New Mexico Car Accident Settlement and Lawsuits

A look at New Mexico laws -- including the statute of limitations on filing a lawsuit -- that could affect a car accident case in the state.

Anyone who has been involved in a car accident in New Mexico needs to understand the different state laws and car insurance rules that could affect a settlement or lawsuit over the crash. This page provides a guide to all of the New Mexico-specific resources available on

New Mexico Car Accident Laws

If you decide to file a lawsuit after a car accident in New Mexico -- or even if you’re only making an insurance claim for the time being -- there are a few state laws to know about, beginning with the time limit for getting a car accident lawsuit started (this is a state law called a “statute of limitations”).

New Mexico’s relevant statutes of limitations give you:

  • three years  after a car accident to file a personal injury  lawsuit (codified at New Mexico Stat. Ann. section 37-1-8), and
  • four years  after the accident for file a lawsuit for  property damage  (i.e. damage to a vehicle) (codified at New Mexico Stat. Ann. § 37-1-4).

So, what if you don’t get your case started before the lawsuit-filing window closes? The court will almost certainly refuse to hear your case if that happens. So it’s crucial to pay attention to these deadlines, and that’s true even if you think your case is going to settle out of court. You always want to leave open the option of filing a lawsuit, not just for leverage in settlement negotiations, but also to make sure you can turn to the court system for a remedy if the settlement process isn’t promising a satisfactory solution.

Get details on other New Mexico laws that could impact your car accident case in our article Car Accident Laws in New Mexico.      

New Mexico Car Insurance Requirements

Like most states, New Mexico requires drivers to carry adequate car insurance coverage on any vehicle owned and operated in the state. The following minimum coverages are mandatory:

  • $25,000 for the injury or death of one person (yourself, a passenger, another driver, pedestrian, etc.)
  • $50,000 for the injury or death of more than one person in a single accident
  • $10,000 for property damage stemming from a single incident.

Uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage must be offered alongside any car insurance policy sold or renewed in New Mexico, but consumers are free to reject UIM coverage as long as they do so in writing.

For more details on car insurance rules in New Mexico, check out our companion article New Mexico Car Insurance Laws.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in New Mexico

You don’t necessarily need a lawyer for every kind of car accident claim. For example, in a situation where the other driver’s insurance carrier isn’t disputing that its insured was at fault, and you suffered only minor injuries, it’s probably fine to handle that kind of claim yourself as long as you’re comfortable doing so.

But what if the other driver’s insurer is saying that you caused the car accident? Or what if you suffered serious injuries and the insurer is balking at the costs of your medical treatment? In those situations, things can get complicated (not to mention contentious) very quickly, and it may be time to discuss your situation with a local car accident lawyer in New Mexico. Remember that most lawyers will take a car accident case on a contingency basis, meaning that the lawyer only gets paid a percentage of any successful settlement or court award.

A good attorney knows how to successfully navigate not just the back-and-forth of settlement negotiations with car insurance adjusters, but also the car accident lawsuit process if your case proceeds to New Mexico civil court.

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