NEW MEXICO LAKE INJURY LAWYERS
CALL (800) 863-5312 to speak with new mexico water injury lawyers
Though it is very beautiful, given its desert climate, New Mexico lakes might not be the first thing that come to mind when you think about the Land of Enchantment. However, there are lots of natural bodies of water in this Southwestern state for visitors and locals alike to enjoy. While spending the day fishing on the banks of Heron Lake or boating at Abiquiu Lake can be a relaxing time, there is always risk involved with being out on a body of water. If you were injured on a lake in New Mexico, hiring a New Mexico water injury lawyer could help you seek compensation.
Types of lake injuries
There are lots of different of activities available to partake in on New Mexico’s lakes. Unfortunately, however, this also means that there are multiple ways in which lake users can sustain serious, and at times deadly, injuries. Some of the more common lake injuries include the following:
An injury from a boating accident can happen in a variety of different ways. For one, a swimmer, wakeboarder, or any other person who finds themselves floating in the water could be struck by a boat being operated by someone who is not paying close enough attention to who or what is in the water around them. In addition, a boat operator could injure their own passengers if their careless operation leads the boat to capsize. When one is operating a boat, it is very important that they have all of the proper licensing, are educated on the relevant New Mexico boating rules, and aren’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Drowning can unfortunately be an ever-present reality in New Mexico’s lakes. In fact, over half of the drownings that occur in the United States in a given year occur in an open body of water like a lake, ocean, or river. These open bodies of water can potentially be more dangerous than a controlled environment like a swimming pool because they are oftentimes much larger, involve natural elements like currents or tides, and may have boats or other watercraft present. Drowning accidents will take the skill of an experienced New Mexico water accident lawyer to fully investigate a claim.
Scuba diving might not be the first activity that pops into your head when you think of New Mexico, but the state has actually been described as the scuba capital of the Southwest. Perhaps the most popular spot to scuba dive in New Mexico, given its depth and temperate waters, is the Santa Rosa Blue Hole. While scuba diving is a popular activity, it presents some risks to those who participate given the dependence on functioning equipment and the fact that divers can get to fairly extreme depths which may cause injury or even death.
who is responsIble for my injuries?
Not everyone who suffers an injury in a lake accident is eligible to receive compensation. In order to collect damages, there must be another party who is responsible for your injuries. In legal terms, this is known as liability. When it comes to New Mexico water injuries, liability will most often be established by proving that the other party acted negligently.
In order to establish negligence, you must fulfill four key components. First, you must establish that the other party had a legal duty to act in a certain way. This could include the obligation to be fully licensed while operating a boat. Next, you must show that the allegedly negligent party breached this duty by their actions. After proving that they did not fulfill their duty, you must show causation, i.e., that the wrongful actions of this party are, in fact, what caused your injuries. Finally, you must be able to show that you sustained damages. If you did not actually suffer any damages, then there probably won’t be any compensation available to you.
With this general understanding of who could be responsible for your injuries, the following are some of the parties who are commonly held to be negligent in New Mexico water injuries.
Boater of Jet Ski Rider
People who operate watercraft like boats and jet skis have a general duty not to operate them in a careless way. This general duty can include the more specific obligations to know the rules of operating a boat in New Mexico, getting the proper training and licensing before operation, and not operating the boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If a boater or jet ski rider was operating their craft in a careless way by violating any of these obligations, then it is possible that they could be held liable for your injuries.
The Government Agency
If a government agency owns the lake that you were at, then it is possible that they may share in the liability for your accident. This would occur if they did not post adequate signage signifying the danger of a particular location or if they did not allow for enough space between watercraft and swimmers.
Given their size, many lakeshores in New Mexico may not even have lifeguards present. They may have security or officers who patrol only the more heavily trafficked areas like popular swimming beaches. If your accident occurred in an area with a lifeguard, then a lifeguard or their employer could potentially be liable if they did not take sufficient measures to perform a rescue or if they improperly administered first aid.
what can i receive in compensation?
After being injured on a lake in New Mexico, many victims and their families might begin to wonder what a potential case could be worth. Going to the doctor and replacing damaged property can quickly become very expensive, and often an accident victim’s best way of recovering for their losses is to contact an experienced New Mexico attorney before filing a claim. While there is no set answer on what water accident injuries are worth, the damages that you could be eligible to recover for generally fall into two categories.
Economic damages are the types of damages that are tangible and easily quantified. The value of economic damages is not dependent on the judge or jury who is considering them—they are objectively verifiable. Economic damages can include things like medical bills, costs to replace damaged or destroyed personal property, and lost wages from being unable to work.
Non-economic damages are damages that are not tied to an objective standard like a bill or a receipt. They typically refer to the pain and suffering—physical, mental, and emotional—that an accident victim experiences as a result of their injuries. Though they are not as objective as economic damages, a New Mexico water injury lawyer may be able to argue for them on your behalf. Generally speaking, the worse an accident victim’s injuries are, the higher the number in this category could be.
In certain cases, punitive damages might also be available. As opposed to the first two types of damages, which are intended to make the accident victim whole again, punitive damages are intended to serve as a punishment for the wrongdoer and serve as a warning to prevent others from acting in the same way in the future. Punitive damages are not available in the majority of personal injury cases and are reserved for those cases where the wrongdoer acted purposefully or in a particularly reckless way.
legal time limits
Every personal injury claim is governed by a statute of limitations, which is the amount of time, put into place by New Mexico law, that accident victims have to file their claim. The statute of limitations begins to run on the date of your accident; claims that are brought after the time has expired are likely to be dismissed as untimely. The length of the statute of limitations that applies to your case will depend on the type of claim that you are bringing and who you are seeking damages from. For example, the statute of limitations may be shorter if you are seeking to recover damages from a government entity. Given the importance of filing timely and the variations even within New Mexico law, it is critical for accident victims to speak with a New Mexico water injury lawyer as soon after their accident as possible.
There may be certain exceptions that apply to the statute of limitations in your case, however. For example, you might not discover the injuries that you sustained as a result of your accident until well after the accident actually occurred. In addition, the accident victim could be a minor.
In either of these cases, and potentially others, the statute of limitations could be extended past the normal date. It is best not to count on the application of an exception, however; speaking to an attorney quickly after your accident is the best way to preserve whatever legal rights to compensation that you may have for you and your family.
Call zinda law group today at (800) 863-5312, before the statute of limitations expires
An injury on the lake can quickly turn a fun day into a nightmare. However, the aftermath is not something that you need to deal with on your own. Zinda Law Group is ready and able to assist victims and their families with their cases from start to finish. It starts with a free consultation. What’s more, you don’t pay us anything unless we win your case for you—that’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.