A statute of limitations is, essentially, a time limit. It is the limited time you are able to file a claim with the court regarding a certain cause of action, such as a personal injury claim arising from a car accident or slip and fall. Failure to file your case within the statute of limitations will very likely result in your claim being barred as a matter of law, with some exceptions. This is why it is crucial to not only be aware of the statute of limitations regarding your personal injury claim, but to keep track of the time that has already elapsed so you do not miss your window of opportunity. Being mindful of the statute of limitations will protect your claim and, thus, your right to full and fair compensation for the injuries you sustained as the result of an accident caused by another person’s negligent action or inaction.
What are the Relevant Statute of Limitations in New Mexico for Personal Injury Claims?
In New Mexico, you have 3 years to file a personal injury claim and 4 years to file a property damage claim. The clock on these time limits starts from the time you sustained your injury or when a reasonable person would have discovered the injury or property damage. While this is the rule, there are still some exceptions to the statute of limitations that the court may honor and allow you to bring your claim after the statute of limitations has lapsed. For instance, if the defendant you are seeking to file a claim against has left the state, the court may allow some leeway with the statute of limitations and allow you to wait until the defendant comes back into the state.
You may also be allowed deferred filing of your claim if the defendant is dead, imprisoned, or on active military duty. If the defendant has died, you may be allowed to wait until a claim can be brought against his or her estate. If the defendant is incarcerated, you may be allowed to wait until he or she is released. If the defendant is on active military duty, you may be allowed to wait until he or she is on leave.
There are also some instances where the plaintiff and defendant come to a tolling agreement where they both agree to waive the statute of limitations. A delay in filing a claim may benefit both sides in certain situations. More time would give both sides an opportunity to do things like possibly negotiate a resolution without needing to go to court.
While there are exceptions in which the statute of limitations time frame may be extended, there are also exceptions where the statute of limitations may be smaller than the general 3 years for a personal injury claim and 4 years for a property damage claim. For instance, when a government entity is involved, the statute of limitations may be much more narrow. If you are planning on bringing a claim against a government entity time is most certainly of the essence as the statute of limitations is often much shorter.
Don’t Wait to Contact Us Regarding Your Personal Injury Claim
Waiting to do something about a personal injury claim risks your legal right to compensation. Don’t let the clock run out. MPJ Law Firm will waste no time in taking on your case and fighting to enforce your rights. Contact us today.
Posted in: Personal Injury