New Mexico Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for personal injury & accidents in New Mexico is three (3) years (Ref: N.M. Stat. § 37-1-8). 


What this means is that you (or your attorney) must file a lawsuit against a defendant within three years of the date of your accident. If you do not file a lawsuit within three years, generally you forfeit any potential claim against the defendant as a matter of law - meaning there will be no opportunity for a settlement, arbitration, or trial. 


Disclaimer: Although the information presented on this page is generally true there are some exceptions to this information, and the New Mexico Statute of Limitations (and the exceptions) may change over time. If you or a family member was involved in an accident and considering seeking compensation for your injuries it is crucial that you speak to a New Mexico personal injury lawyer to discuss your claim and potential recovery.

Variations on Time Limits for Filing a Lawsuit in New Mexico

There are some variations & exceptions to the 3 years statute of limitations on personal injury cases in New Mexico. Because of this, it is critical you discuss your matter with a lawyer who is highly experienced in personal injury law. 


  • Damage Caps in New Mexico: Many states place caps on damages in personal injury cases. These caps often limit non-economic damages or damages in certain types of cases, like medical malpractice cases. New Mexico caps damages in medical malpractice cases at $600,000. This cap does not include punitive damages or costs for past and future medical care. And remember, it applies only to personal injury cases arising from medical malpractice, not any other kind of case.
  • Owner Liability For Injury by a Dog or Other Animal: There is no specific statute in New Mexico governing personal injury liability for dog bites. Owners will be held liable for injuries caused by their dog (or other animals) if the injured party can show that the owner “should have known” the animal was dangerous. This is known as the “one bite” rule
  • Injury Cases Against New Mexico Government: If your injury involves a New Mexico state government agency or employee, you'll need to follow a different set of rules. In New Mexico, you have ninety days to file a claim against a negligent government employee or agency. The New Mexico Tort Claims Act governs claims against the government in that state.

What if You Miss the Deadline to File a Lawsuit?

If you miss the deadline to file a lawsuit and the New Mexico statute of limitations passes (barring any exceptions), the opposing party will almost surely move for case dismissal and it will likely be granted. This also means that nearly any hope of a settlement will also be forfeited because there is no leverage to potentially pursue a trial (since it would immediately be dismissed). 

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