Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accident Cases
In our FAQs, our skilled lawyers have compiled answers to the most common questions our clients ask about car accident cases. Browse our frequently asked questions to get the answers to your own questions about filing a claim for compensation following your car accident.
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How much is my pedestrian accident claim worth?
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 do insurance companies investigate car accident claims?
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?
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:
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?
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?
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.
Can I file a claim for compensation if I can’t remember how my car accident happened?
Yes, 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 documents 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.
- 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.
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 your 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.
How soon after my accident should I see a doctor?
The steps you take after an auto collision can have a direct impact on the amount of compensation you receive from the negligent driver’s insurance company. One of the most important things you can do is to obtain prompt medical treatment. Here’s why you should be examined by a doctor within 48 hours—even if you do not believe you were hurt.
How Getting Prompt Medical Care Protects Your Health
You may not see the need to go to your primary care physician if you did not suffer an obvious injury. Unfortunately, you may not realize that you suffered a serious injury, such as a traumatic brain injury, internal bleeding, or a back or spinal cord injury, until days or longer after the crash when symptoms develop.
You protect your health and will heal faster if your injury is diagnosed sooner. In addition, you avoid a potentially life-threatening emergency by seeing a doctor right away.
How Obtaining Immediate Medical Treatment Strengthens Your Car Accident Claim
You also make your auto collision claim stronger by being examined by a physician within 48 hours of the crash. You cut off common arguments that the insurance company could make to deny your claim or try to pay you less than you deserve if you don’t delay getting medical treatment. Here are the disputes that insurance adjusters love to raise when accident victims do not receive medical treatment right away:
- Different cause. It is harder to prove the causal connection between your injuries and the car accident if you wait to get medical care. One argument the insurance company could make is that the injury was caused by another incident that occurred before or after your collision.
- Prior injury. If the insurance adjuster discovers that you were treated for the same injury caused in the accident in the past, they may claim that your injuries were caused by a prior medical condition or accident.
- Not serious. If you wait to seek medical treatment, the insurance company could dispute the seriousness of your injuries. They may claim that you would have gone to the doctor sooner if you were really hurt as badly as you claim.
- Faking your injury. The insurance adjuster could also argue that you are not hurt at all and are making up your injury and pain in an effort to get money from the insurance company.
Were you hurt in a car accident in Roswell? You need the help of an experienced car accident lawyer to collect the evidence you need to win your case and to fight with the insurance company so that you receive the maximum recovery in your settlement. To learn about your options and to get answers to your questions, start a live chat to schedule your free consultation today.
How much is my claim worth?
If you were injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, it is important to understand how much your claim is worth when deciding whether to file a claim for compensation with their insurance company. This can help you know what to expect and how to spot the warning signs that the insurance company is unfairly trying to pay you less money than you deserve. Here’s what you need to know to get a sense of what you should receive in your settlement.
What Compensation Can You Recover in a Car Collision Claim?
The first consideration in determining the value of your claim is to determine the amount of compensation you can recover under New Mexico law. In our state, victims of an auto collision can recover their past and future damages. Types of compensation you are entitled to include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Property damages
- Out-of-pocket expenses, such as towing and car rental fees
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death damages if a loved one was killed in the collision
While it may be relatively straightforward to determine your past medical expenses, lost wages, and property damages, it can be much harder to figure out your future expenses if you suffered a long-term injury or one that makes it impossible for you to return to work. In addition, it can be hard to put a monetary value on the compensation you should receive for your pain and suffering and emotional distress. You need the help of an experienced car accident lawyer who has a track record of success in settling and litigating these cases to accurately value what damages you should recover.
Other Factors That May Affect the Value of Your Claim
Many other factors can impact how much your claim is worth. Four important factors that a lawyer will consider are:
- Seriousness of your injuries. If you suffered a long-term injury that takes you months or longer to recover from or that is permanent, the value of your claim will be higher. This is because you will have additional medical expenses, will need more time off work, and will suffer more pain and suffering than if you suffered an injury that healed within a few months.
- Disputes with the insurance company. If there are legitimate disputes with the insurance company about their driver’s liability or the seriousness of your injuries, this could weaken your case and the value of your claim. The key issue is whether the arguments are valid or excuses made up by the insurance adjuster to pay you a lower settlement.
- Your fault. If you were partially at fault for causing your auto collision, this would reduce the value of your claim. New Mexico follows the pure comparative negligence doctrine, which provides that the amount of compensation you are entitled to would be reduced by your percentage of fault in causing the crash.
- Insurance policy limits. No matter how seriously you were injured, the insurance company is only responsible for paying you up to their driver’s insurance policy limits. The amount of insurance coverage the motorist has will have a practical impact on the value of your claim.
Were you injured in a car accident in Roswell? Our dedicated and knowledgeable legal team will thoroughly investigate the cause of your collision and the seriousness of your injuries so that we can accurately value your claim. We will also aggressively fight with the insurance company to ensure that you receive all the money you deserve in your settlement. Start a live chat to schedule a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.