Understanding New Mexico’s Statute of Limitations For Car Accidents
New Mexico’s statute of limitations for car accidents prevents the filing of an accident claim after a certain amount of time has passed. If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident in Albuquerque and fail to file a claim before the statute of limitations expires, you will lose your ability to collect compensation from the negligent party as a result of the accident. It’s critical that you swiftly contact a New Mexico personal injury attorney as soon as possible about your accident claim to avoid this situation. Your deadline to file a car accident claim may be different, however, depending on the type of lawsuit:
- If you’re filing a wrongful death claim, you will have exactly three years from the date of your loved one’s death.
- If you have a property damage-only lawsuit, you have four years from the date of the crash to file a claim in New Mexico.
- If you are bringing a case against the government in New Mexico, the time limit is two years of the date of injury.
Time Limits for Filing a Claim
The New Mexico statute of limitations for car accidents is three years from the date of the accident. If you fail to file your personal injury claim within that three-year window, you will likely lose the opportunity to ever seek compensation for the incident. Although three years may seem like a long time, it is never recommended to wait to file a claim until the last minute. Many things can occur that can damage your accident claim including evidence being lost, medical records becoming compromised, the offending driver could move, or any number of other things could happen that could affect the success of your claim. As soon as you have recovered enough from your accident, you should contact a trusted Albuquerque car accident attorney and get started on your claim.
What Happens If You Miss Your Timeline?
It’s crucial to file your car accident claim in New Mexico by the designated time limit. If you wait too long and the statute of limitations expires, the person or party you are trying to hold accountable can use this as a defense and will likely be absolved of any fault. Generally, the courts in New Mexico will refuse to hear a claim that is brought past this three-year deadline. If the courts do agree to take your case, expect the defendant and their legal team to bring up this defense during litigation. Unless your case stands as an exception to the rule, the missed deadline will be enough to render your claim invalid and exclude you from financial compensation in New Mexico.
Are There Any Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?
Although exceptions are relatively uncommon in accident lawsuits, there are some instances to the New Mexico statute of limitations for car accidents that may extend your filing deadline. These exceptions typically apply to victims who are legally incapacitated at the time of the accident, either due to a mental disability or being a minor under the age of 18. If you were a child at the time of the car accident, the statute of limitations will not begin until you turn 18 years old. This means if you were 16 at the time of the accident, the clock will not start to tick on this claim deadline until your 18th birthday. As soon as you turn 18, you will have exactly three years to bring this claim against the at-fault party. Conversely, if you had a mental disability at the time of the accident, the clock resumes once you regain sanity. However, you only have one year after the period of incapacitation ends to file your claim.
Speak With A Trusted Car Accident Lawyer Today
New Mexico’s statutes of limitations for car accidents can be complicated, and the laws are constantly subject to change. Never assume that you have already missed your deadline to file a car accident claim without consulting with an attorney first. Garcia Legal can review your case and let you know whether or not it is too late to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, call us today for a free consultation.