Car accidents can be life-altering events, no matter the scale and damages of the accident. The aftermath of a car accident can carry a heavy financial, physical, and emotional toll. Recovering after a car accident can be overwhelming and confusing, leaving you wondering how to pay your medical bills, cover repair costs, or recover while taking time off work. Fortunately, there are options to recover damages beyond medical bills and car damage that can get your life back on track.
Here are the types of recoveries you can receive in a car accident case.
Economic damage is the first type of damage you can recover from a car accident. These are any damages that you have a monetary value that you can place on them. Economic damages include:
- Medical Expenses
- Hospital bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages and diminished earning capacity
- Property damage - your vehicle or home, if applicable
- Diminished value of property
- Rental vehicle expenses
- Legal fees
These damages are easier to calculate as they can be easily recorded and hold a universal claim.
These refer to any damages that don’t typically hold monetary value but you can receive compensation for due to the emotional, physical, or financial burden they may place on you. Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium - inability to engage in social and familial relationships
- Loss of ability to engage in activities
- Disfigurement or scarring
- Loss of reputation in the community
Wrongful Death Damages
In cases where there is a wrongful death as a result of the accident, the family of the deceased can receive additional recoveries that are a combination of economic and non-economic damages. These include:
- Funeral fees
- Pain and suffering of the deceased before their death
- Mental and emotional suffering by surviving members of the deceased
- Loss of future income and benefits
- Medical bills
The final type of damages you can recover in a car accident case is punitive damages, though these are rare. These damages go beyond regular economic damages intended to punish the responsible party for acting negligently or intentionally. Punitive damages are used to deter future wrongdoing. Insurance claims cannot award punitive damages, which are only available in court.
How Damages Are Calculated in New Mexico
New Mexico has no cap on damages for car accident cases. Calculating what damages you can be awarded depends on the case, but in general, New Mexico applies the “pure comparative negligence” rule. This states that you can recover damages diminished by the proportion of the fault. The “pure comparative negligence” rule allows drivers to be partially responsible for the incident and still be eligible for damages. For example, if a driver is held 30% responsible for a claim that is decided as $100,000 by a jury, then you will receive $70,000 of the damages.
Insurance companies may deny claims if there is shared responsibility. To ensure you can recover damages owed to you, you should seek legal advice from a trusted personal injury attorney.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
At Martinez, Hart, Sanchez & Romero, we work tirelessly for our clients to ensure they get the money they deserve. We know how difficult the recovery process is following a car accident, but we want you to receive the care and compensation needed to give you peace of mind. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, give us a call so we can get started on your legal strategy.
Contact us at (505) 806-1780 or visit us online to get started today.