Personal Injury Attorneys Serving Rio Rancho & Albuquerque
MPJ Law Firm, based in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, is a comprehensive personal injury practice. We are available to help clients who have suffered any type of serious injury for which another party was responsible. Our lead attorney, Michael P. Jasso, is not only well-skilled in this branch of civil litigation, but dedicated to obtaining the highest possible compensation for the clients he represents. He collects no fee unless your case is settled favorably.
With his background working in a defense firm for insurance companies, Mr. Jasso has a strong knowledge of the methods used by insurance companies to evaluate claims, the mistakes insurance companies or adjusters are likely to make, and even the unfair practices some insurance companies engage in. This gives his clients a distinct advantage since when such mistakes are made, the claim increases in value. Because, in addition to his excellent legal credentials, Mr. Jasso also has a background as an educator, his communications skills are well-honed. You can rest assured that while he does the heavy legal lifting, he will keep you comfortably informed throughout the process.
Reasons for Personal Injury Lawsuits
There are a great many types of accidents for which you can receive damages from the party responsible. MPJ Law Firm routinely handles:
- Car, truck, and motorcycle accidents, including those involving pedestrians
- Drunk driving accidents
- Premises liability injuries due to structural defects
- Slip and fall accidents due to slippery surfaces, obstacles, etc.
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
- Wrongful death
Some personal injury cases are based on Strict Liability. This means that an individual or entity may be held legally responsible for an injury without proof of carelessness or fault.
Kinds of Injuries Sustained
There is almost no limit to the kinds of personal injuries individuals suffer for which, if someone else’s negligence has been the cause, they can seek legal remedy. Some of the injuries for which people seek compensation are:
- Crush injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Birth injuries, such as cerebral palsy
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Loss of vision or hearing
- Electrical shocks
No matter what type of physical injury you suffer, severe injuries are most often accompanied by psychological trauma. In addition to medical care, possible surgery and/or rehabilitation, you may require psychological counseling or even psychiatric treatment in the aftermath of the accident.
The Need to Consult with Your Personal Injury Attorney Promptly
If your injury is the fault of another, as soon as you are medically able you should consult with your personal injury attorney. There are several reasons for this. For one thing, it is important that your attorney be able to collect evidence before the defendant has alters “the crime scene.” For another, it is much easier for your lawyer to get photographs taken, and to gather any relevant written records and witness accounts if you act quickly. Also, in New Mexico, as in other states, there is a statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims. In New Mexico, you have 3 years from the date you were injured to file a personal injury lawsuit. This means that if you fail to file your claim before 3 years have passed, you will have forfeited your right to receive compensation for your injuries.
Perhaps the most important reason for getting in touch with MPJ Law Firm as soon as possible is that Michael P. Jasso will be able to protect you from insurance adjusters who all too frequently act in bad faith. Such insurance representatives may try to get you to make statements that will later be used against you in an attempt to interfere with your ability to obtain the compensation you deserve. This is why it is crucial that you confer with your attorney before making any statements, or signing documents of any kind.
Damages to which You May Be Entitled
If you are the victim of a slip and fall, vehicular or construction accident due to negligence or misconduct of another, or if you suffer injury due to medical malpractice or nursing home abuse, you are legally entitled to monetary compensation from the person or entity that caused you harm. There are two types of damages that you may possibly be awarded: compensatory and punitive.
Compensatory damages are designed to reimburse you for your losses due to your injury. These may include:
- Medical bills
- Surgical, pharmaceutical and/or rehabilitative costs
- Loss of income, present and future
- Pain and suffering
- Recompense for long-term disability or disfigurement
Compensatory Damages in the Case of Wrongful Death
In cases in which there has been a wrongful death, compensatory damages can be awarded to survivors. The court may rule that the survivors are entitled to monetary compensation for:
- Medical, surgical, rehabilitative costs prior to death
- Conscious pain and suffering prior to death
- Loss of support and services
- Loss of consortium
- Hedonic damages (loss of enjoyment of life)
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of parental guidance (for surviving children)
- Funeral expenses
A large proportion of wrongful death lawsuits are preceded by a criminal trial, though the wrongful death suit requires a lower standard of proof. It is, therefore, possible for family members to receive wrongful death compensation even though the responsible party was able to avoid criminal penalties.
In cases in which the negligence, recklessness or animus of the responsible party was
especially egregious, punitive damages may also be awarded. The purpose of punitive damages is twofold:  to punish the person who caused the injuries or wrongful death by outrageous behavior and  to discourage others from engaging in similarly disgraceful behavior.
Elements of a Negligence Claim
There are four components necessary in order to win a negligence case:
- Duty: the defendant owed a legal duty to the plaintiff (e.g. a doctor to a patient, a driver to another driver or pedestrian)
- Breach: the defendant breached that duty (failed to act responsibly as a “reasonably prudent person” would under similar circumstances)
- Causation: the defendant’s actions or failure to act caused the plaintiff’s injury in a situation in which the defendant could have reasonably foreseen the danger
- Damages: the plaintiff was harmed as a result of the defendant’s actions and therefore deserves monetary compensation for expenses like medical care and/or loss of income
New Mexico is a comparative negligence state, meaning that if both parties have contributed to an accident, each one is responsible for his or her own negligence. In cases in which both parties are found to be partially responsible for a collision, each injured party is entitled to damages. The way this plays out is that if an injured party is found to be partially responsible for the accident, his or her recovery of damages will be reduced proportionally. If, for example, you are found to be 20 percent responsible for the accident in which you were injured, the amount you receive will be reduced by 20 percent. Our attorneys are here to help you obtain the damages you deserve, even though some action or inaction on your part may have contributed to the crash.
Experienced attorneys like Michael P. Jasso are frequently able to settle cases through negotiation rather than litigation. In many cases, clients of MJP Law Firm find that they obtain a fair settlement without ever having to go to trial. Though we are adept at getting you the highest compensation through negotiation, you will always be the one to make the final decision about whether to agree to the settlement. You should be aware that settlements can be arrived at during any phase of the judicial process, even during the trial, as long as the verdict has not yet been reached. Of course, if negotiation is unsuccessful, Mr. Jasso is fully prepared to fight for your rights vigorously in a court of law.
Why come to MJP Law Firm?
Because of the complexities of the law, it is extremely important to have a strong personal injury attorney beside you when you are attempting to collect damages on a personal injury claim. At MJP Law Firm, we are not only experienced and talented at coming up with inventive strategies, we are also compassionate. You can count on us to take over your case so you can recover physically and emotionally from the trauma you have just experienced. Contact us today.