In most states, you can sue for financial compensation if you've been hurt due to someone else's carelessness or negligence. Of course, a handful of statutes and other laws specifically govern personal injury claims in New Mexico, and if you've suffered injuries at the hands of another party, it's important to know your rights under these laws.
To better prepare for a favorable settlement or trial verdict, consulting a seasoned personal injury attorney in New Mexico about these issues is essential. Accident victims, whether injured in a car crash or on a property owner's premises, may recover financial damages to cover medical costs, loss of income, emotional trauma, and more.
Contact a personal injury lawyer in New Mexico immediately if you've been hurt due to another person's carelessness. In the meantime, read on to learn more about New Mexico's statute of limitations and other personal injury laws.
First and foremost, the state of New Mexico is a fault state, meaning that a person who caused an accident must pay for the damages. The state also applies a criterion of pure comparative negligence to claims.
Hence, legally, even if a person was 90% at fault for an accident, they could still make a claim, despite being limited to a maximum 10% share of the total settlement. In other words, comparative fault statutes apply when an injured party is judged to have contributed in some way to the cause of their own accident or injury.
A "statute of limitations" stipulates how long you have after an accident before you must file a lawsuit in any state and is arguably the best place to start when it comes to planning your case.
There is a three-year statute of limitations in New Mexico from the time of an accident during which a lawsuit may be filed. Of course, it's crucial to maintain tabs on the statute of limitations to safeguard your right to seek compensation for your injuries.
Moreover, the other side may use the statute of limitations as a defense if you don't submit your civil claim by the due date. This means they can ask the court to dismiss your case since you missed the deadline. If your lawsuit is dismissed, you will permanently be barred from pursuing legal action.
The statute of limitations for bringing a lawsuit begins when the victim knows or should have known that they sustained an injury.
That said, there are exceptions to New Mexico's statute of limitations. In certain cases, a postponement "tolls" or effectively extends the statute of limitations.
In New Mexico, personal injury claims are subject to unique sets of regulations and laws.
Using the example above, if the injured party is a government agent or employee of New Mexico and wishes to submit a claim against the state, the employee must file their claim against negligent government employers within 90 days in the state of New Mexico. If the claim is unsuccessful, the employee loses the right to bring a claim against the state.
In contrast, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a claim against the state if you are a civilian who was hurt and are doing so as a plaintiff (and not as a government employee).
Furthermore, statutes of limitations can vary for civil claims, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case in question. Here are a few common statutes of limitations for civil cases in New Mexico:
For instance, the statute of limitations is often tolled when the injured party is a minor or legally disabled and incapacitated. Physical or mental impairment both qualify as causes of incapacity. For the former, the statute of limitations in New Mexico does not start until the injured victim is no longer a minor.
And in the latter scenario, the clock on New Mexico's statute of limitations begins ticking whenever the mentally or physically disabled individual reaches the age of majority or regains capacity. However, after the plaintiff turns 18 or is no longer disabled, they only have one extra year in which to file suit.
As mentioned above, some lawsuits against federal, state, and municipal governments also fall under exceptions to our state's statute of limitations. That said, these government officials are sometimes immune to certain injury lawsuits, limiting a victim's ability to collect damages. In cases where a personal injury claim can be filed against government authorities, the statute of limitations may even be shorter.
The length of time you have to lodge a claim under New Mexico's civil statute of limitations is determined by the specifics of your case and the kind of lawsuit you want to file. Thankfully, an experienced attorney can identify the appropriate cause of action and guarantee that your lawsuit is filed within the appropriate time allotted based on your case's circumstances.
Victims of any personal injury must cope with a number of frustrating, stressful consequences in the aftermath. Needless to say, it's important for victims to seek the advice of a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible when they've been injured by another person's negligence in New Mexico.
If you or a loved one has been injured in New Mexico due to another party's careless actions, please don't hesitate to contact our team at Will Ferguson & Associates.
Whether you've sustained injuries in a car accident or a slip-and-fall incident, you can count on our experienced accident lawyers to fight for your legal rights. Call us at (505) 243-5566 to schedule your first free consultation and find out more about your legal options at this time. If you and your family are qualified for a settlement, we will handle every element of your claim.
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