If you were injured and have a lot of bills to deal with, then you might have considered a lawsuit. A personal injury lawsuit can be an excellent way of getting the money that you deserve, but lawsuits are also pretty complicated. Every state has different laws, which can make the filing process seem very difficult. To help you find the laws that you need to worry about, here are the main statutes that apply to personal injury lawsuits filed in New Mexico:
The Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for a personal injury in New Mexico is 3 years, and that includes cases of medical malpractice. If you fail to file within 3 years, then you run the risk of sabotaging your lawsuit. However, there are some criteria which can qualify you for an extension.
If you were a minor at the time of the injury, then you have 3 years from the date that you legally become an adult.
If you didn't discover your injuries until long after the incident, then you have 3 years from the date of discovery. This can get much more complicated when it comes to medical malpractice, in which case you want to talk to an attorney to determine whether you are still eligible for a lawsuit.
New Mexico follows a system of comparative negligence, which means that you can be held responsible for your role in your injuries. If you were partially to blame and win your lawsuit, then the amount of compensation will be reduced.
This tends to be done proportionally, so if you were 30% responsible, then you will only get 70% of the money that you asked for. This can even apply to situations where you bear the majority of the responsibility, so even if you were 80% responsible, you can still get 20% of the money that you want.
The major damage cap that you need to be aware of applies to non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. This cap is $600,000 and applies to all of your pain and suffering. However, your medical bills and economic damages are not capped, which means that if the negligence of the healthcare provider cost you more than $600,000, then that will be fully covered and uncapped.
In other words, you can get your medical bills covered, plus up to $600,000. Punitive damages might also factor into your lawsuit, but it can be very hard to argue that punitive damages are necessary, since they require that the defendant was grossly negligent in their actions.
For more information about personal injury laws, contact a practice like Story Law Office.