Municipal Liability Lawyers in Albuquerque, NM

In some situations, the government is immune to lawsuits. However, it is possible to get compensation if a government entity or public employee is negligent and causes you harm. The New Mexico Tort Claims Act defines requirements for injury claims against cities, counties, and state agencies.

If you’ve been harmed by a municipality or public employee in Albuquerque, NM, you should contact a municipal liability lawyer who can guide you through a claim. Harrison & Hart, LLC is here for you.

What Are Municipal Liability Claims?

Most personal injury claims involve a private party who has acted negligently and caused you injuries. However, a government entity or public employee may cause you harm in some situations. Government negligence can lead to a municipal liability claim.

Municipal liability claims are treated like other tort claims in New Mexico, where the injured plaintiff must prove that the defendant caused them harm through negligence. However, there are some very different aspects of municipal liability claims that must be recognized, or you may give up the right to compensation.

Who Could Be Liable in a Municipal Liability Claim?

In a municipal liability claim, a government entity, such as the county or city, may be liable for causing injury to someone. Additionally, a public employee acting on the government’s behalf may also be responsible.

State and federal government entities and their employees may also be responsible for injuries or violations of civil rights.

Common Types of Municipal Liability Claims

There are several types of claims that our municipal liability lawyer has handled, including those involving:

  • Public schools
  • Law enforcement or police departments
  • Local hospitals
  • Public parks
  • City motor vehicles
  • Defective highways and roadways
  • False arrests
  • Civil rights violations
  • Slips, trips, and falls in a government building

If you’ve been injured by a public employee or in a government building, you must contact a lawyer who sues municipalities. You must work with an attorney who understands how New Mexico tort law against municipalities works.

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Could You Sue the Federal Government for Damages?

You may also have a claim against the federal government. For example, the federal government may be responsible if you are injured at a national park, post office, or military base.

In these cases, the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) applies. It addresses litigation against the federal government, which involves holding a federal agency accountable for its negligence.

How to File a Municipal Liability Claim

Before you sue a city, county, or municipality, you should know how to file a municipal liability claim.

If you’ve been injured by a county or city entity or public employee, you must file a claim with the appropriate clerk. This involves drafting appropriate legal documents, including a complaint, summons, notice, and other required information.

If your claim is against the state, you will have to file a claim with the risk management division of the State of New Mexico. This will constitute the necessary notice before you can sue the state.

A municipal liability lawyer can ensure you file your claim with the appropriate government office so that you don’t miss a necessary deadline and lose your opportunity to get compensation.

Common Damages in a Municipal Liability Claim

You can collect damages in a municipal liability claim if you have been injured. For example, you can get money for:

  • Past and present medical costs
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage

However, there is a limit, called a “damage cap,” on how much you can recover from a government entity under the New Mexico Tort Claims Act. You can only get up to:

  • $200,000 for property damage
  • $300,000 for medical expenses
  • $400,000 for compensatory damages (like pain and suffering)

These caps on damages apply to a single claim. Thus, multiple people may make different claims, which will have individual damage caps when you sue the government.

How Long Do You Have to File a Municipal Liability Claim?

Municipal liability claims, like any other personal injury cases, have timelines within which you must file a lawsuit. If you fail to meet these deadlines, called the “statutes of limitations,” then you forfeit your ability to recover any compensation and your entire claim may be dismissed – no matter how strong of a case you have.

Tort claim lawsuits against any New Mexico government entity or public employee must be brought within two years after the date of injury. However, there are other timeliness requirements as well.

You must give notice of the injury to the government entity or public employee within 90 days of that injury. For wrongful death claims, a personal representative must give notice within six months after the date of injury that resulted in death.

There may be other situations where the statute of limitations is tolled or extended. For example, if you have a civil rights-based claim, you have a three-year statute of limitation period. If the injured party was a child, the deadline to file a lawsuit may also be different.

Carter B Harrison IV

Attorney & Partner

Nicholas T Hart

Attorney & Partner

Harrison & Hart Is Here for You

After a personal injury, it can be difficult to decide your next steps. If that harm was caused by the government, it could be even more intimidating. The deadlines are strict and the requirements for serving a notice to the government must be met. Don’t let your claim get dismissed because you miss something.

Our municipal liability attorney has a strong track record of success. We fight hard for our clients and achieve their goals. Call Harrison & Hart, LLC today at (505) 295-3261 or use our online contact form to reach out.

The Right Firm For Your Case

We’re ready to help you get your life back on track.

From our office in Albuquerque, Harrison & Hart, LLC serves clients throughout New Mexico. We are focused on getting you the best outcome possible in the harshest of situations.

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