The Legal Process of a Personal Injury Claim in Mexico
Injuries happen without warning, and they can not be scheduled for a convenient time or place. Some injuries occur on vacation in Mexico and as a result, you may lose employment, wages and end up with financial debt for medical treatment and rehabilitation.
What if the incident was not your fault? Who is responsible for your loss? You may have a personal injury case on your hands. When accidents happen at no fault of your own, it is hard to think about what you need to do besides getting medical treatment. You need to think about the accident as a legal case. Collect evidence such as photos of the accident site, or the structure that caused the accident, for instance in slip and fall incidents ill-maintained or flooded walkways or poorly lit areas. Keep receipts for treatment and other expenses as these items are essential if you want to be reimbursed for your losses.
It is imperative to receive medical treatment and hire a Mexican personal injury attorney as soon as possible. When selecting a personal injury lawyer consider these points:
- Is the lawyer experienced in personal injury claims?
- How many personal injury cases has the law firm won? What compensation have they won for their clients?
- Does the firm have connections with expert witnesses who will contribute to building your case?
- How long does the lawyer expect to resolve this case and reimburse your financial loss?
- Does the lawyer work on a contingency basis? You will pay a retainer, but the majority of the legal fees will be deducted from the settlement.
- How frequently does the attorney go to trial? Will your lawyer fight for your case or settle quickly? Choose a lawyer who is willing to go to trial if it is necessary to receive a proper settlement. An experienced lawyer knows if your case warrants going to trial or if it makes more sense to settle out of court.
During the negotiation stage of the claim you will be required to provide the following documents:
- Receipts for fees and expenses for hospitals, clinics, and medical costs not covered by private or public insurance.
- If you have been reimbursed for any portion of the expenses, provide the payment receipt.
- Medical assessments and reports indicating any permanent or temporary disability and rehabilitation programs.
- Receipts for prescription drugs relating to this incident.
- Any other receipts relating directly to or as a cause of this incident such as transportation (plane, taxi, etc.) including extra fees for changing the date of your return flight.
- Any written statement made by you regarding this incident including emails.
- All correspondence received from the defendant concerning this claim.
- Hotel or excursion reservation and confirmation (if applicable).
- Lease contracts for vehicles (if applicable).
- Pictures of the incident, location, and injuries.
- Any other related documents.
- If there are other documents that you do not have or don’t have access to, please advise your lawyer.
Your lawyer will request that you stop any communications with the defendant and their representatives and refer any further discussions through your lawyer.
In Mexico, as in other jurisdictions, the process of obtaining a final settlement in any claim may take a considerable amount of time. On average, it may take between four to six months to negotiate a settlement depending on the amount of the claim. The more significant the amount, the longer it may take to obtain a settlement. During this process, your lawyer will determine whether or not the case can be settled out of court or if it will be necessary to litigate. If an agreement is arrived at, then the process ends with the payment of the settlement amount.
If litigation begins, it can take up to three years from start to finish before obtaining a final decision from the court. If you or the defendant appeal the verdict, it can take an additional two years for an outcome. From our experience, few cases are appealed unless the settlement in question is considerably large.
All documents that you provide in support of your lawsuit must be legalized and translated into Spanish. A certified translator must translate the documents, and the fees vary. MexLaw has an in-house accredited translator on staff at a reduced rate.
Finally, if your claim goes to court, you are required to provide a power of attorney appointing your legal counsel for the case. The average cost of having a power of attorney verified is approximately $150.00 USD and is payable to a notary public and the government authorities in your jurisdiction.
If you have been injured contact the MexLaw Personal Injury department to find out if you have a personal injury case. We dedicate our careers to representing people whose lives have been devastated by the carelessness of others. MexLaw has recovered more than 1 million USD in settlements for our clients.