A. Compensatory Damages
In New Mexico, there are two types of damages: compensatory damages and punitive damages.
Compensatory damages are damages which are intended to compensate for a loss of something. Even before an injured party files a lawsuit, they must begin the process of locating, preservering, and they must start to prove that they suffered some form of loss due to the incident.
At trial, the injured party would requet that the jury provide compensatory damages for past medical expenses; future medical expenses; pain and suffering; the nature, extent, and duration of injuries; disfigurement; lost earnings and wages; loss of enjoyment of life; loss of household services; and non-medical expenses. The law says those are the types of damages a Plaintiff can request, provided the evidence supports a jury instruction on the damage element.
At the beginning of an injured party's claim, many of the compensatory damages are unknown. Other "injury lawyers" describe damages in multiples of an "anchoring" number. They say, "we'll, three times the meds is a good settlement." They say this to the prospective client less than an hour after meeting the prospective client and veriftying the facts. Other lawyers describe damages they way damages are described in the state where the out-of-town lawyer is from, or how damages were described 30 years ago. They use terms like "special damages," "specials," "general damages," "exemplary damages," etc.
Be cautious when thinking about hiring a lawyer who relies upon general descriptions, or "rules of thumb" when talking about the damages YOU may be entitled to under New Mexico law.
Garcia Legal does not apply "rules of thumb" to its clients' cases. The damages a Garcia Legal client is entitled to are clearly defined under the New Mexico Uniform Jury Instructions. Garcia Legal fights for the client's right to receive fair and reasonable compensation as allowed under New Mexico law.