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Proper Pleading in Personal Injury Cases

A very large portion of the people injured in automobile accidents which occur in New Mexico settle their claims with the insurance companies covering drivers who caused such accidents. For those who do not so resolve their claims either because the insurance company denies their insured is liable for the accident, because the claimant and the insurance company cannot agree on a settlement figure or because the three-year statute of limitation is set to expire, that injured claimant will have to file suit in a New Mexico court which has proper venue for the case.


Generally speaking, the process of filing or initiating the personal injury lawsuit is far from being the most difficult part of such a case. Later stages of the case such as producing documents and conducting depositions may require extremely painstaking preparation and savvy examination of witnesses. If the case goes all the way to trial, the stakes of the case and the uncertainty of how a jury may assess the case render that critical part of the contest particularly challenging. But all of that difficult work by trial attorneys could be for naught if mistakes are made at the beginning of the case during the pleading stage.


After a lawsuit is commenced by filing a document known as “the Complaint” with the clerk of court and serving that Complaint, along with a Summons to the Defendant, the first, or pleading, stage of the litigation itself begins. Very simply, this is the stage of the case in which the attorney for the plaintiff sets forth, or pleads, the claims being brought on behalf of the plaintiff. Each claim needs to identify the type of claim (such as a negligence one) being asserted, the defendant or defendants against whom it is asserted, a brief statement of why it is being asserted and the kind and, in some instances, the amount of compensation the plaintiff should receive for such claim. All claims should be included in the Complaint. While a plaintiff may have opportunities later in the case to amend the Complaint and raise new claims or modify ones that were previously raised, it is quite possible a case can be dismissed or severely hampered if this part of the case is not handled properly by counsel for the Plaintiff. The high imperative created by the need to plead all claims properly at the start of the case underscores the need to obtain representation by an attorney who not only performs the difficult aspects of personal injury litigation with skill and acumen but also takes the time to carefully and effectively handle the less dramatic parts of a personal injury case.    


The lawyers at Giddens & Gatton Law, P.C. represent injured individuals in personal injury suits in New Mexico, including those caused by motor vehicle accidents. Giddens & Gatton Law, P.C. is located at 10400 Academy Road N.E., Suite 350 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Call the office at (505) 633-6298 to set up an appointment or visit the firm’s website at for more information.

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10400 Academy Road NE
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Albuquerque, NM 87111

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