How long do I have to file my personal injury claim?
After any accident, the accident victim will have a limited time within which to file a claim against the individual or entity believed to have caused the incident. This period of time is known as the statute of limitations. Every state sets its own statute of limitations for civil cases. If you attempt to file your claim after the statute of limitations has passed, your claim could be dismissed. As such, it is critical that New Mexico accident victims research the statute of limitations applicable to their case and seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney to file their claim in a timely manner.
How Long is the Statute of Limitations?
It is essential for you to research the laws on statute of limitations for your specific state, as time limits vary widely by state. Statutes of limitations nationwide are as low as one year and as long as six years. In New Mexico, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is three years.
When Does the Statute of Limitations Begin?
In New Mexico, the clock starts for a person to sue another person when the injured party knew or should have known that he or she suffered a harm and the nature of the harm. For some personal injury claims, it is easy to determine a start date. For instance, injuries stemming from a car accident will usually start the clock on the day of the accident or shortly thereafter.
Medical malpractice claims can be more complex. At times, it will be years before a misdiagnosed patient uncovers the true nature of their injury. Surgical errors likewise may take time to surface. For this reason, the discovery of harm rule is extremely important in protecting the rights of medical malpractice victims.
Tolling the Clock
There are certain situations that will lead the statute of limitations clock to be tolled or stalled. For example, if an injured person is a child, the clock will not start running until he or she is no longer legally a minor. Serious mental disability can also toll the clock. If the clock has run on your claim, you can consult with a personal injury attorney to see if some exception may exist to allow you to still seek compensation.
Posted in: Personal Injury