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.