In our daily lives, unforeseen accidents can occur, leaving individuals grappling with injuries, emotional distress, and financial burdens. In such distressing times, understanding the scope of personal injury lawsuits becomes crucial. Personal injury law is a branch of legal practice designed to provide recourse to individuals who have suffered harm due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions of others. But what types of injuries fall under the purview of personal injury lawsuits in New Mexico courts?
Understanding Personal Injury Lawsuits
Personal injury lawsuits encompass a broad spectrum of injuries that individuals might sustain in various circumstances. These lawsuits are not limited to physical harm but also extend to emotional and psychological injuries resulting from an incident. The overarching aim is to provide compensation for the losses suffered by the injured party due to someone else's fault.
Types of Injuries Covered:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): These encompass concussions, severe head trauma, and other brain injuries resulting from accidents. TBIs can cause physical issues such as slurred speech, weakness and loss of balance as well as cognitive and behavioral issues including memory issues, and trouble concentrating or making decisions. TBIs often lead to a lifetime of disability and lost income.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Injuries affecting the spinal cord can lead to paralysis, loss of sensation, or impaired motor function. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, at one year after injury only 13% of those with spinal cord injuries are employed. Depending on the severity of a spinal cord injury, medical costs during the first-year ranges from $352,000 to a little over $1 million. After the first year, costs can range from $42,000 per year to $187,000 per year.
- Broken Bones and Fractures: Accidents often cause fractures and breaks in bones, leading to significant pain and potential long-term complications.
- Soft Tissue Injuries: Strains, sprains, and tears to muscles, tendons, and ligaments fall into this category.
Emotional and Psychological Injuries:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Following a traumatic incident, individuals might suffer from PTSD, leading to anxiety, flashbacks, and emotional distress.
- Depression and Anxiety: Severe accidents can trigger mental health conditions that require treatment and care, often for a lifetime.
- Emotional Trauma: Witnessing or being part of a distressing event can lead to emotional scars that affect an individual's well-being. Again, these types of injuries can last for a lifetime.
- Organ Damage: Blunt force trauma or accidents can cause damage to internal organs, leading to severe health complications.
- Internal Bleeding: Injuries sustained in accidents might result in internal bleeding, necessitating immediate medical attention and surgical intervention. The average cost per day for in-patient hospitalization in New Mexico is $2,200-$3,029.
- Loss of Limbs: Accidents can result in the loss of limbs, drastically altering an individual's quality of life.
- Severe Burns: Burns from fires, chemicals, or electrical sources can cause extensive damage, requiring long-term medical care.
Financial injury occurs when someone involved in a personal injury accident suffers financial harm as the result of another's negligent or intentional conduct. This may also be referred to as “economic damages.” Financial injuries can be severe and generally do not involve a physical injury, but rather the effects on a person’s livelihood, savings, and ability to provide for their family.
Loss of work/income:
- Lost Wages: After an injury, many people may not be able to work as they normally would. This leads to lost wages. In some cases, this could result in job loss, causing further financial injury.
- Medical Bills: According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), nearly 40% of bankruptcies are caused from an illness or injury to the person filing or a family member. Medical debt is another financial injury that should be compensated.
- Lost Earning Capacity: In some cases, the injuries could lead to the injured party not being able to earn a living the same way or at all. Lost earning capacity is a terrifying reality for many people.
- Property Damage: Financial injury also occurs when property is damaged. The cost of replacing damaged or destroyed property can be substantial and it’s important the injured party is compensated.
Circumstances Leading to Personal Injury Lawsuits
Accidents can happen in any situation; however, accidents and injuries tend to be caused by and fall into one of three categories.
- Negligence: Drivers who fail to adhere to traffic laws, drive recklessly, or are distracted might cause accidents resulting in injuries to others.
- Defective Vehicles: Malfunctioning parts or design flaws in vehicles can lead to accidents and subsequent injuries.
- Surgical Errors: Mistakes during surgery leading to injury or complications.
- Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose: Medical professionals who fail to correctly identify or treat a condition, causing harm to the patient.
- Medication Errors: The most common form of this is incorrect dosages, although failing to notice or consider a potentially harmful drug interaction can also occur.
- Slip and Fall Accidents: Property owners failing to maintain safe premises might be liable for injuries sustained due to slips, trips, or falls.
- Dog Bites: Owners are responsible for the actions of their pets, and dog bites resulting in injuries might lead to lawsuits.
The Role of Personal Injury Lawyers
Navigating the complexities of personal injury lawsuits requires expertise and knowledge of legal intricacies. Car accident attorneys and personal injury lawyers such as Andrea D. Harris, Richard J. Valle, Chris O’Cleireachain, and Matthew J. Zamora play a pivotal role in advocating for the rights of the injured party. They assess the circumstances, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent their clients in court if necessary, aiming to secure fair compensation for the damages incurred.
VOZH Can Help
Personal injury lawsuits encompass a wide array of injuries, both physical and psychological, arising from various accidents and incidents caused by negligence or intentional actions. Understanding the scope of these injuries is vital in seeking legal recourse and obtaining compensation for the losses endured. In such challenging times, seeking the guidance of experienced personal injury lawyers such as the experienced attorneys at VOZH Law can make a significant difference in securing deserved justice and financial restitution. Contact us today for a free consultation.