Truck accidents can result in severe injuries and death. The mighty size and speed of trucks combined can create extremely dangerous situations. When you are involved in an accident with a semi-truck, you may wonder how you can recover compensation for your injuries and damages and how long you have to have a valid personal injury claim. Understanding the statute of limitations that apply to your situation is crucial so you do not miss your window of opportunity. Let us explore New Mexico’s statute of limitations and why working with a truck accident lawyer is essential.
What is a Statute of Limitations?
A statute of limitations is a time limit. This is the window in which you can file a claim in court regarding a claim such as a personal injury claim. Personal injury claims arise when individuals suffer bodily harm and property damage, which could arise from accidents such as slip and falls or truck accidents. Once the statute of limitations has expired, you can be barred from filing a lawsuit seeking compensation for your damages. To have a valid compensation claim, you must be mindful of the statute of limitations that applies to your situation.
Why Does the Statute of Limitations Exist?
Statutes of limitations ensure that the legal system remains fair and that claims are addressed promptly. The deadlines also ensure the defendant is convicted before the evidence is destroyed or deteriorated. Additionally, these time limits ensure that plaintiffs can present accurate incident details. Our memory is known to fade as time goes and recalling facts from events that happened, say, ten years ago, can be challenging compared to right after the events. Furthermore, the statute of limitations keeps plaintiffs from threatening to go to court for years. This protects the defendant from indefinitely living in fear that someone could initiate legal action against them.
New Mexico’s Statute of Limitations for Truck Accident Cases
The statute of limitations for truck accident cases in New Mexico is similar to that imposed on other personal injury cases. The statute of limitations is generally three years. This means you have three years from the accident date to pursue a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for injuries or damages sustained from a truck accident. This also applies if a loved one dies from their injuries, and you need to file a wrongful death claim. The clock starts on the day you suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence or a reasonable date when you would have discovered the injuries.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations in New Mexico
Although uncommon, there are exceptions to the statute of limitations for truck accident cases in New Mexico.
The New Mexico statute of limitations differs when the injured party is a child or incapacitated. Instead of three years, they have one year after the “termination of incapacity.” Children have one year following their eighteenth birthday to file a lawsuit.
If the defendant is out of the state, imprisoned, or on active military duty, the statute of limitations can be extended until they return, are released from prison, or are on leave.
If the accident only resulted in property damage and no injuries, you have four years to file your property damage claims. However, you cannot add your injuries to a property damage claim.
Claims against a government entity are also different. When the defendant is an entity of the government or a public employee, you must issue a 90-day tort claim notice to the relevant office for the public entity. After that, you have two years to file your lawsuit. This means you need to act fast if your accident involves the government. A skilled personal injury lawyer can help you accurately file your claim within the deadline.
If the injured party filing a claim against the government is a minor under seven years, they must wait until their ninth birthday to sue, per New Mexico Statute 41-4-15.
It is crucial to take timely legal action to protect your rights. Failing to file a lawsuit within the specified time limits could result in the court dismissing your claim. You do not want to lose the opportunity to seek compensation for your losses, so act fast.
Consulting a personal injury attorney in Mexico is essential for you to stay guided based on your specific situation.
The Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer at Hit by a Truck Call Chuck is Here to Help
If you have been injured in a truck accident, seeking legal assistance can be invaluable. The legal team at Hit By a Truck Call Chuck is experienced in handling truck accident cases and can help you navigate the complex legal system and obtain a favorable outcome. Contact us at 915-845-4529 to protect your rights and maximize your chances of obtaining the maximum compensation possible.