An appellate court recently issued an opinion regarding a trucking accident lawsuit that hinged on jurisdiction. The lawsuit stemmed from a 2014 accident in which a SUV and a tractor-trailer were on a Texas highway. The SUV had an engine failure, and the car stopped immediately in front of the truck in the far right lane. The truck slammed into the SUV, and it was pinned to a wall. Both the truck and the SUV were seriously damaged, one of the SUV’s occupants was killed, and the other was seriously injured.
The trucking company filed a lawsuit against the SUV driver for property damage in one county. The family then brought a personal injury lawsuit against the trucking company in another county. Both parties argued that the case should be heard in the county of their choice. Both parties went on to file dueling pleas in their respective counties. The case went all the way to the state supreme court.
The court held in favor of the trucking company. The court stated that even if the trucking company’s conduct was inequitable, the family failed to allege that the trucking company’s behavior caused them a delay in filing. Ultimately, the court held that even if it is expected that parties may “race to the courthouse” to ensure that their forum is dominant, it is crucial that the race is not unfairly run.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit in New Mexico
The above case illustrates that it is incredibly important to follow all procedural guidelines when filing a personal injury lawsuit. A failure to do this can have disastrous consequences and potentially lead to a lengthy and inconvenient trial.
One of the most important parts of filing a personal injury lawsuit in New Mexico is making sure it is filed in the proper forum. Generally, jurisdiction is held in the court of the place where the defendant is living or where the accident occurred. The district courts in New Mexico have general jurisdiction over claims when the damages are over $10,000, and the magistrate courts have jurisdiction when the damages are under $10,000. In both of these forums, the plaintiff may request a jury trial and have an attorney present.
Next, it is important that the case is filed in a timely manner, abiding by the statute of limitations. In most cases, a personal injury lawsuit, including a medical malpractice lawsuit, must be filed within three years of the date the injury occurred or the injury was made known.
It is important to note that the plaintiff must quantify their damages by showing the economic losses they suffered, including medical expenses, lost wages, and lost future wages. The plaintiff may also put a claim in for non-economic losses, such as emotional pain and suffering.
Have You Been Injured in a Trucking Accident in New Mexico?
Trucking accidents can have seriously devastating consequences, including property damage and severe physical injuries. It is important that if you have been injured in a trucking accident, you contact an attorney at the Fine Law Firm to discuss your rights and remedies. An attorney can ensure that you follow all of the complex legal procedures that are required by the court system. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you suffered. Contact an attorney at the Fine Law Firm today at 800-640-6590 to schedule your free initial consultation.
More Blog Posts:
The Importance of the Pretrial Stages in New Mexico Civil Legal Proceedings, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, May 4, 2016.
Court Issues Evidentiary Ruling Regarding Liability in Fatal Trucking Accident Regarding Expert Testimony, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, June 3, 2016.