How Are Personal Injury Settlements Calculated in New Mexico

August 10, 2023 | By Impact Legal Car Accident Attorneys
How Are Personal Injury Settlements Calculated in New Mexico

If you've been injured, it's likely the medical bills have piled up on your kitchen table. It's also likely that you've been unable to work and earn money to pay those bills. If you're experiencing something similar, know that you are not alone. We've helped many clients who have experienced this kind of overwhelming financial frustration after an accident caused by someone else's negligence or intent to harm. We can help you, too. 

In this article, we will discuss how to calculate personal injury settlements. Note that your settlement will be dependent on the facts of your case, and your accident lawyers in New Mexico can help you determine a proper settlement amount.

If you have questions after reading this blog or need representation in an injury case, give us a call or text at 602-345-1818. You can also fill out our convenient online form, and we will reach out to you to schedule a free initial consultation. 

What Goes into My Injury Settlement Calculation?

There are two primary types of damages in a personal injury case: economic and non-economic. Economic damages include monetary items, like property damage, medical bills, lost income, loss of earning potential, etc. These damages are more easily calculated, as they have a monetary value. The second type of damages in a personal injury case is non-economic damages. These damages include things like pain and suffering, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, emotional trauma, loss of consortium, etc. This type of compensation is more subjective, so it is more difficult to calculate, though an accident lawyer in New Mexico can help you assign a value to non-economic injuries. 

Some recoverable damages in personal injury cases include:

Economic Damages:

  • Property damage
  • Medical bills (past, current, and future)
  • Rehabilitation costs
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Physical therapy expenses
  • Household services while you are recovering from your injury, like home-cleaning services
  • Caregiving expenses

Non-Economic Damages:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Severe physical pain
  • Emotional trauma
  • Loss of consortium
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Loss of society and companionship 
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Additionally, though less common, a court may choose to impose punitive damages on a defendant. Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant when his or her actions have been found especially harmful. 

Calculating Economic Damages in New Mexico

In order to calculate financial damages, simply add up all costs incurred to you that are associated with the accident and your injuries. These costs refer to all monetary losses, listed above. While past and current expenses are fairly straightforward, estimated future losses can take some effort in calculating. Your attorney will assist you in assigning a numeric value to anticipated damages, like loss of earning capacity. 

Calculating Non-Economic Damages in New Mexico

To determine non-economic damages, it is necessary to work with a personal injury lawyer in New Mexico. You may be curious how your accident lawyer will help you quantify non-economic rewards. This is where the multiplier method comes into play.

In most personal injury cases, a multiplier, usually between 1.5 and 5, will be used to calculate non-economic damages. After all economic damages are determined, the sum will be multiplied by the number between 1.5 and 5. Depending on the facts of your case, the multiplier may even exceed 5. In these cases, several things align to increase the multiplier, like the severity of the plaintiff's injuries, the obvious fault of the defendant, prolonged recovery, permanent consequences of the injury (chronic pain, immobility, etc), and your physician must sign off on the existence of your future difficulties. 

Can Anything Decrease or Increase my Calculation?

Once you have arrived at the total compensation for both economic and non-economic damages, you must account for the percentage of fault it is determined you played in the accident. This is calculated with New Mexico's comparative negligence. New Mexico follows pure comparative negligence, which means that your settlement will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if it is determined that your reward is $100,000 and that you were 20 percent at fault in the accident, you will be eligible to receive $80,000 in damages. 

Hire a New Mexico Accident Lawyer 

Many things in your personal injury case will be a point of contention with the other party's insurance company, including the amount you're entitled to, the percentage of liability you hold, the multiplier in calculating non-economic damages, etc. Personal injury cases can be complex, so having an attorney on your side to help you fight for a legal remedy that works for you and negotiate with the insurance company is advisable. That's where our accident lawyers at Impact Legal come in – we'll fight to protect your rights after an accident. Give us a call or text at 602-345-1818, or fill out our convenient online form. We'll schedule a free consultation to review the facts of your case and advise you on recommended next steps in your personal injury case. 

We handle a variety of personal injury cases in New Mexico, including: