How Long After a Car Accident Can You File a Lawsuit in Albuquerque, NM?

New Mexico is an at-fault state for car accident claims. That means you can file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the driver responsible for your collision. The amount of time you have to sue for a car accident in Alburquerque is limited by the New Mexico statute of limitations.

Filing a Claim After a Car Accident in New Mexico

If another driver or other party causes a car accident, they can be held financially liable for damages. However, you must prove fault before receiving compensation.

Most car accident claims are settled with the at-fault driver’s liability insurance company. New Mexico drivers are required to have a minimum amount of bodily injury and property damage coverage. Liability insurance pays the victim for the damages caused by the accident. 

However, you are not required to file an insurance claim after an accident. You have the right to sue after a car accident in Albuquerque. Suing an at-fault driver can be a lengthy process, but it may be necessary if the insurance company refuses to negotiate a good-faith settlement.

Before jumping to suing someone, seek advice from an experienced Albuquerque car crash attorney. A lawyer with extensive experience handling car accident cases may be able to bring the insurance company to a fair car accident settlement. If not, the attorney can file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver for damages. 

How Much Time After a Car Accident Do You Have To Sue in Albuquerque, NM?

The New Mexico statute of limitations sets deadlines for filing lawsuits. If you miss the deadline, the defendant (the party being sued) can file a motion to dismiss the case. A judge can dismiss your lawsuit without considering whether you have a legal claim. 

Generally, you have up to three years after the car accident to sue the party who caused the accident. However, some exceptions change how long you have to sue someone in Albuquerque, NM, after a car accident.

Common exceptions to the three-year deadline to file a car accident lawsuit include, but may not be limited to:

  • Suing only for property damage caused by a car accident – four years to file a lawsuit
  • Suing for wrongful death after a traffic fatality is still three years, but the time begins to run when the victim dies, which may or may not be the accident date
  • Filing a lawsuit on behalf of a minor under 18 years old injured in a car accident – one year from the minor’s 18th birthday
  • Suing a government entity for a car accident – Must provide notice of claim within 90 days of the accident date and file a lawsuit within two years

Filing a lawsuit for a car accident does not guarantee payment, as you’ll need to support your case with evidence and establish liability. In addition, taking a case to court doesn’t mean it will necessarily reach trial, as settlement negotiations can still continue. 

You might assume you have plenty of time to talk with a lawyer because you have three years to sue the driver who caused your car accident. While that might be true, acting now is in your best interest.

Reasons for pursuing a car accident claim now instead of waiting include:

  • Documentary evidence could be lost or destroyed
  • The memories of witnesses fade with time
  • Witnesses may move or die
  • Deterioration of physical evidence 

The longer you want to pursue a car accident claim, the more evidence you could lose. Because you are the accident victim, you have the burden of proving the other driver caused your accident. If you do not have sufficient evidence, the jury might not hold the other driver liable for your damages.

Therefore, it is best to consult with an Albuquerque car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Attorneys offer free consultations, so meeting with an attorney does not cost anything and could result in a big win for you.

What Damages Can I Receive If I Sue a Driver After a Car Accident in Albuquerque?

When you sue after a car accident in New Mexico, you can recover economic damages for your financial losses. These damages include lost wages, property damage, medical bills, and out-of-pocket expenses.

You can also sue for your non-economic damages. These damages compensate you for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish. They also include damages for impairments, disabilities, and diminished quality of life

In very specific cases, juries may award punitive damages. These damages punish the defendant but are paid to the plaintiff (injured party). 

If you are unsure what damages you can recover or how much your car accident case is worth, don’t accept an insurance settlement without talking to an attorney. An Albuquerque car accident lawyer will tell you whether the settlement includes all damages and is fair, given the facts of your case.

Contact the New Mexico Car Accident Lawyers at Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers Today

If you were injured in an accident in Albuquerque, NM, and need legal help, contact our Albuquerque car accident attorneys at Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free case review today.

Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers
400 Gold Avenue SW, Suite 650
Albuquerque, NM 87102
(505) 594-3621