Understanding Personal Injury Laws in New Mexico: A Comprehensive Guide

A personal injury from an unexpected accident in New Mexico may leave victims feeling helpless and confused. Adding insult to injury, victims of personal injuries often suffer severe monetary losses due to unexpected medical costs and lost wages. Thankfully, when someone else's carelessness results in your injuries, you may be able to seek compensation via a personal injury claim. What's more, an attorney who specializes in personal injury law can represent you if you have suffered injuries and assist you in recouping financial damages linked with such injuries.

With that said, a few different statutes in the state of New Mexico govern the process of making claims for compensation for personal injuries. It's essential to have these conversations with a seasoned personal injury attorney who can assist injured parties in understanding personal injury law to get the most favorable potential settlement or verdict at trial. In the meantime, read our rundown of personal injury law in New Mexico to learn more about your options in the aftermath of an injury-causing accident.

How to Determine Liability in a New Mexico Personal Injury Case

First and foremost, while preparing your case, you should look into the "statute of limitations" for your state, which states how long you have to file a lawsuit after an accident. In New Mexico, the time restriction for filing a lawsuit after an accident is three years. In order to protect your right to seek compensation for your injuries, it is essential to keep track of the statute of limitations. Moreover, New Mexico law mandates that the party at fault pay for any damages they cause, whether to people or property.

Claims in this state are likewise evaluated under state's pure comparative negligence standard. In other words, the law allows someone who is 90% at fault in an accident to still submit a claim for compensation, but they can only earn 10% of the total settlement. When an injured individual is found to be somewhat at fault for their own accident or injury, the comparative fault rule kicks in.

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 Laws in New Mexico: A Comprehensive GuideNonetheless, 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

A complex set of regulations and statutes governs personal injury claims in New Mexico. If the injured person is a New Mexico government agent or employee, for instance, they have 90 days to make a claim against their government employers for negligence in New Mexico. Again, you have two years from the time of your injury to file a claim against the state if you are a citizen (and not a government employee) who was hurt. The statute of limitations for filing a claim is extended until the injured party's ninth birthday if the injured person is a child younger than seven.

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.

Contact Will Ferguson & Associates 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 each step of your legal claim if we determine that you and your family are eligible for a possible settlement. Reach out to our personal injury lawyers in New Mexico as soon as you can 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