What Damages are Available in Personal Injury Lawsuits in New Mexico?
When you get injured because of someone else’s negligence in Albuquerque or other parts of New Mexico, you may be entitled to seek compensation from the negligent party.
The financial compensation is also known as “damages.” In personal injury cases, damages are divided into two types:
- Compensatory damages are paid to the injured party to compensate them for the injuries and losses to make them “whole” again.
- Punitive damages are paid to the injured person to punish the negligent party for their exceptionally malicious, reckless, or egregious conduct.
If you or your loved one suffered injuries in an auto accident or any other accident due to another person’s negligent or careless behavior, our Albuquerque NM personal injury attorney Todd J. Bullion would make sure that you recover maximum damages available in your case. Call (505)452-7674 to evaluate damages in your particular situation.
What are Compensatory Damages in Personal Injury Cases in New Mexico?
Compensatory damages are intended to make the injured person “whole” again by compensating them for the financial losses and non-economic damages. If you have incurred any tangible or intangible losses because of the defendant’s negligence, you should be compensated for those damages.
In New Mexico personal injury cases, compensatory damages are split into two categories:
- Economic damages are any tangible losses you have incurred and are expected to incur due to the injury or accident. Tangible losses include medical expenses, loss of income, out-of-pocket expenses, and property damage.
- Non-economic damages are more subjective in nature because they are not as quantifiable as economic ones. Because non-economic damages are intangible, it can be difficult for juries to assign a monetary value to these damages. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, diminished quality of life, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and many more.
It is highly advised to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in Albuquerque NM to help you quantify your non-economic damages and calculate an injury settlement correctly. At the Law Office of Todd J. Bullion, our founding attorney Todd J. Bullion can help you evaluate your particular case to determine how much money to demand to settle your case.
What are Punitive Damages in Personal Injury Cases in New Mexico?
Punitive damages are rarely available in personal injury cases. These damages are intended to punish the defendant for their outrageous conduct and deter them and others from committing similar acts in the future.
Punitive damages can substantially increase the value of your personal injury case in New Mexico, which is why it makes sense to look into the availability of these damages in your case.
However, under New Mexico Uniform Jury Instruction (UJI) 13-1718, you may be able to recover punitive damages when you can demonstrate clear evidence that the defendant’s conduct amounted to:
- Malice. A person is guilty of malicious conduct when they act willfully and intentionally to cause harm with the knowledge that their actions would cause an injury.
- Recklessness. A person engages in reckless conduct when they do something intentionally and know or should know that their actions could cause harm to others.
- Wantonness. A defendant can be accused of wantonness when they act with extreme carelessness or indifference to the rights or safety of other people.
- Willfulness. A person engages in willful conduct when they commit a wrongful act that is intended to cause harm to another individual.
Does New Mexico Law Put a Cap on Punitive Damages?
Unlike many other states, New Mexico does not limit the maximum amount of punitive damages recoverable in personal injury cases. However, the Supreme Court ruled in 1996 that awarding “excessively high” punitive damages violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. BMW, Inc. v. Gore (94-896), 517 U.S. 559.
What constitutes “excessively high” punitive damages is determined on a case-by-case basis. If you believe that you should be awarded punitive damages in your case, consult with an Albuquerque NM personal injury attorney to learn more about Personal Injury Lawsuits in New Mexico. Let a skilled attorney at the Law Office of Todd J. Bullion help you evaluate compensatory and punitive damages in your case and obtain the compensation you deserve. Call (505)452-7674 or send an email for a free consultation.