Understanding Personal Injury Law in New Mexico

In most states, you have the right to sue for financial recompense 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.

Needless to say, talking to a seasoned personal injury attorney in New Mexico about these issues is essential to better prepare for a favorable settlement or trial verdict.

Accident victims, whether they're 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 without delay if you've been hurt due to another person's carelessness. In the meantime, read on to learn more about personal injury law in New Mexico.

What Are New Mexico's Personal Injury Laws?

First and foremost, a "statute of limitations" specifies how long you have after an accident before you must bring 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. And it's crucial to maintain tabs on the statute of limitations in order to safeguard your right to seek compensation for your injuries.

Determining Fault in a New Mexico Injury Claim

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 for compensation, 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. 

How is Compensation Awarded in New Mexico?

Pain and suffering, the extent of injuries, and other losses are key factors in determining the value of an injury claim.

In addition, victims may seek other forms of compensation. Common examples of economic damages include hospital bills, lost wages, and car repairs, all of which can be easily calculated and documented.

Non-economic damages or losses, such as pain, suffering, and loss of consortium or companionship, are more nebulous but no less real than monetary damages.

What is Loss of Consortium?

The term "loss of consortium" refers to the inability to enjoy the benefits that come with having a close personal connection, such as those shared by spouses or partners.

When someone you care about is hurt or dies in an accident, you may feel a loss of companionship, comfort, or love. Thus, if your spouse, partner, or other close family member was hurt or killed because of another party, you may be able to submit a claim for loss of consortium.

Caps on Damages in New Mexico

Understanding Personal Injury Law in New MexicoNonetheless, state law often capped damage awards in personal injury lawsuits. Non-economic damages and damages in specific kinds of lawsuits, such as medical malpractice claims, are typically limited by these restrictions.

For instance, in medical negligence or malpractice situations, the maximum award for damages in New Mexico is $600,000. Punitive damages and medical expenses, both present and future, are excluded from this limit.

Keep in mind that this is only relevant to cases involving personal injury due to medical misconduct. Unlike several other states, New Mexico does not limit non-economic damages in most personal injury lawsuits, meaning that a jury may award as much as it thinks proper for pain and suffering.

Common Personal Injury Claims in New Mexico

Different rules and laws apply for various types of personal injury claims in New Mexico.

For example, if the injured party is a government agent or employee of New Mexico and wants to file a claim against the state, the employee must file their claim against negligent government employers within 90 days in New Mexico.

By contrast, if you're filing as an injured civilian (and not a government employee), you have two years from the date of your injury to make a claim against the state. If the injured party is a child under the age of seven, the claim deadline is extended to the injured party's ninth birthday.

Dog Bite Liability Under New Mexico Law 

For dog bites or attacks, if an injured party can prove that the owner "should have known" the dog (or another animal) was dangerous, the owner will be held accountable for any damages. 

However, the "one bite" rule is recognized under New Mexico law. Essentially, if a dog has never bitten someone forcefully before, its owner cannot be held responsible if the dog bites someone. That said, the one-bite rule isn't the only factor in determining whether or not a property owner is responsible for damages, so make sure you consult an attorney in any and all cases of personal injury.

Call a Personal Injury Attorney in New Mexico

Regardless of the type of accident they've endured, victims face an array of frustrating, devastating consequences while dealing with the aftermath. In the event that you've suffered injuries and other damages at the hands of a careless party in New Mexico, you should seek the counsel of an experienced attorney as soon as you can.

Contact us at Will Ferguson & Associates in New Mexico if a negligent party has left you or a loved one with injuries. Get in touch with our skilled accident attorneys at (505) 243-5566 to discuss your case and whether or not you have a right to financial recompense for your injuries.

We will handle every aspect of your legal claim if we determine that you and your family are eligible for a possible settlement. Reach out to us now for a free, no-risk initial consultation to discuss your case's specifics.

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    1720 Louisiana Blvd NE #100 Albuquerque, NM 87110
    Rio Rancho

    333 Rio Rancho Boulevard Northeast Rio Rancho, NM

    1720 Louisiana Blvd NE #100 Albuquerque, NM 87110
    Rio Rancho

    333 Rio Rancho Boulevard Northeast Rio Rancho, NM

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