Suffering injuries in an accident due to another party’s negligence is frustrating and undoubtedly stressful. When someone else is at fault for your injuries, you have the right to file a claim against them.
However, there are filing deadlines that you must meet. Failure to meet these deadlines means the judge could throw your case out, and you will receive no compensation. One of the most critical deadlines is the New Mexico personal injury statute of limitations.
If you need assistance after a personal injury accident in New Mexico, let the compassionate and experienced attorneys at Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C. assist you.
It’s best to contact our office soon after the incident or accident. That way, we can gather evidence and ensure you don’t miss any filing deadlines.
What Is the New Mexico Personal Injury Statute of Limitations?
If you sustained injuries in a personal injury accident, you typically have three years to file a lawsuit from the date of the accident. That covers various claims, including auto accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, medical malpractice, etc.
While this is the general rule, there are some exceptions. You should not assume that any exceptions that extend the deadline apply to you without first speaking with a knowledgeable lawyer.
Common Exceptions to the Three-Year Personal Injury Statute of Limitations in New Mexico
There are some common exceptions to the general deadline of three years from the accident date that you should be aware of. One or more of these may apply to you.
Personal injury claims that involve property damage fall under a four-year deadline. If you sustained injuries and property damage, you would need to file a lawsuit asking for both types of damages under the statute for injury auto accidents.
Waiting until the fourth year to include your bodily injury damages means you missed the statutory limitation period, and you’ll likely get no award for your injuries.
Minors and Incapacitated Persons
Under New Mexico law, there are special rules regarding people under eighteen and those declared incapacitated by the court. Rather than having three years under the general New Mexico statute of limitations for personal injury, you have one year following the termination of such incapacity.
For someone under eighteen years of age, that means the law gives them a year following their eighteenth birthday to file a lawsuit before the personal injury statute of limitations expires.
Wrongful death claims also have a three-year limitation period. However, the timing is slightly different. Rather than three years from the date of the accident, you have three years from the date of death. This is an important distinction as it could significantly impact when the filing deadline is.
Claims Against the Government
Is one of your defendants a public employee or government agency? If so, you’ll find the rules are very different. You must file a notice within 90 days before you even consider filing a lawsuit. This is a concise timeframe, which is why we recommend contacting an attorney right after the accident.
If you preserve your rights with the 90-day filing, you only have two years to file a lawsuit under the New Mexico personal injury statute of limitations and the Tort Claims Act.
This also applies to minors in this context, unless they are under seven years old. A child under seven years old has until their ninth birthday to file a claim.
Medical malpractice claims have complex filing deadlines.
The general rule is still three years from the date of harm (regardless of when you discovered the malpractice); however, the date differs for children and incapacitated people. These individuals have one year from and after the age of majority or termination of incapacity.
The three-year filing deadline also applies only to “qualified” healthcare professionals under the Medical Malpractice Act. To qualify, the healthcare provider pays an extra fee and must file proof of liability insurance or deposit a certain amount of money with the superintendent of insurance.
Healthcare providers that are “unqualified” means your claim falls under the “discovery rule.” This means that the clock doesn’t start running with these claims until you discover the malpractice.
Medical malpractice claims also require that you present a claim to the New Mexico Medical Review Commission before you can file a lawsuit in court.
This process can also toll (or pause) the statute of limitations, which means the clock stops until you receive a final decision from the panel reviewing your claim.
Contact Our New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyers Today
Determining the proper personal injury statute of limitations in New Mexico can be confusing. You don’t need to try and figure it all out on your own.
Contact or call (800) 433-2408 to reach the skilled legal team at Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C. to schedule an initial consultation. Our firm has been representing injured victims in New Mexico since 1984. We understand how these claims work and what the filing deadlines are.
Our New Mexico personal injury attorneys will help protect your rights and ensure your case meets all the filing deadlines. Let us review your case and assist you in any way possible. You should be concentrating on your recovery, not the legal nuances of when to file a lawsuit in time.