Different rules apply when you try to pursue legal claims against a governmental entity such as a school district, city, public hospital, or against state agencies like CYFD for harms 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, Thompson & Sanchez, P.C. has extensive experience litigating these cases and holding the government and public employees accountable for harms 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.
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 by 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 claims.
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.
Martinez, Hart, Thompson & Sanchez, P.C., are experts in government tort and civil rights claims. We are ready to take your call and help you evaluate your claims.
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.
The next step is to sit down with you to discuss your case with our skilled legal team.