Appellate Court Affirms Trial Judge’s Decision to Dismiss Case Due to Violation of Statute of Limitations

Recently, the Supreme Court of the State of North Dakota released an opinion in a personal injury case against a city in charge of the maintenance of a park where the plaintiff fell while rollerblading. The case stemmed from an incident in which a young woman was injured while rollerblading over a soft patch of material used to repair a crack on a park pathway.

Cracked PavementThe city moved to dismiss the claim, arguing that it was not properly served. In turn, the plaintiffs then properly served the defendants. However, proper service was made just after three years from the date of the accident. The park district moved for summary judgment, claiming that the plaintiffs’ claims were barred due to the three-year statute of limitations for claims against a political subdivision. The lower court dismissed the case and agreed that the case was barred by the statute of limitations.

The plaintiffs appealed and argued that the claim did not accrue until a later date, when they were informed by an attorney that there was a reasonable negligence claim against the city. However, the appellate court determined that, despite the discovery rule, the statute of limitations begins to run from when the negligent act occurs. Unfortunately, since the city was improperly served, the case did not abide by the requirements of the statute of limitations. Thus, the court affirmed the lower court’s decision.

New Mexico Rules and Regulations Regarding Statutes of Limitations in Personal Injury Lawsuits

As is made evident in the discussion above, statutes of limitations are strict requirements and are almost always followed by the courts when evaluating a personal injury lawsuit. Statutes of limitations outline the time period in which a plaintiff is allowed to file a lawsuit. Generally, the clock begins when the claim or cause of action arises. However, there are certain situations that may toll a statute of limitations, but those situations are very specific and enumerated in state statutes. For example, a statute of limitations may be tolled if the injury was not discovered until a later time or if the injured party was a minor. In New Mexico, the statute of limitation is three years for the following cases:

  • Medical Malpractice,
  • Personal Injury,
  • Product Liability, and
  • Wrongful Death.

It is important that after an individual has been injured, they seek legal assistance to ensure that their claims are timely filed.

Have You Been Involved in a New Mexico Accident?

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident for which another party was at fault, you should consider seeking compensation for the injuries you or your loved one have suffered. In almost all personal injury lawsuits, time is of the essence. It is incredibly important that in addition to seeking timely medical care, you also seek timely legal assistance. Many cases hinge on following the proper procedural and evidentiary guidelines, and if these are not followed, there is a possibility the case will be dismissed before the merits are even evaluated. The attorneys at the Fine Law Firm have many years of experience handling all types of premises liability lawsuits and can ensure all procedural rules are followed. Our attorneys can assist you in seeking the monetary compensation that you deserve. Contact one of the Fine Law Firm attorneys at 800-640-6590 to schedule your free initial consultation.

More Blog Posts:

Court Dismisses Medical Malpractice Case Due to Plaintiff’s Failure to Comply with Statute of Limitations, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, November 15, 2016.

State Supreme Court Partially Reverses Judgment in Personal Injury Case Involving Claims of Governmental Immunity, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, December 1, 2016.