Best Personal Injury Lawyers Albuquerque, NM Of 2024 – Forbes

5 minutes, 29 seconds Read

The following sections present an overview of essential laws and regulations that govern New Mexico’s personal injury cases.

New Mexico Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases

If you’re contemplating filing a lawsuit against the party responsible for your losses, you have limited time to do so. In New Mexico, the statute of limitations dictates the time frame you have to commence a civil action against the person or entity that caused the damages.

For personal injuries from a motor vehicle accident, medical malpractice, workplace accident or slip and fall incidents, the statute of limitations is three years. This means you have three years from when the incident’s occurrence to file a lawsuit for losses such as medical care expenses, lost income and pain and suffering.

In wrongful death cases, the same three-year rule applies, but the clock starts ticking from the date of the victim’s death, not the incident.

Some accidents may involve damage to a personal property. For example, if you’re in a car wreck, you will likely need to get your car repaired or replaced. If you want to sue the negligent party for property damage, you have four years from the accident to do so.

There are a few exceptional circumstances that can alter the time limit available to file a civil action:

  • Minor or mentally incapacitated: If the victim is under 18 or incapacitated, they have one year from their 18th birthday or from when the incapacitation is resolved to file a lawsuit.
  • Medical malpractice: In most cases, victims of medical malpractice have three years from the date of malpractice to sue. However, the onset of the three-year clock begins when the injury is discovered or reasonably should’ve been discovered. Also, if the victim is under six years of age, they have until their ninth birthday to sue.
  • Government agency: If you want to sue a government entity or a public employee, you must file a notice within 90 days of the incident citing the time, place and description of the injury or loss. After submitting the notice. you have two years from the incident date to file a lawsuit. The only exception is for victims under the age of seven years, who have until their ninth birthday to file a civil claim.

It is important to comply with the statute of limitations relevant to your circumstances. You don’t have to resolve your case within the allotted time, but you must file the necessary paperwork with the court within the deadline. Failure to do so may result in your lawsuit being dismissed. An Albuquerque personal injury attorney can analyze your case and determine your legal options and the time you have available for initiating a civil action.

Identifying Fault for a Personal Injury Cases

In a personal injury claim, you bear the burden of proving the defendant’s fault. For instance, if you want to move forward with a misdiagnosis lawsuit because the doctor gave you the wrong prognosis, you have to show how the physician was negligent and how that negligence resulted in your injuries and losses.

In New Mexico, the pure comparative negligence doctrine applies, which means the amount of damages you can collect is reduced based on the percentage of fault assigned to you for your injuries. As long as you’re not 100% at fault, you can still recover damages.

Here are a few examples that illustrate how this doctrine works if your total damages amount to $50,000:

  • Scenario 1: You were 50% at fault for the accident. In this case you can collect $25,000.
  • Scenario 2: The defendant was 30% at fault, and you were 70% at fault. In this case, you can collect $15,000.
  • Scenario 3: You were 90% at fault for the incident. In this case, you could still be entitled to receive $5,000.

The insurance company representing the defendant assigns an insurance adjuster to investigate your claim. They look for any evidence, for example, running a red light, speeding or not wearing a seat belt, to establish your negligence and potentially reduce your claim’s value.

The Insurance company will use various sources, including police reports, witness testimonies, photo and video evidence, and more, to determine fault. If your case goes to trial, the judge and jury will also consider the same evidence to attribute fault percentage to you and the defendant.

An experienced personal injury lawyer in Albuquerque will defend you from the at-fault party’s insurer or legal counsel’s attempts to push liability on you.

Damage Caps in New Mexico Personal Injury Cases

In personal injury lawsuits, you are entitled to receive three categories of damages:

  • Economic damages: These are monetary damages that represent the financial losses you have incurred due to your injuries. Examples include medical bills, hospital stays, medication costs, diagnostic tests and lab work, surgeries, physical therapy or rehabilitation expenses, missed wages and any out-of-pocket expenses directly related to the injury.
  • Non-economic damages: This category includes a range of damages that are not easily quantifiable but which are significant. This encompasses the loss of enjoyment of life, physical pain, mental and emotional distress as well as any psychological disorders resulting from the incident, such as depression, anxiety or PTSD.
  • Punitive damages: In rare and extreme cases, punitive damages may be awarded. The purpose of punitive damages is not to compensate you for your losses but to punish the defendant for their malicious or grossly negligent actions and to deter others from engaging in similar behavior in the future.

In most personal injury lawsuits, New Mexico does not place limits on how much of a verdict you can obtain for economic, non-economic and punitive damages. But, as always, there are some exceptions to this rule:

  • New Mexico places different damage caps on medical malpractice claims depending on whether you are suing a hospital, private health care provider or another entity. But note that the limits do not apply to punitive damages, medical care and related expenses. Here are a few caps pertaining to medical malpractice cases:
    •  $600,000 damage cap if the defendant is a healthcare provider, if the injury happened before January 1, 2022
    • $750,000 damage cap if the defendant is an independent healthcare provider (this cap will be adjusted for inflation every year beginning 2023)
    • $750,000 damage cap if the defendant is an independent outpatient health care facility for injuries that occurred in 2022 and 2023
  • If the defendant is a government entity or one of its employees, then your total damages are capped at $750,000 or $200,000 for property damage, $300,000 for medical expenses and $400,000 for pain and suffering.

Your personal injury attorney in New Mexico can help you calculate how much your case is worth.

This post was originally published on 3rd party site mentioned in the title of this site

Similar Posts