Personal Injury and Insurance Bad Faith
Ms. Hemphill’s practice encompasses representing individuals in a wide variety of personal injury cases, including matters involving wrongful death, medical malpractice, sexual assault and automobile collisions. She has successfully litigated and recovered millions of dollars for clients who have sustained serious injuries from medical errors, construction equipment failures, defective medical devices, carbon monoxide poisoning and electrocution. Because insurance companies do not always treat people fairly, the successful pursuit of any personal injury case requires an understanding of the complex laws that govern insurance companies’ obligations to their insureds and to claimants. Ms. Hemphill brings many years of experience in insurance bad faith law to her practice.
In the late 1990s, Ms. Hemphill represented the family of a young man catastrophically injured when his motorcycle collided with a vehicle that had pulled partially into an intersection because of uncut weeds obstructing the driver’s view. After the insurance company refused to pay the policy limits available, Ms. Hemphill sued not only the driver of the vehicle, but the landowner who failed to cut back the weeds and the City which failed to enforce a weed cutting ordinance, resulting in a significant victory for her clients.
In 2008, Ms. Hemphill took a case to trial in which a drug and alcohol impaired driver lost control of his vehicle on gravel left by the New Mexico Department of Transportation in a center turn lane, causing him to kill a young couple and their unborn child. Although the trial court excluded evidence of other traffic fatalities in the same area under the doctrine of design immunity, Ms. Hemphill took the case all the way to the New Mexico Supreme Court. In January 2013, the New Mexico Supreme Court reversed the trial court and created important new law which dramatically limits the use of the design immunity doctrine where the government has notice of ongoing problems with a defectively designed roadway.
In December, 2012, Ms. Hemphill secured a $1,000,000 verdict against Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center on behalf of a patient who was over-medicated and suffered a near death experience, leaving her with post-traumatic stress disorder. Although New Mexico law limits the amount of compensatory damages that can be obtained against certain qualified medical providers to $600,000, because the verdict included $750,000 in punitive damages, Ms. Hemphill’s client was able to recover all of the damages awarded to her.
In addition, over the past ten years, Ms. Hemphill has been involved in hundreds of uninsured/underinsured motorist claims against New Mexico insurance companies and has acted as lead counsel in two class action lawsuits related to securing uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage benefits to New Mexico insureds. She is also presently serving as local counsel to approximately fifty New Mexico women whose mass tort cases involving transvaginal mesh injuries have been filed against manufacturers throughout the country.
Disclaimer: Past results are not a guarantee of future results. Every case is different and must be evaluated on its own merits.