Albuquerque Tort Claims Act Lawyer

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Albuquerque Tort Claims Act Attorney

Sometimes, we are injured through the fault of a government institution or employee. Roads not being properly maintained can lead to accidents. Police officers can be overly aggressive, leading to unnecessary harm.

Generally, people might have the perception that they can hold the government accountable in the same way that they would anybody else. That’s not the case, and Albuquerque Tort Claims Act lawyers are needed to determine when a claim can be filed.

Personal Injury Claims Against Civilian Parties

Generally, when another party injures us, we have the opportunity to file a civil claim against them to seek compensation for the injuries that we have incurred. It could be a car accident, a slip and fall, medical malpractice, or some other situation where the negligence of another leads to our injuries.

Most of the time, when this happens, it’s another civilian who’s at fault, and we can file a claim against them under the standard rules. If they are found liable, they will be responsible for paying damages or, more likely, their insurance provider will be responsible for doing so.

Tort Claims Act

The rules for filing a claim against the government in New Mexico are set by the Tort Claims Act. The process is much more complex, time-restricted, and narrowly defined than standard personal injury law. It also includes limitations on the amount of damages that you can be awarded when filing a claim against the government.

The challenge of working within this framework is why it’s critical that you get in touch with Albuquerque tort claims act lawyer as soon as you’re injured and think the government may be liable. At Berenson & Associates, PC, we understand the complexity of these laws and how they can apply to our clients’ claims.

Government Immunities From Certain Claims

There are many ways that the negligence of a government entity can lead to an injury in Albuquerque, NM. However, the government has immunity from liability for their actions. Legally, this is essentially the default system. Most of the actions that the government takes will not be eligible to be filed against.

However, the Tort Claims Act creates some limited places where the government waives their immunity and allows a claim to be brought against them. Generally, the government is not liable for most of their functions, including:

  • Educational decisions
  • Discretionary acts
  • Planning
  • Licensing
  • Many law enforcement decisions

Exceptions in the Tort Claims Act

The Tort Claims Act allows for some limited exceptions where a claim may be filed. Some of these include:

  • Failure to properly maintain government properties and buildings, creating dangerous conditions
  • Injuries that arise from a government employee’s negligent operation of a motor vehicle
  • Actions by a law enforcement officer that are malicious or beyond the scope of their authority

Additionally, there may be situations where there is immunity in a case of simple negligence but not gross negligence or intentional acts.

Understanding what actions have immunity can be confusing to interpret and understand. If you think that you may have a case, it’s a good idea to talk with a lawyer who has a deep knowledge of the Tort Claims Act.

Berenson & Associates, PC, is a law firm with a strong understanding of not only what the government can be held liable for but also how to follow procedures to make that happen.

Special Deadlines for Government Claims

For most personal injury claims in New Mexico, the statute of limitations to file a claim is 3 years. There may be some variation on this based on:

  • Who the defendant is
  • The kind of injury that took place
  • If there were minors involved

When bringing a claim against the government, though, that statute of limitations is reduced to just two years. There is also a much more important deadline created in the Tort Claims Act.

According to the Tort Claims Act, you cannot file a claim against the government unless you have first given them actual notice. This means that you have given the government proper notification of not just the incident involved but also the possibility that you will be filing a claim as a result of the incident.

If you are going to protect your ability to file a personal injury claim, you must provide this notice within only 90 days of the alleged negligence. If you may be filing a wrongful death claim, this limit is extended but still must be given within six months.

It’s important, too, that the notice be sufficient in terms of what it states and alleges. There have been cases where people believed that they had given enough information for it to be considered as actual notice, only to find that the court ruled that it was insufficient and they would not be allowed to file a claim. To ensure that you give proper notice, you will want to work with a tort claims act lawyer who has a thorough understanding of the Tort Claims Act and the process that it describes.

We Can Help File Your Claim Against the Government in Keeping With the Tort Claims Act

It might seem unfair that the same government that set the rules just happened to make the rules holding them accountable through civil processes more challenging than those for holding private citizens accountable. Those are the rules, though, and we have no choice but to operate by them.

While the government has a significantly narrower range of possible claims that can be filed against them, there are still some that can be. Therefore, if you believe that the government may be liable in your situation, it’s critical that you act swiftly, particularly when getting a lawyer.

We would quickly need to investigate and assess the situation to determine if the government is actually a potentially liable entity in your situation. We would also need to prepare the notice as well.

At Berenson & Associates, PC, we are prepared to take on the unique nature of holding the government accountable as described in the Tort Claims Act. Contact us today, and don’t wait if you believe that you may need to file against the government.


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