three glass soda bottles on a restaurant table

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in New Mexico: What You Need to Know

Personal injury cases have been a mainstay in the legal field since its inception. Throughout history, there have been plenty of landmark cases that paved the way to where personal injury law is today. An early case was that of Escola vs. Coca Cola.

In early 1944, waitress Gladys Escola was working in a restaurant in California, putting glass bottles of Coca-Cola away when one of them exploded spontaneously. Back in the 40s, almost every soda was bottled in those thick, “classic” glass bottles. Plastic bottles wouldn’t become the norm until 30 years later. So, when this particular glass bottle of Coca-Cola exploded, Escola suffered a particularly gruesome five-inch cut, which severed blood vessels, nerves, and muscles of her thumb and the palm of her hand. Needless to say, Escola sued Coca-Cola and won.

Personal Injury Law in New Mexico: Protecting the Rights of the Individual

Going up against one of the world’s most recognizable brands may seem daunting, if not downright impossible, but Escola and her litigator Melvin Belli stood up against Coca-Cola and won in what now is known as the landmark personal injury and product liability case of Escola vs. Coca-Cola.

Not every single personal injury case will become a landmark in the realm of litigation but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t defend your rights. If you’re in the state of New Mexico and you’ve suffered through a personal injury, then you should contact attorney W. Shane Jennings. Personal injury laws and rules differ from state to state. For this reason, we’ve outlined what you need to know about personal injury law in the state of New Mexico.

Personal Injury Cases Have a Three Year Statute of Limitations in New Mexico

Personal injury cases in New Mexico have a statute of limitations of three years. This means you must file your court case up to three years after the accident took place. If you fail to file within those three years, you may be unable to file at all. Three years may seem like a long time but before you know it, the statute of limitations will be up and you won’t be able to receive compensation for your injuries. So, as soon as you receive a personal injury, gather all the necessary information and contact your personal injury lawyer. The sooner your lawyer can get to work on your case, the better.

Explaining Comparative Negligence

There is a specific subset of personal injury cases in which both parties (that is, the injured person and the negligent party) can be held responsible for the accident or injury. In the state of New Mexico, a rule known as “comparative negligence” is used in these particular types of cases. Since the injured person played a role in the accident, the damages are reduced.

This isn’t to say that the injured person won’t win any damages, it only means the damages won’t be as grand as they would be if the injured person doesn’t fall under the comparative negligence rule. This is important to point out since many individuals decide not to file a personal injury case because they think they were at fault for the accident. If you find yourself in this situation, then it’s necessary to speak with a personal injury lawyer who can provide guidance.

Contact Your Personal Injury Lawyer, Today

If you’re in Southern New Mexico and you’ve suffered through a personal injury, then contact the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings. We provide legal aid to people in Las Cruces, Alamogordo, Cloudcroft, Anthony, Deming, and Lordsburg. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week so you don’t have to wait before speaking with a reputable personal injury lawyer. Schedule a free consultation today to see where your case can go from here. Our goal is to win you the damages you deserve so you can recover from your personal injury in peace. We’re ready for your call.

personal injury lawyer shaking hands with a client

Meeting Your Personal Injury Lawyer for the First Time: How to Prepare

Personal injuries almost always stop you in your tracks. Your whole life comes to a screeching halt because now you have to focus on getting better. Like most accidents, personal injuries are sudden and unexpected but there’s one key detail that differentiates them from the rest: when it comes to personal injuries, someone is almost always at fault.

Whether it be a distracted driver, a poorly built staircase, or an unsafe supermarket, a person or entity will be to blame for the injuries you’ve sustained. Unfortunately, it may be difficult for you to go up against a store chain, for instance, while you’re recovering from your injuries in the hospital. This is where your personal injury lawyer comes into play. Before you meet with your lawyer, it’s in your best interest to prepare accordingly. Below, we will outline a few key steps you should take in order to make sure your case succeeds.

Understanding Personal Injury

Personal injury is synonymous with the term “negligence.” These injuries occur solely because of the negligence of an individual or entity. The following age-old example of a personal injury (which occurs far more often than most business owners care to admit) is the missing “wet floor” sign. After a supermarket employee mops away a spill in aisle 10, she’s supposed to place a “wet floor” sign until the floor dries. Forgetting to do so can cause an individual to slip and fall. This accident may lead to a variety of injuries, from sprains to broken bones. All of this trouble simply because someone forgot to put up a warning sign. This is a simple example of negligence and it occurs all around us, at all times. When negligence leads to an injury, legal action must be taken.

What You Need to Know

When it comes to any legal recourse, it’s always best to contact your lawyer as soon as possible. W. Shane Jennings offers free initial consultations so you can reach out to his office as soon as your injury occurred. He will let you know about all the pertinent information you should have before meeting with him. The goal of a personal injury lawyer is to win damages (monetary compensation awarded after loss or injury) so you can recover in peace without worrying about mounting medical bills or missing wages.

By following these steps, your personal injury case will go as smoothly as possible.

  • Don’t say or sign anything regarding your injury. Avoid speaking to an insurance company or signing anything relating to financial compensation. The first step is to speak to an attorney. Speaking or signing anything else can cause issues in your case.
  • Get medical attention. Have a doctor diagnose your injury/injuries as soon as possible. Give this information to your personal injury lawyer, as well. He will present this information to the insurance company. Don’t wait around for medical attention as this may do more harm than good to your case.
  • Collect all the paperwork that will be necessary in your personal injury case. Gather police reports, medical records, and worker’s compensation forms.

Leave It In the Hands of Your Personal Injury Lawyer

From here on out, it will be your personal injury lawyer’s job to speak with the insurance companies and the negligent party. You will be able to recover in peace while your lawyer works to get you the damages you deserve.

If you or a loved one are suffering from personal injuries, give W. Shane Jennings a call as soon as possible! We’re proud to provide excellent personal injury assistance to individuals in Southern New Mexico.