Man meeting with doctor

Misdiagnosis and Medical Malpractice: Seeking Compensation for Diagnostic Errors

Everyone has different motivations for visiting the doctor. When you need answers regarding your health, you rely on the knowledge and expertise of your treating physician. 

Still, medical professionals are human, and mistakes in the medical field are made every day. If a diagnostic error has harmed you, do not hesitate to consult with a medical malpractice attorney. 

What is a diagnostic error?

A diagnostic error is a mistake involving a diagnosis you’re given. Common diagnostic errors include delayed and incorrect diagnosis and a failure to diagnose.

When it comes to medical matters, time is often of the essence. If you receive a diagnosis that’s delayed, you may face additional harm or lose your ability to recover from your condition.

An incorrect diagnosis usually means your physician has misidentified the condition you actually have. This could result in receiving the wrong medical treatment and having your true condition worsen. 

A failure to diagnose means you’re never given a diagnosis for your condition. When a doctor fails to identify any negative medical condition, causing you to go untreated, you can experience severe injury or even death. 

Diagnostic errors happen for a number of reasons, but they are usually attributed to negligence. When a diagnostic mistake results in harm, you may have the opportunity to take action and seek financial compensation. 

Do I have a case for medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional’s act or omission causes harm. These cases fall under personal injury, an area of law that allows victims to pursue monetary recovery for their injury-related losses.

Not every instance of a medical mistake results in a viable medical malpractice lawsuit, but many do. Determining whether you have a case is the first step in proceeding with your legal claim.

Usually, to prove the healthcare professional is liable for your injuries, you’ll need to take steps to prove certain details. For instance, you must show that:

  • You and the responsible party had an existing doctor-patient relationship
  • The physician deviated from the acceptable standard of care
  • This deviation in care caused you harm
  • You suffered losses as a result of your injuries

Evidence can help substantiate your claims of negligence, including medical records and doctor’s notes. 

A qualified medical malpractice lawyer can investigate your case to determine whether you have a valid claim. Once that is established, they can take the necessary steps to protect your rights and fight for fair compensation on your behalf. 

Potential Compensation for a Medical Malpractice Case

Monetary damages for a medical malpractice claim aim to compensate you for the tangible and intangible losses stemming from your injuries. The damages you’re entitled to receive are based on the specifics of your case, but they could include:

  • Past and future medical expenses, including surgery and medication
  • Therapy and rehabilitation
  • In-home medical care
  • Lost earnings
  • Diminished or lost earning potential
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Permanent disability
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Punitive damages may also be available in some cases. They aim to punish defendants for their reckless, intentional, or malicious actions and deter potential future actors from behaving in the same manner. 

A diagnostic error can have a profound impact on your financial and physical health. For this reason, fair monetary recovery can help relieve undue stress and protect your future. 

Consult With an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you’ve suffered harm due to a diagnostic error, a medical malpractice lawyer can help you seek compensation. 

The legal team at Hunt Law has years of experience helping injured clients secure the financial compensation they need and deserve. We serve personal injury clients throughout Northern New Mexico and Las Vegas, NV. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

Man with hurt arm in a cast filing a personal injury claim

What Are the Leading Causes of Crush Injuries?

An accident can happen at any moment, leading to unexpected injuries and financial losses. Crush injuries are among some of the kinds of injuries that can result from multiple types of accidents and dangerous scenarios.

If you or a loved one has sustained a crush injury, a personal injury lawyer can provide strong representation and work toward achieving the best possible outcome. But what exactly are crush injuries, and what types of accidents typically cause them?

Understanding Crush Injuries

A crush injury results when there is excessive force or pressure on a certain part of the body. The resulting injury and the severity depend on the exact area of the body affected. Crush injuries can look different for everyone but often cause bleeding, bruising, and open wounds. 

In some situations, crush injuries can be deceptive. You may believe your injuries are minor, especially when the arms or legs are involved, but the injury may be more serious than it feels or appears. This further emphasizes the importance of seeking timely medical care in the event of an accident. 

Potential Complications of a Crush Injury 

Crush injuries can affect your physical health not only in the short term, but sometimes also in the long term. These injuries can result in severe, lasting consequences, including:

  • Nerve Damage: A crush injury can cause nerves to become permanently damaged, resulting in unpleasant consequences, like numbness and weakness 
  • Infection: When strong force results in an open wound, bacteria can easily enter the body and cause different infections, which could lead to long-term damage
  • Tissue Damage: A crush injury can disrupt blood flow to surrounding tissue, which could lead to permanent damage to the tissue
  • Crush Syndrome: Crush syndrome can develop after a crush injury, causing major shock and renal failure
  • Compartment Syndrome: Excessive pressure built up in the muscles can decrease blood flow, which could result in the need for amputation

The health issues caused by a crush injury can affect you well into the future, impacting your ability to work, socialize, and live life as you once did pre-injury. 

The Top Causes of Crush Injuries

Crush injuries are common injuries resulting from various types of accidents. The following are some of the ways crush injuries most often occur. 

Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents, including those involving cars, trucks, and motorcycles, can all result in unfortunate crush injuries. This is particularly true when the impact is severe, causing extensive, life-changing consequences. 

Crush injuries in vehicular accidents usually result from the pressure of a heavy object. For example, when a motorcycle rider gets pinned under their bike in an accident, the weight of the motorcycle can easily cause a crush injury. 

Pedestrian Accidents

A pedestrian accident involves a vehicle hitting a pedestrian on the road. These types of accidents regularly result in substantial injury, as pedestrians have no protection in the event of a collision. 

Crush injuries in a pedestrian accident frequently occur due to the impact of the vehicle on the body. 

Construction Accidents

Construction sites are dangerous locations, both for construction workers on the job and pedestrians in the surrounding areas. 

Crush injuries are specifically common on construction sites, as there are plenty of heavy objects, tools, and machinery. These injuries are caused in many ways on construction sites, including getting caught between two objects, being stuck by falling objects, and limbs getting caught in machinery. 

Product Liability Accidents

Almost any product can become damaged or defective, from kitchen appliances to children’s toys. Use of a defective or malfunctioning product can be dangerous to the consumer, resulting in crush injuries to various areas of the body. 

Bring Your Crush Injury Case to a Personal Injury Attorney

When you sustain a crush injury as a result of another’s wrongful actions, you may have a valid claim for personal injury. A personal injury lawyer can protect your rights and pursue favorable compensation on your behalf. 

The legal team at Hunt Law has extensive experience representing injured clients throughout Northern New Mexico and Las Vegas, NV. Contact us to request a consultation with a compassionate and skilled personal injury attorney today.

Rose on tombstone

How Long Can a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Take?

Wrongful death lawsuits can vary in length, ranging from months to years. If you’re wondering how long a wrongful death lawsuit can take, here is an explanation of the factors that may be involved and how they can affect the process.


The timeline for a wrongful death lawsuit can vary. That’s because wrongful death lawsuits are typically initiated by the deceased person’s family. Because of this, they play out much differently than personal injury cases. 

Another reason for the varying length is how dependent these types of lawsuits are on the circumstances surrounding the deceased’s passing. For example, if the death was caused by someone else’s recklessness or negligence, it could take some time to prove their culpability in court.

What if the individual is found responsible?

If it is found that the accused individual is responsible for the wrongful death, the court or jury will determine what damages should be awarded to the family. When calculating damages, the judge or jury will consider all of the following factors:

  • The physical condition of the victim
  • The age of the victim
  • The earning capacity of the victim
  • The estimated years remaining in the victim’s life
  • How much the victim contributed to their family

It is important to note that a variety of other factors could be weighed in addition to those listed above. However, many of these factors depend on the nature of the situation and can be difficult to predict in a clean and concise manner.

Initiating a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A wrongful death lawsuit usually begins when the deceased’s family members or representatives contact an attorney who specializes in wrongful death lawsuits. 

Once retained, the attorney will help the family navigate the process of initiating a wrongful death lawsuit. This includes identifying the liable party, filing the lawsuit, and assessing damages.

Probate and Damages

Following the death of the victim, the victim’s estate must go through probate. If the deceased did not have a will, the process can be more complicated. This is due to the fact that the court will now have to decide how to divvy up their property and assets. 

On the other hand, if the deceased did have a will, then the assets will be allotted in accordance with their wishes. This speeds up the probate process and ensures that the property of the deceased reaches its intended recipients.

When seeking damages, your attorney will calculate the deceased’s expenses, including mental and physical anguish and medical bills, as well as the expenses and anguish the surviving family members have suffered as a result of the victim’s death. Damages for the surviving family members can include all of the following:

  • Funeral costs
  • Burial costs
  • Mental anguish
  • Lost wages 
  • Victim’s loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of support
  • Extraneous services
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering

As you can guess, the most extensive damages are those incurred by the surviving family. This is one reason why wrongful death lawsuits can become complicated and often take longer than personal injury lawsuits.

Need representation? Contact Hunt Law

If you or a loved one has been the victim of negligence, recklessness, or any other action that resulted in the death of a loved one, you may be entitled to compensation. To get a better idea of what options are available to you, contact Hunt Law today. 

With nearly two decades of servicing the Northern New Mexico region in cases involving medical malpractice, wrongful death, catastrophic injury, and personal injury, Hunt Law has a nuanced understanding of applicable laws and will work diligently to advocate on your behalf. Don’t spend another minute wondering what to do — contact us today.

Woman having gauze wrapped around her burn injury

Determining the Severity of Burn Injuries: What Qualifies as Catastrophic?

Burns are a form of skin damage that can arise from a variety of different scenarios. They are an extremely common form of injury for adults and children. Burns range in severity and can require medical treatment.

Burns can result from any of the following situations:

  • Sunburn
  • Excessive heat
  • Chemical contact
  • Electrical contact
  • Radiation

If you or a loved one are suffering from a burn, this post will provide helpful information to determine the severity so you will know if you need medical attention.

Classification of Burns

Burns are separated into three distinct categories, which are organized by the severity of the burn. These categories are first-degree burns, second-degree burns, and third-degree burns. Each degree differs in terms of treatment.

First-Degree Burns

First-degree burns are considered superficial and generally only affect the top layer of skin. The first symptoms you will likely notice are redness and pain. In regards to recovery time, first-degree burns tend to heal within a week and usually do not leave any scars since they only affect the outer layer of the skin.

When treating a first-degree burn, soak the affected area in cool water for about five minutes. If you require pain relief, ibuprofen or acetaminophen should be enough. If you are still experiencing discomfort, you can apply a topical gel such as aloe vera or lidocaine. Once the sensation has calmed down, apply some antibiotic ointment.

When treating a first-degree burn, it is important to refrain from applying ice to the affected area, as it could increase the severity of the damage.

Second-Degree Burns

Second-degree burns breach the top layer of skin and affect the second layer of skin, known as the dermis. This can result in white marks across the skin, blisters, and intense pain. These types of burns are very volatile and require a higher standard of care than first-degree burns.

If the second-degree burn is mild, you can treat it by holding the affected area under cool running water for 15 minutes or more. Again, ibuprofen or acetaminophen can go a long way in regards to helping with the pain. Treat any blisters with antibiotic cream and seek medical attention if the burn does not seem to be getting better or appears more severe.

Third-Degree Burns

Third-degree burns are extremely serious injuries. This is when the burn affects all layers of skin, including the layer of fat underneath the dermis. This can result in intense pain, numbness, and damaged nerves. 

Symptoms of a third-degree burn include all of the following:

  • White coloring on the skin
  • Charred skin
  • A leathery texture on the skin
  • Undeveloped blisters

The wounds caused by a third-degree burn can leave the victim with severe scarring and deformities. Healing can be prolonged, uncertain, and painful. If you or a loved one have experienced a third-degree burn, seek medical attention immediately.


Those afflicted with third-degree burns can experience a variety of complications. Because burns are open wounds, they can become a breeding ground for bacteria, which puts the victim at risk of contracting sepsis. Additionally, the afflicted individual may experience severe blood loss.

In addition to the burn itself, the individual may have sustained internal injuries due to smoke or hot air inhalation. This is why it is important to consult a medical professional after any accident involving a third-degree burn.

Need compensation? Contact Hunt Law

Contact Hunt Law today if you are suffering from a burn injury and need compensation. Hunt Law has served the Northern New Mexico area with excellence for almost two decades. If your case involves medical malpractice, wrongful death, catastrophic injury, or personal injury Hunt Law wants to hear about it.

Emergency room corridor

Common Risks Associated with the Early Release of Hospital Patients

In the event of serious injury or illness, certain individuals may be required to stay at the hospital for a prolonged period to receive consistent medical attention. Unfortunately, hospitals are often overcrowded and taxed beyond their means. Because of this, hospital staff are frequently encouraged to discharge patients early.

Sadly, patients who are discharged from the hospital early can experience a variety of health problems. These can range in severity and potential complications but almost always negatively impact the patients and those around them.

If you or a loved one were discharged early and experienced unexpected complications as a result, it’s important to know what options are available. To help, this post will identify some common risks associated with the early release of hospital patients.

Does early release constitute medical malpractice?

To take legal action for damage resulting from an early discharge from the hospital, you’d need to sue for medical malpractice. Whether an early discharge constitutes medical malpractice is dependent on a few factors.

You must be able to prove two things to substantiate a medical malpractice claim.

First, you’d need to prove that the provider or providers who treated you were negligent in some way. You’d also need to demonstrate that their negligence resulted in injury to your person or property.

Does proving negligence require expert testimony?

Medical malpractice, or medical negligence, happens when a doctor, nurse, or other medical provider fails to uphold an applicable standard of care. 

Similar to the duty of care motorists have when driving, the standard of care requires all medical personnel to provide the kind of care that any other medical professional with the same amount of training and experience would provide under similar circumstances.

For these reasons, medical malpractice claims typically require expert testimony from another professional in the accused practitioner’s field.

Negligence Isn’t Enough

When it comes to medical malpractice, merely proving negligence isn’t enough. To mount a successful claim, you must prove that the negligence directly resulted in an injury.

In the case of an early release, you’d have to show how that decision caused an injury. For instance, a patient who goes to the hospital with a condition affecting their balance and equilibrium and is released prematurely could fall and injure themselves upon returning home.

When is early discharge considered medical malpractice?

As stated, any successful medical malpractice claim requires you to prove that you were injured. In the case of an early discharge, you must make a compelling argument that you were discharged too quickly. 

There are three primary ways to demonstrate that you were discharged prematurely. One is to show that you developed a condition that wouldn’t have manifested if you’d been under continued medical observation. A second option is to prove that you sustained an injury that wouldn’t have occurred had you been in the hospital.

Finally, you may be able to prove medical malpractice if you can show that the problem got worse following your discharge when it could have been treated during a prolonged stay.

Contact Hunt Law Today

If you or a loved one have sustained an injury resulting from another party’s negligence or reckless behavior, you might be eligible to seek compensation for your injuries.

Hunt Law has spent nearly two decades advocating for personal injury victims in the Northern New Mexico region. Our thorough understanding of the applicable laws has enabled us to obtain settlements for individuals in a variety of difficult situations.

Whether your claim relates to catastrophic injury, wrongful death, personal injury, or medical malpractice, chances are good that we’ve handled similar cases in the past.

At Hunt Law, we approach every case with understanding and compassion. Contact us today and let us know how we can serve you.

Cop car flashing lights at night

The Importance of a Police Report in Your Personal Injury Case

If you are injured as a result of someone’s negligence or recklessness, you will need to prove they are liable for your injuries. If you are unable to prove liability using evidence, you will not be able to recover compensation. A police report is one of the most valuable pieces of evidence you can use to prove liability. Here’s why.

How to File a Police Report

A police report is filed after a police officer responds to an incident. It is usually created on-site and can be accessed shortly after the incident. A police report contains a description of the incident as well as the officer’s perception of what occurred.

Additionally, a police report can be filed if the victim goes to the police station within 24 hours of the accident and asks to file a report. In these instances, the victim will usually be interviewed by officers at the station prior to the submission of their report.

If you need to go to the hospital after the accident, you can also request that the police meet you at the hospital to file their report.

What is included in a police report?

A police report contains all of the following information:

  • The time and location of the incident
  • All parties involved in the incident
  • The officer’s personal opinions on the liable party
  • Witness contact information
  • Statements from all relevant parties
  • Citations
  • Description of any property damage or injuries

After the officer takes your information, make sure to ask for a copy of the police report. Depending on where you live, the officer may be able to give you a copy of the report immediately. If you are unable to obtain a copy of the police report right after the accident, contact the department that responded and request a copy.

A Police Report Is Important for Personal Injury Cases

Once the at-fault party’s insurance company learns of the accident, it will request a copy of the police report. From there, it will turn the report over to its insurance adjuster, who will subsequently evaluate its contents and make a decision regarding what transpired and who is to blame.

After they have finished their initial evaluation, the insurance adjuster will conduct their own investigation. Once this is completed, the adjuster may agree with the contents of the police report or object to some of the information while agreeing with other information.

If the insurance adjuster feels you are liable for the damages and pushes back against the police report, having the police corroborate your version of the story in the report can greatly bolster your case.


Unfortunately, police reports are not typically counted as admissible evidence in court. That is because the court considers the information therein to be hearsay. However, police reports can come in handy during settlement negotiations. 

A qualified personal injury attorney will understand how to use the police report as leverage during negotiations to advocate for a fair settlement claim. While the report itself may not be admissible, the information in it can be used to construct an airtight case. 

Injured? Contact Hunt Law Today

If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, Hunt Law wants to hear from you. We have nearly two decades of experience serving the Northern New Mexico area in matters related to personal injury, catastrophic injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death.

Our years of experience helping people just like yourself have given us a valuable understanding of the law that we will gladly use to assist you with your case. Contact Hunt Law today and let us know how we can help.

Person putting on seat belt

3 Steps to Take if Your Child Was Injured in a Car Accident

A car crash in New Mexico can be a frightening experience, especially if your child is a passenger in the car. While you can take steps to protect yourself before and after the accident, your child’s health and well-being before and after a crash will depend on you. 

Thankfully, the steps you should take to safeguard your child are not difficult to remember or perform. Like the actions you should take to protect your own health and legal rights, the following three steps can help ensure your child’s injuries are properly treated and full compensation for the damage done is available.

Do These 3 Things if a Negligent Driver Hurts Your Child

The suddenness of a car accident can be traumatic, upsetting, and panic-inducing to your child. Going over the following actions with your child ahead of time can help them feel reassured that you have things under control in the event of an accident. 

Knowing what to expect after a wreck can also calm your child and prepare them to assist you as you help them.

1. Assess the Severity of Your Child’s Injuries

Your child may not know the extent of their injuries, or they may not be able to express clearly how they have been hurt. It will fall on you to determine whether their injuries are severe and what response is appropriate.

If you notice any of the following about your child or their injuries, you should consider calling 911 and asking for emergency help. Otherwise, you should get your child to an emergency room right away if they:

  • Are bleeding profusely or have abrasions over a large portion of their body
  • Lose consciousness for any time or complain of a severe headache
  • Experience tingling or numbness in their extremities
  • Say they cannot move or experience pain when trying to move their arms or legs

As you should with your own injuries, if you have any questions about the severity of any injuries, err on the side of caution by getting your child to a hospital as soon as possible.

2. Make Sure You Get Your Child to All Follow-Up Appointments

Next, make sure you understand any follow-up treatment your child will need and make every effort to keep appointments and follow any at-home treatment directions. Not only will doing this help your child make as full of a physical recovery as possible, but it will help strengthen your claim for damages relating to your child’s care and treatment.

3. Encourage Your Child to Keep a Journal

If your child is old enough to express their thoughts and feelings through writing, encourage them to keep a special journal about how the car accident has made them feel. Remind them that no feeling is “wrong,” and they should feel free to write as much or as little as they want. 

If your child needs therapy, this journal may provide helpful insights into your child’s thinking so the therapist can better assist your child. Additionally, depending on the thoughts your child writes down, a journal could help corroborate a claim for compensation for emotional damages your child sustained because of the crash.

Seek Out Experienced Help from a New Mexico Car Accident Lawyer

Last, both you and your child could benefit immensely from a knowledgeable and seasoned attorney. A car wreck lawyer can review the facts of your case and injuries and help you obtain compensation from the at-fault party. 

If you are prepared to move forward with a trustworthy advocate by your side, contact the New Mexico car personal injury law firm, Hunt Law.

tea light candles lit

Wrongful Death Claims: What if the Victim Was Partially at Fault?

Personal injury cases can quickly become complicated, and the same holds true for wrongful death claims. One circumstance that can quickly cause confusion and lead to missed opportunities for compensation is when the injured party contributes to the accident.

Courts throughout the country handle the issue of contributory negligence in one manner or another. The way in which the state addresses contributory negligence in ordinary car crash cases is the same way the court will handle the issue if it appears in a wrongful death lawsuit.

How New Mexico Handles Contributory Negligence

Contributory negligence is a situation in which the victim’s negligence contributes to the overall picture of the accident. When this occurs, states are free to decide how that might impact an injured party’s right to recovery, if at all. 

Every state’s laws hold that contributory negligence affects the victim’s right to recover damages in some way. However, there are differences between the states as to what precise effect contributory negligence has.

On one end of the spectrum, there are states that bar victims from recovering any damages if they contribute to their own injuries in any way. They do not care if they were also injured due to another’s negligence. 

Most state laws are not so absolute. While they do stipulate that any contributory negligence will reduce the compensation you are eligible to receive, they still allow you to recover some damages if you are not the primary cause of the accident.

New Mexico finds itself in a third group of states that follow what is known as a pure comparative negligence model. This model says that no matter how much your own negligence contributed to your accident and injuries, you retain the right to seek damages. However, the damages you are entitled to would be reduced in proportion to the role your negligence played in the accident.

For example, suppose that you were hurt in a car accident at an intersection and sustained $100,000 in damages. Because you were not paying attention to the road, though, the jury determined that you were 50 percent responsible for the crash. In this situation, you would be eligible to recover $50,000 in damages from the other party.

Pure Comparative Negligence and Wrongful Death Lawsuits

The issue of a decedent’s contributory negligence would impact a wrongful death recovery in the same manner. The amount recoverable from an at-fault party whose negligence led to a loved one’s death would be reduced in proportion to the amount of fault attributable to the decedent.

Suppose again that your loved one perished in a car accident at an intersection. They sustained $100,000 in final medical expenses prior to passing away, but a jury determined the decedent was texting on their phone at the time of the crash.

As a result, your loved one was deemed 50 percent responsible for the crash. The person bringing the wrongful death statute would then only be able to recover $50,000 in damages.

Get Help with Your New Mexico Wrongful Death Suit

A wrongful death lawsuit is your family’s opportunity to hold a negligent person or entity responsible for the damage their actions caused in taking the life of your loved one. There are numerous situations and circumstances that could potentially limit your family’s right to recovery. 

The advice of an attorney familiar with New Mexico’s personal injury laws and wrongful death statutes is often needed to ensure you receive full and fair compensation. 

If your loved one has been killed by the negligence of another anywhere within New Mexico, including Roswell and Santa Fe, contact Hunt Law for experienced and compassionate assistance.

Woman signing personal injury document

First-Party vs. Third-Party Personal Injury Claims: What’s the Difference?

When you’re considering the difference between a first-party injury claim and a third-party injury claim, a central question is being addressed — “Who is responsible for your injuries?” 

You might know that a person is responsible for paying you damages if they act carelessly and thereby cause injury to you. But that party may not be the one from whom you choose to seek damages.

In a personal injury case, such as a car accident or a slip and fall at a retail establishment, insurance companies are the ones that will primarily pay for some, if not all, of the costs of your injuries. 

After you have been hurt, you have a choice as to whether to file a claim against your own insurance company or the insurer of the negligent party. There are benefits and drawbacks to be aware of with each choice.

First-Party Claims Are Filed with Your Insurance Company

A first-party claim is so named because the insurer pays benefits directly to its own insured. 

Thus, when you file a first-party claim, you are filing an insurance claim against your own insurer. You are telling the insurance company you have suffered an event covered under the terms of your insurance policy and are asking the company to pay you benefits accordingly.

A first-party insurance injury claim is demanding that your insurance company honor its contractual agreement with you. As long as the event is covered by the terms of the policy, your insurance company has an obligation to pay you the benefits it agreed to pay. Such obligation is limited by the policy and any restrictions contained therein.

For example, suppose your car insurance policy says that your insurer will pay you up to $25,000 for medical bills in the event of an accident. You are hurt in a crash, and you file a first-party claim. Absent some limitation in the policy itself, your insurance company would be required to pay your claim whether you were at fault or not.

Because payment of a first-party claim does not depend on complicated issues like fault, you can usually receive benefits much faster and with less hassle than filing a third-party claim. However, there may be consequences for filing a first-party claim. Most notably, you will have to pay any deductible required by your policy.

Third-Party Claims Are Filed with the Negligent Party’s Insurance Company

By contrast, a third-party claim is filed with the insurance company insuring the other party in your accident. Again, suppose that you are hurt in a car accident but believe the other driver is responsible for causing the crash. 

You do not want to pay a deductible or risk your rates increasing because of a first-party claim, so you elect to file a claim against the other driver’s insurance policy. This would be a third-party claim.

In a third-party claim, the other insurance company has no contractual responsibility to you. Instead, they are only required to pay your claim if it is shown that their insured customer is responsible for causing you harm and liable to you for damages. 

While there is no requirement for you to pay a deductible, you may have to prove the other person’s fault before their insurer will pay your claim.

Contact Hunt Law Today if You Have Been Injured

Your New Mexico personal injury legal team at Hunt Law Firm is available to help you recover damages following a personal injury accident. Contact us today, and we can assist you in recovering compensation through either a first- or a third-party injury claim.

Person walking on cross-walk

What Are the Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?

Visitors and residents of the greater Las Vegas area enjoy year-round warm weather and dozens of tourist attractions. As a result, the city and suburbs have higher pedestrian traffic than many other parts of the country, from tourists experiencing the thrill of the Strip to the city’s many shopping centers and walkable recreation areas. 

Unfortunately, this also means that there are plenty of areas where a Las Vegas pedestrian could be involved in an accident.

Knowing the most common causes of pedestrian accidents can help you take steps to avoid one and keep yourself safe. However, if the unthinkable happens and you are struck by a vehicle, an experienced Las Vegas pedestrian accident lawyer can help you recover compensatory damages.

Avoiding a Pedestrian Accident in Las Vegas

According to the U.S. Centers For Disease Control (CDC), children and teenagers are the highest-risk demographic for car collisions. In 2020, one in five children killed in a traffic collision were pedestrians. 

But being young isn’t the only risk for a pedestrian accident. Elderly people tend to suffer the most serious injuries in pedestrian collisions because their bones may not be as strong as those of a younger adult.

Avoiding these common causes of pedestrian accidents in Las Vegas can help keep you and your loved ones safe:

Drivers Failing to Yield

Drivers may fail to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing an intersection at a crosswalk. Understanding when pedestrians always have the right-of-way and when pedestrians and cars must take turns using the street can help reduce these kinds of accidents.

Drivers Traveling at Unsafe Speeds

Speeding in residential areas can cause serious injuries to pedestrians taking a walk or children playing in the street and sidewalk. Many residential areas in Las Vegas have speed limits under 30 mph, but even a car going 30 mph can seriously injure someone. 

The faster the car is going, the longer it takes to come to a stop to avoid hitting a pedestrian.

Drivers Turning Left or Right

When a driver is turning left or right, they may be turning into the path of a pedestrian in a crosswalk or who has the right-of-way to cross the street. 

Drivers should look for pedestrians who may be at the corner and anticipate that the person may cross the street into their turning path. If the pedestrian has the right-of-way, the driver should wait to make their turn.

Perils in a Parking Lot

Parking lots are full of distractions and hazards. Drivers may be looking behind them when backing out of a spot or focusing on searching for a parking space, unaware of pedestrians nearby. 

Both pedestrians and drivers should remain vigilant of their surroundings in a parking lot. Pedestrians must understand that a driver may not see them and pay attention to cars backing out or tuning. Drivers should also anticipate that a pedestrian may try to cross in front of them, and take care to drive slowly.

Drivers Under the Influence

Drinking or using drugs and driving is illegal, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen. 

Drivers under the influence pose a serious threat to anyone on the road, including pedestrians. Their reflexes may be compromised, and their inhibitions may be lowered to the point that they take unnecessary risks.

Distracted Drivers

Texting and driving, or otherwise being distracted behind the wheel, is one of the leading causes of traffic collisions. If a driver is checking a message or even looking at GPS directions, then they aren’t paying attention to the road.

Keep Safe While Walking in Las Vegas

Knowing the risks of being hit by a car in Las Vegas can help you stay safe. Always check before crossing a street, even if you have the right-of-way, and stay cautious at night, as the risk of encountering drunk drivers increases. 

If you’ve been the victim of a catastrophic car accident injury in northern New Mexico, the compassionate and skilled team of personal injury lawyers of Hunt Law may be able to help. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.