim’s Value

    Every medical malpractice case is unique, and many other factors can make your claim’s value increase or decrease. They include:

    • Disputes with the insurance company about their insured’s negligence
    • Seriousness of your injuries
    • Your partial negligence in causing your injuries

    Are you the victim of medical malpractice in Roswell or Southeast New Mexico? Do you have questions about your rights or the value of your claim? Start a live chat or contact our Roswell office to schedule a free consultation today to get your questions answered and learn more about how we can assist you.

     

  • Can I file a claim for compensation if I can’t remember how my car accident happened?

    Man With Hand on Head Trying to RememberYes, you still have a right to compensation for your injuries if you cannot remember how your auto collision occurred if a negligent driver caused it. However, you may need to collect additional evidence and fight harder with the at-fault motorist’s insurance company to obtain a fair settlement from them.

    Why You May Not Be Able to Remember How Your Car Accident Occurred

    It is common for auto crash victims to not remember how their collisions occurred. There are several reasons that could cause them to not remember it:

    • Brain injury. If a person suffered a traumatic brain injury or concussion in the accident, this can affect their memory—sometimes permanently.
    • Trauma. If a victim experienced emotional trauma and terror from being in the car crash, their brain could block out memories of how the accident occurred.
    • Substance abuse. Someone who was intoxicated may not remember the details of the auto crash because the drugs or alcohol consumed may have affected their memories.
    • Health issues. If the victim has Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other health problems affecting their memory, this could impact their ability to remember how the wreck happened.

    Evidence That Can Help You Prove Your Case

    If you cannot remember how your car accident occurred, you can collect other evidence that proves that the other driver—and not you—was at fault in causing the crash. It is best to retain an experienced car accident attorney right away. They will conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of your collision, and they know what evidence is needed to convince the insurance company of their liability to compensate you. Helpful evidence can include:

    • Police report. The police report will contain information on how the accident occurred, the officer’s conclusions as to who was at fault, and whether any traffic citations were issued.
    • Eyewitnesses. Eyewitnesses to the collision can provide written statements and testimony that can help you establish that the other driver was the negligent party. Their statements will be especially persuasive if you do not know the witness and they have no personal stake in your claim.
    • Black box data. The black box in the vehicle could provide you with important information about the vehicle’s speed, acceleration, braking, seat belt use, and airbag deployment at the time your crash occurred.
    • Surveillance video. A security camera from a nearby business or a traffic camera may have recorded your auto accident as it occurred. Your attorney will need to act quickly to obtain the footage before it is taped over.
    • Photos. Witnesses to the crash or the police may have taken photos of the damage to the cars, the crash scene, and your injuries that can be helpful in proving what caused your collision.

    Were you hurt in a car accident that was not your fault? Do not let your memory loss stop you from pursuing the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call our Roswell office or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation today to learn how we can assist you.

     

  • How long will it take to get my check after settling my car accident claim?

    It could take a long time to settle your car accident claim. The insurance company for the negligent driver could use many tactics to deny your claim or try to pay you less compensation than you deserve for your injuries.

    When you finally reach a settlement, you will be anxious to receive your check. Unfortunately, you will not get it immediately because you must complete several final steps before the insurance company releases your payment.

    What Are the Final Steps in an Auto Collision Settlement?

    Understanding what steps must be completed before you receive your settlement check can make the wait easier. You should not settle your claim or sign any legal Calendar and Sand Timerdocuments without first consulting with an experienced car accident lawyer. They will also ensure that the insurance adjuster is doing what they are supposed to do to finalize your settlement.

    It could take up to four to eight weeks before the process is completed. Here are the steps that you can expect to happen:

    • Release. Before the insurance company writes your check, they require you to sign a release of all claims form. In this legal document, you would agree to accept the settlement amount and to waive any claim for future compensation. It could take several weeks for the insurance company to draft the release and revisions proposed by your attorney to be made.
       
    • Check. After the signed release is sent to the insurance company, they will issue your check. Depending on their procedures, it could take a week or two for them to do this and send the payment to your attorney.
       
    • Check Deposit.  Upon receipt, your lawyer will deposit the check into a client trust account (required by law). Once the check clears, the funds are ready for distribution in which your legal and medical expenses will be paid from the settlement amount. Here is how it works:
       
    • Attorney fees. First, the attorney fees will be calculated on the total (gross) settlement amount. The attorney fees and litigation costs are paid from the settlement amount. 
       
    • Expenses. Next, your attorney will pay any medical liens and other bills you owe.
       
    • Your payment. The last step in the process of settling your claim is to send you your check for the balance, which represents your client proceeds (i.e. take home amount). Along with your check, you will receive an itemized statement showing each expense, and exactly what was paid out of the settlement.  This will include invoices paid so you have a complete record of everything.  Once you receive your check and itemized statement, your case will finally be completed.

    Were you injured in an auto collision in Roswell, Carlsbad, Artesia, or Southeast New Mexico? Our knowledgeable and dedicated car accident legal team is here to explain your options to you and go up against the insurance company so that you receive all the compensation you deserve in your settlement.

    We handle these cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you owe us no attorney fees until we win your case. To schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation, call our Roswell office or fill out our contact form today.

     

  • What’s the difference between filing a claim and a lawsuit?

    If a negligent driver caused you to suffer injuries in a car accident, you could be entitled to compensation from them. You have two options for obtaining the damages you deserve: filing a claim and filing a lawsuit. While the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they are very different processes, and it is important for you to understand how they differ.

    What Is an Auto Collision Claim?

    The first step you will take to seek compensation from the at-fault motorist would be to file a claim with their insurance company. While you can file your claim on your own, it is best to retain an experienced car accident lawyer to file it for you. This process is an attempt to reach an out-of-court settlement of Man Comparing Claim and Lawsuit Paperworkyour claim.

    Your lawyer would send the insurance company a demand letter advising them of your claim, how the other driver’s negligence caused the crash, the seriousness of your injuries, and the amount of compensation you should receive. An insurance adjuster would be assigned to investigate your claim and determine how to respond to your attorney’s demand for compensation.

    Unfortunately, even if you have a strong case, the insurance company will most likely try to deny your claim or offer you less money than you are entitled to in order to save money. Your attorney may need to collect additional evidence or hire expert witnesses to refute the insurance adjuster’s arguments. Your lawyer may go through a series of offers and counteroffers with the insurance company before negotiating your settlement.

    What Is an Auto Accident Lawsuit?

    If the insurance company refuses to be reasonable or the statute of limitations, which is the deadline you have to file your complaint, will expire soon, your attorney would file a lawsuit in court on your behalf. Here are the steps involved in litigating your case:

    • Complaint. Your lawyer would file a civil complaint in court. Your complaint would contain the same basic information as in the demand letter and ask the court to award you the damages you deserve under New Mexico law.
    • Answer. The negligent driver would be served with your complaint and would file an answer to it admitting or denying the allegations. They would most likely deny everything and raise defenses as to why they are not liable to pay you.
    • Discovery. The longest stage in your case will be the discovery phase. The attorneys for the insurance company and you would obtain information from each other and third parties to support their case and defeat the other side’s arguments. Written questions, referred to as interrogatories, requests for production of documents, and depositions are the common types of discovery used in car accident cases.
    • Negotiations. When your lawyer believes it would be productive, they will engage in negotiations with the attorney for the insurance company. It is likely that you will reach a settlement of your case at some point in the litigation process.
    • Trial. If your case is not settled, it would be decided at a jury trial where you would have the opportunity to present your evidence and testify about how the accident occurred, the seriousness of your injuries, and the amount of compensation you should receive. After both sides present their arguments, the jury would decide how much damages, if any, to award you.

    If you or a family member were hurt in an auto collision in Roswell, our dedicated car accident lawyers are here to explain your options and go up against the insurance company so that you receive your fair settlement. To find out more about how we can assist you and our track record of success in these cases, start a live chat or fill out our convenient online form to schedule your free case evaluation today.