What Can You Recover In A Personal Injury Lawsuit In New Mexico?
If you are hurt or harmed because of the fault of another person or company, then the law requires that the other person or company must be accountable for the harms and losses caused. If they are at fault, they must pay.
Common damages in a personal injury case include, but are not limited to:
The reasonable expense of necessary medical care, treatment and services received (including prosthetic devices and cosmetic aids) and the present cash value of the reasonable expenses of medical care, treatment and services reasonably certain to be received in the future.
Pain And Suffering
The pain and suffering experienced, and reasonably certain to be experienced in the future, as a result of the injury. The guide for you to follow in determining compensation for pain and suffering, if any, is the enlightened conscience of impartial jurors acting under the sanctity of your oath to compensate the plaintiff with fairness to all parties to this action.
In addition to damages for pain and suffering, New Mexico also allows damages for loss of enjoyment of life.
The reasonable value of necessary nonmedical expenses which have been required as a result of the injury and the present cash value of such nonmedical expenses reasonably certain to be required in the future. If the plaintiff has sustained injuries that require caretaking expenses, then such expense is a proper element of damages when the plaintiff has proved that the expense has been incurred and the reasonable value thereof.
Loss Of Household Services
The reasonable value of the services of a spouse of which the family has been deprived and the present cash value of services of a spouse of which the family is reasonably certain to be deprived in the future.
A single person may recover for loss of their own household services; where a single person suffers the loss of capacity to perform household services for one’s self, that person is also entitled to recover the reasonable value of loss of household services.
Loss Of Companionship And Guidance
Also known as loss of consortium, the emotional distress of the plaintiff due to the loss of the society, guidance, companionship and sexual relations resulting from the injury to the injured or deceased party.
Damages to punish or deter reckless, willful, wanton conduct.
Punitive damages are awarded for the limited purposes of punishment and to deter others from the commission of like offenses. The amount of punitive damages must be based on reason and justice taking into account all the circumstances, including the nature of the wrong and such aggravating and mitigating circumstances as may be shown. The amount awarded, if any, must be reasonably related to the injury and to any damages given as compensation and not disproportionate to the circumstances.
Damages arising in the future, continuing in nature but are dependent on specific circumstances. As to loss of future earning ability, you may consider that some persons work all their lives and others do not and that a person’s earnings may remain the same or may increase or decrease in the future.
Wrongful Death Damages
New Mexico law allows damages to be awarded to the surviving spouse, parent, grandparent, other familiar caretakers and beneficiaries if the death or the related damages were proximately caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another. Individuals can recover damages for:
- The reasonable expenses of necessary medical care and treatment and funeral and burial
- The pain and suffering experienced by the deceased between the time of injury and death
- The lost earnings, the lost earning capacity and the value of the lost household services of the deceased considering the deceased’s age, earning capacity, health, habits, and life expectancy. In considering loss of earnings or earning capacity, deductions must be made for income taxes, social security taxes, other taxes, and personal living expenses of the deceased.
- The value of the deceased’s life apart from [his] [her] earning capacity
- The mitigating or aggravating circumstances attending the wrongful act, neglect or default
- The emotional distress to the [spouse], [parent(s)], [grandparent(s)], [other familial caretaker(s)] caused by the loss of [society,] [guidance,] [companionship] and [sexual relations] enjoyed with the deceased]
- The loss of guidance and counseling to the deceased’s minor children