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New Mexico personal injury law covers accidents and incidents which cause physical harm, such as auto accidents, medical malpractice, slip and fall, and injuries caused by defective products, including dangerous medications, and much more. Personal injury victims can recover monetary compensation for their injuries. Although the basic concepts of personal injury law are fairly consistent across the U.S., the specifics vary greatly from state-to-state and can make or break your case.
Under New Mexico personal injury law you can recover compensation for your economic and noneconomic damages. There is no cap on personal injury damages, in New Mexico, except in cases of medical malpractice.
Economic damages are those to which a specific dollar amount can be linked such as:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Past, current, and future lost income
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
Noneconomic damages are very real losses, but more difficult to calculate because they do not have a specific dollar value. Examples of noneconomic damages include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of the capacity to enjoy life
- Loss of consortium
Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant, rather than to compensation you for your losses. New Mexico personal injury law restricts punitive damages to cases involving malicious, wanton, reckless, oppressive, willful or fraudulent behavior.
If You Are Partly to Blame for Your Injuries
New Mexico is a pure comparative negligence state. That means that you are allowed to collect compensation for your injuries, even if you were partly to blame. You compensation is reduced by a percentage equal to your portion of fault, so if your damages are $100,000 and you are found to be 30% to blame for your injuries, you will only receive $70,000. In pure comparative negligence, you can collect even if you were 99% to blame.
Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is the time limit for filing your lawsuit. The importance of the statute of limitations cannot be overstated. If you wait too long to file, you will not be allowed to sue for your injuries, no matter how much you deserve compensation or how strong your case.
The statute of limitations for personal injury in New Mexico is three years from the date of injury. However, in some cases the “discovery rule” applies, meaning that you have three years from the date that the injury or the cause of the injury was discovered or should have been discovered.
Under certain circumstances, the statute of limitations may be tolled, meaning put on hold. For instance, minor children who are injured have until their 19th birthday to file most types of personal injury lawsuits.