Serving New Mexico



A Catastrophic Accident?

Most of us never expect that we’ll face a life-changing accident, but the truth is that such accidents happen every day to those who least expect them. Catastrophic accidents–those accidents in which everything changes in a split-second–can turn your world upside-down. These severe accidents and the debilitating injuries that result from them aren’t looked at like normal injuries defined by pain and damage. Instead, such accidents are defined by how much they negatively change the victim’s life.

If you or someone that you love has been involved in a catastrophic accident, finding the right attorney to take your catastrophic accident case can be critically important for ensuring that you get the compensation that you need to face the life-changing effects of the accident as well as making the responsible party be held accountable.

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car accidents in new mexico

Commercial Vehicle Accidents

Commercial vehicle accidents happen daily in New Mexico. You must have a legal team that will fight for your rights and compensation.

18 Wheeler Accidents

When an 18 wheeler is involved in an accident on the New Mexico roads it can cause injuries, damage, and death. Speak to a lawyer to know your rights.

Drunk Driver Accidents

Drinking and driving is not only illegal it’s deadly. We know that these accidents happen multiple times per day in New Mexico and you must be protected.

Want to learn more about how we help fight for you?

What Categorizes an Injury as Catastrophic?

Injuries resulting from catastrophic accidents can have life-altering consequences. While there is no set legal definition as to what counts as a catastrophic injury, the distinguishing factor in general between catastrophic injuries and non-catastrophic injuries is the seriousness of the damage and the potential for recovery. Catastrophic injuries encompass the most severe injuries that a person can sustain; recovery can be long and arduous, and in some case, full recovery is simply not possible.

Many people with catastrophic injuries will require long-term or permanent live-in care or nursing assistance. Permanent disabilities such as paralysis often result from catastrophic accidents, and many who have gone through such an accident experience a permanent reduction in their quality of life.

Common catastrophic injuries include:

  • Severe burns
  • Loss of a limb or other significant disfigurement
  • Blindness
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Organ damage
  • Spinal cord injuries

In all of these cases, the victim often needs multiple surgeries to help correct the damage and extensive long-term rehabilitation therapy. Commonly, those who have experienced a catastrophic injury face a physical change which can affect their life deeply and forever.

How a Catastrophic Accident Case Differs From the Typical Personal Injury Claim

The severity and long-term nature of catastrophic injuries means that both medical expenses and the pain and suffering that the victim faces are going to be much higher than in a minor injury case. The level of compensation needed to cover the loss of function and long-term care following a catastrophic injury can be very high. Moreover, Texas law allows catastrophic accident victims to claim both economic and non-economic compensatory damages, including lost wages, emotional trauma, future medical expenses, and pain and suffering.

Unfortunately, the higher amount of monetary damages required to care for and compensate catastrophic accident victims often requires a greater legal effort. If the party responsible for the catastrophic accident was a corporation, their legal team can mount a formidable case. When the responsible party is an individual, their insurance company can become a barrier. Insurance companies typically fight high claims for ongoing medical expenses and pain and suffering, and the defendant’s insurance policy may have limits in place. If the damages exceed these limits, you’ll need to seek compensation from the defendant’s personal assets in a separate lawsuit.

In essence, the need for adequate compensatory damages following a catastrophic accident combined with the potential challenges to getting the full damages you are entitled to necessitates hiring an attorney with a strong track record representing catastrophic accident victims. At Ornelas & Serna Law, we have the experience and expertise necessary to handle your catastrophic accident case and fight to protect your rights.