What Are 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 a plaintiff for a damage, injury, or loss. At the beginning of an injured party's claim, many of the compensatory damages are unknown. It is essential to begin the process of identifying and locating all the necessary evidence to prove these damages.
At trial, the plaintiff requests that the jury or judge award 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, provided the evidence supports a jury instruction on each respective damage element.
Instead of developing the evidence to support the award of a specific amount, other "injury lawyers" simply approach their cases by identifying an "anchoring" number. They say, "we'll, three times the meds is a good settlement." Sometimes they say this to the prospective client less shortly after meeting the prospective client and verifying the facts.
Other lawyers describe damages the 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.