Serving Albuquerque and throughout the state of New MExico We're Not Just Your Law Firm, We're Also Your Neighbors

Albuquerque Tort Claims Act Attorneys

Over 100 Years of Combined Experience

Over 100 Years of Combined Experience

In many cases, governmental state actors are immune from lawsuits. However, in New Mexico, there exists a limited class of instances when injured victims may sue a government state actor under New Mexico state law for personal injuries or wrongful death. These claims against public schools, law enforcement, cities, and municipalities are brought under the New Mexico Tort Claims Act. Claims brought under the Tort Claims Act are complex and must satisfy several procedural factors. 

Martinez, Hart, Sanchez & Romero has decades of experience bringing claims under the Tort Claims Act and is ready to help you investigate and pursue a tort claim. Call our tort claims attorneys in Albuquerque at (505) 806-1780 today to learn more.

Negligence Against the Government

Different rules apply when you try to pursue legal claims against a governmental entity such as a school district, city, or public hospital, or against state agencies like CYFD for harm in foster homes. Cases against governmental entities for negligence are different and are governed by the New Mexico Tort Claims Act, Federal Tort Claims Act, and/or Federal Civil Rights laws. It is important for you to consult with an attorney with particular expertise on these types of claims as there are not only important deadlines that need to be met quickly but also important pieces of evidence required to prove your claims.

Martinez, Hart, Sanchez & Romero has extensive experience litigating these cases and holding the government and public employees accountable for harm caused by their negligent and reckless conduct. We also have an established reputation for advocating on behalf of children injured by crimes, abuse, and neglect by government actors.

  • "I can't seem to say enough about the people at this law firm. I was treated with the greatest experience ever. My case wasn't a very large case, but, non the less I was treated with the upmost respect and treatment of a huge case."
    Christopher C.
  • "Not only are they highly competent, ethical, smart and efficient, they are very kind. They have provided the best representation and assistance imaginable and I would, without any reservation whatsoever, highly recommend this law firm."
    Dorian D.

Claims Against the Government

As a general principle, the New Mexican state government and its employees enjoy immunity from liability. An important exception exists where the state government and its employees are liable for physical injuries and wrongful death caused by their failure to safely maintain and operate public buildings, roadways, and highways. An exception also exists for law enforcement officers, where they can be held liable for personal injuries, bodily injuries, wrongful death, or property damage resulting from assault, battery, false imprisonment, false arrest, and violation of civil rights while the law enforcement officers acted within the scope of their duties.

State and federal employees may also be held liable for violations of your federal civil rights. If you suffered personal injuries from a state employee while the state employee was acting under the authority given to them by state law, then you may have a federal civil rights claim.

What You Should Know About Tort Claims

Because the process for filing a tort claim is quite different from a standard personal injury claim, here are a few essential facts you should know:

  • How to Determine Government Involvement – While some instances are pretty cut and dried (e.g. you’re driving your vehicle and are rear-ended by a police car), others may not be as obvious. For example, if you’re involved in a car accident due to poor road maintenance, you may be eligible to file a tort claim. Also, an accident that occurs as a result of a police chase may also qualify. Public school districts, officials, and teachers may also fall under the Tort Claims Act. Similarly, medical doctors working for a public hospital like UNM Hospital may similarly fall under the Tort Claims Act. Our team can help you determine whether your tort claim falls under the Tort Claim Act.  
  • Statute of Limitations – All personal injury claims have statutes of limitations, but they’re a lot stricter when dealing with the government. All tort claims against a New Mexico governmental entity or a public employee must be brought within two years after the date of the injury. However, well before that period, you must give notice of the claim to the proper governmental entity office within 90 days of the injury. For wrongful death claims being filed by a personal representative, notice must be given within six months after the date of the injury which resulted in the death. Failure to do so prevents your claim from moving forward. There may exist a limited class of exceptions that apply to tort claims brought for a child’s injuries. Our team is ready to quickly investigate and help you comply with the statute of limitations period on your claims.  
  • Where to File Your Tort Claim Notice – With whom you file your tort claim depends on the entity involved. When injured by a state worker, you’ll need to file with the risk management division of the State of New Mexico. If the issue involves a county worker, the claim would be filed with the appropriate county clerk. These complexities highlight the importance of working with a law firm experienced in governmental tort claims. Our team is ready to listen to your claim and help you navigate these complexities. 

Statute of Limitations for Negligence Claims Against the Government

To ensure your claim is reviewed by a court, it must comply and be filed within the statute of limitations. Statutes of limitations require particular legal expertise to determine the precise deadline for when you must file a lawsuit. As a general and preliminary matter, to comply with the New Mexico Tort Claims Act, you must notify the state entity within 90-days from the day of your injury that you may be filing tort claims against the state entity. Thereafter, you have to file your tort claim lawsuit within 2-years of your injury. Civil rights claims generally carry a 3-year statute of limitations period from the date of your injury.

These time periods may vary depending on the circumstances of your injuries and if the injured party is a child. That is why it is critically important that you consult with legal experts in government tort and civil rights claims to correctly determine the statute of limitations period for your case.

Types of Damages That Can Be Sought

Unlike other types of personal injury suits, plaintiffs filing New Mexico Tort Claims Act claims against state and local governments are limited in how the damages they can receive. While you can seek compensation for medical costs caused by your injuries and property damage, you’re limited to a cap damages in a single claim regardless of the total calculated damages. Individual limits only allow $200,000 to cover property damage, $300,000 to cover medical expenses, and $400,000 for compensatory damages, like pain and suffering.

What to Do If You’ve Been Injured by Governmental Entity

It’s important you act swiftly to ensure your claim is properly investigated and timely filed within the statute of limitations. You should also seek out competent legal counsel with a firm that has worked on these types of cases in the past.

For nearly three decades, Martinez, Hart, Sanchez & Romero has successfully handled a wide range of tort claims for our clients. We’ll review your case to ensure you’re pursuing the correct governmental entity. Our Albuquerque tort claims attorneys also make sure your claims are timely filed well before the statute of limitations is up. 

Call (505) 806-1780 or contact us today for more information.

"Not only are they highly competent, ethical, smart and efficient, they are very kind. They have provided the best representation and assistance imaginable and I would, without any reservation whatsoever, highly recommend this law firm."
Dorian D.
Our History

Martinez, Hart, Sanchez & Romero, P.C. is a local law firm with local and national recognition for having the expertise to handle the toughest cases. Over a century ago, David B. Martinez’s grandparents realized their dream of building a general store at the corner of Rio Grande and Indian School. “A century later, David B. Martinez and F. Michael Hart built this law firm on the same corner of Rio Grande and Indian School where David’s family had built their general store.” The corner of Rio Grande and Indian School is now home to Martinez, Hart, Sanchez & Romero, P.C., which holds the same dedication to serving the needs of the surrounding community.