Please call us for help with your wrongful death case whether you’re in Texas, New Mexico, or North Dakota. We have offices in both Texas and New Mexico, and our attorneys are experienced in working in all three states.
Losing a loved one is difficult for anyone.
It can be even tougher when an unexpected accident caused the death.
Whether it occurred while your loved one was driving or riding in a car, working in an oil field, or somewhere else, you want answers.
We understand that this is a difficult time for you. It is our goal and mission to be there as a supporting partner to you. We want to ensure that you aren’t taken advantage of by insurance companies looking to save money.
Wrongful Death in New Mexico
New Mexico defines wrongful death in Torts § 41-2-1.
Wrongful death is caused by either a negligent action or a failure to take action that results in the unnecessary and untimely death of another individual. In addition, wrongful death is an extension of personal injury law. It entitles the family or the estate of the deceased to collect damages from an at-fault party. In New Mexico, an at-fault party can include a person who committed a felony against the deceased.
New Mexico has several statutes that govern who and how wrongful death claims work. Here, we will discuss those statutes and how they can impact various claims.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in New Mexico?
Each state places some limitations on who can bring a wrongful death claim against an at-fault party. In New Mexico, a representative of the deceased’s estate must file a wrongful death claim. This person can be anyone, but generally, it is a surviving spouse, an adult child, or a sibling of the deceased. This individual is generally named in the deceased’s will. In certain instances, the court may appoint a personal representative to serve for the purpose of filing an action against the at-fault party.
Damages in a wrongful death claim go directly to the estate for the benefit of the survivors. When the deceased person has no estate plan, the distribution of the settlement follows the law intestate succession.
The Statute of Limitations on New Mexico Wrongful Death Cases
The statute of limitations on a wrongful death case in New Mexico is three years. Texas’ statute is two years. Regardless, it is best to file right away.
The statute of limitations may be “tolled” in some instances. But it is, when possible, best to file the lawsuit quickly.
Damages in New Mexico Wrongful Death Lawsuits
In New Mexico, the estate of the deceased and its heirs may collect on any of the following:
- Funeral and burial expenses,
- Medical expenses related to the cause of death,
- Loss of companionship of deceased family members,
- Emotional anguish related to the loss of the deceased,
- Loss of income the deceased is likely to have earned,
- Loss of inheritance, and
- The deceased’s pain and suffering.
In some cases, if you can prove that the defendant acted with willful malice or gross negligence, the estate can receive punitive damages. Both require the plaintiffs to prove that the defendant acted with a callous indifference to the rights and safety of others. Punitive damages punish the at-fault party.
Wrongful Death Attorneys Help Families Recover Damages for Their Loss
The wrongful death lawyers at FCHC are ready to help you with your case. If your loved one lost their life due to negligence or malice of another, we can help you and your family recover damages. Contact us today and we can get right to work on your case.