Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need an attorney for my case?
We believe that an attorney’s role is to provide legal services to a client to assist the client through a legal system that can often be complicated and difficult and help the client maximize their recovery. There are some cases in which retaining an attorney may not increase the client’s recovery. At Sanchez & Piñon, our attorneys will discuss this with you, taking into consideration your unique facts and circumstances, and if your case is one where hiring an attorney would not likely result in an added benefit, our attorneys will let you know this. At Sanchez & Piñon, we believe that attorneys provide a service to not only their clients, but to the public and we will give you our honest opinion regarding your case, even if that means you do not ultimately end up hiring our firm. After you have been injured in an accident, your job is to work hard at getting back to your normal. Let our job be working on your claim so you can focus on getting back to you.
How much will it cost to hire Sanchez & Piñon to represent me or my loved ones?
Our attorneys at Sanchez & Piñon work on personal injury cases on a contingency fee. This means that Sanchez & Piñon is paid a percentage of the client’s recovery in a case. It does not cost you anything to hire Sanchez & Piñon. If you do hire Sanchez & Piñon to represent you in your personal injury case, you do not pay any attorney fees unless we are successful in obtaining a recovery for you. While costs incurred in your case, (i.e. costs for obtaining records or other documents in your case or litigation expenses), cannot be waived and are each client's responsibility, if we are not successful in obtaining a recovery for you, you will not have to pay an attorney fee. Sanchez & Piñon provides free consultations. We are happy to speak with you about your case, the particular facts and offer our opinions to you on your case, without charge to you. Please call Sanchez & Piñon for your free consultation that can be done over the phone or scheduled for an in-office consultation.
When should I contact an attorney about my case?
If you are thinking about hiring an attorney to pursue your case, it is best to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Even if you are unsure if you should hire an attorney, call Sanchez & Piñon to discuss your case and any questions you may have about hiring an attorney or your particular case. Our attorneys at Sanchez & Piñon will be happy to discuss your questions and your case, without any charge to you. We provide a free consultation, whether it is a quick phone call, a telephone consultation, or scheduled meeting at our office. Additionally, and importantly, depending on the unique facts of your case, there may be various deadlines for notices that must be provided to individuals and entities in as little as 90 days from the date of your injury, or you risk losing the ability to make any recovery. Finally, the sooner you call our office, our attorneys can request that evidence and information in your case be preserved and retained before it is disposed or destroyed, investigate the scene where you were injured or locate and speak to crucial witnesses.
Should I talk to the insurance adjusters and companies before I contact or hire a lawyer?
You are under no obligation to speak to an insurance adjuster or company, other than reporting the accident to your own insurance company. Many insurance adjusters and companies contact you immediately, trying to minimize the amount of recovery you can obtain from the onset. Such statements can be used against you in the future. Insurance adjusters may also try to offer you quick money before they – and even you – know the full extent of your injuries and damages. If you would like to speak to an adjuster, we encourage you to call Sanchez & Piñon before you do.
How long do I have to take legal action?
The amount of time that you have to either settle your case or have filed a lawsuit in your case varies and depends on the unique facts and circumstances in your case. If you do not meet this deadline, you could lose your right to make any recovery, regardless of fault or the amount of damages you have. Because there is not one standard deadline that applies, it is best to contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss what deadlines apply to your unique case. Our attorneys at Sanchez & Piñon would be happy to discuss any applicable deadlines with you.
What is my case worth?
Each case is unique and has different facts, parties and circumstances. There is not one standard measure of damages for cases. Factors that may affect the value of a case are the nature and extent of the injuries, the medical treatment of those injuries, how long the injuries last, whether the injuries are permanent, whether you missed time from work due to the injuries, whether there is comparative fault and whether punitive damages apply to your case. Sanchez & Piñon would be happy to discuss your case with you when you call our office.
How long will it take to resolve my case?
The length of time it will take to resolve your case depends on a few different factors. The main factor is the type and extent of your injuries and the length of time you require treatment for those injuries. Healing takes time. It is important to be certain about the extent of your injuries, the treatment required to treat those injuries and what, if any, future treatment will be required to treat your injuries before you resolve your case. If you are able to resolve your case before going to trial, the insurance company will require a Release, which is a contract you sign that you are forever “releasing” or giving up any further claims against the other parties and their insurance companies. Once your case is settled, it is final and closed. Resolving a case prematurely may leave you without any recourse if additional problems should arise.
I was hurt and it was not my fault. Do I have to use my own health insurance to get treated for my injuries?
If you have health insurance, it is best to use it to get the medical attention you need. Unfortunately the insurance companies will not pay for your medical expenses as you incur the charges for each doctor’s or other medical provider’s visit. Therefore, your medical expenses will be building up, unpaid. It is best for your health insurance to pay for the medical attention you need. Once your case is resolved, the money your health insurance paid for your necessary medical attention is paid by the persons or entities responsible for causing your injuries. Our attorneys would be happy to discuss your particular situation in detail with you when you call our office.
How do I get treatment for my injuries if I don’t have any health insurance or money to pay the doctors?
Even if you don’t have health insurance or the money to pay the doctors up front, there still may be ways of getting seen by a doctor. If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident, check with your own insurance company to see if you have “Medical payments” coverage. This is an amount of money that is available to pay for medical care you require if you are injured by a motor vehicle. It may enable you to get the treatment you need quickly.
There may be other insurance policies in effect that could help pay for your necessary medical care, depending on the unique circumstances of your case. If necessary, Sanchez & Piñon may also be able to recommend reputable doctors and other medical providers who may be able to see you in the absence of health insurance. These providers may be able to wait to be paid until you have resolved your case. Please call our office and our attorneys will discuss with you your particular circumstances and the best options for getting you the medical attention you need.
What do I tell my doctors when I go to get treatment for my injuries?
It is always important to be honest and truthful with your doctors and medical providers. You should describe all symptoms and problems you are experiencing to your medical providers. It is also important that you do not exaggerate your injuries or symptoms. Exaggerating your injuries or symptoms can harm your case and your ability to recover. Additionally, your doctors and medical providers need to know what is going on so they can treat you properly.
The person who is at fault for my injuries does not have insurance. Am I able to recover for my damages?
If you were hurt by an uninsured driver and if you have uninsured motorist coverage, or a family member that lives in your same household has uninsured motorist coverage, it is likely that you can recover under your own or your family member’s uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is very important to have in New Mexico, to protect you if you are injured by an uninsured driver. Unfortunately, New Mexico has a large percentage of uninsured drivers. Call our office to discuss how uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage works in New Mexico. Our attorneys will be glad to discuss it with you.
I was injured in a hit and run incident. Can I recover for my injuries and damages?
If you were a victim of a hit and run incident, and if you have uninsured motorist coverage or a family member that lives with you does, you may be able to recover from your those uninsured motorist insurance policies. Call our office to discuss with our attorneys where you may be able to find insurance coverage for your particular case.
I was injured as a pedestrian by a vehicle. Can I recover for my injuries and damages?
Yes. If you know the vehicle that injured you as pedestrian, you can make a claim against the motor vehicle insurance company for that driver, vehicle or owner of the vehicle. If you do not know the identity of the vehicle that injured you as a pedestrian, and you or a family member that lives with you has uninsured motorist coverage, you may be able to recover from those uninsured motor vehicle policies. Our attorneys would be happy to discuss your particular case with you.
I was injured by an uninsured person and do not have uninsured motorist coverage. Can I recover for my injuries and damages?
Each case has its own unique set of facts, parties and circumstances. Even if you are not sure if there is any insurance available or believe that there is not, call Sanchez & Piñon and our attorneys will discuss your case with you. Sometimes there may be a party or entity that has responsibility for causing your injuries that you did not think of or we are able to find insurance that may apply in your case. Our attorneys provide free consultations. Call our office before you give up on finding any method for recovery for your injuries and damages.
Does Sanchez & Piñon handle other types of cases?
Sanchez & Piñon handles all types of personal injury cases. We have handled several hundred personal injury cases for people all throughout New Mexico. We have worked on automobile accidents, motorcycle accidents, trucking accidents, slip and fall accidents, dog attacks, medical malpractice, wrongful death and other injury cases. Sanchez & Piñon also handles other types of insurance cases as well. Call our office and our attorneys will be glad to discuss your claim with you and how we may be able to help you.