What Constitutes Wrongful Death?
According to section 41-2-1 of the New Mexico Statutes, any death “caused
by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another” may be considered
wrongful death. In a wrongful death suit, the filing party is required
to prove that the deliberate actions, lack of appropriate action, or negligent
behavior of the defendant resulted in wrongful death and that the defendant
is liable for damages.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit in New Mexico?
In New Mexico, a wrongful death suit can be brought by the personal representative
of the deceased’s estate, as dictated by their last will and testament.
If a personal representative is not named, cannot fulfill the role of
personal representative, or is also deceased, a wrongful death suit can
also be brought by the court-appointed personal representative, surviving
family members, or by a prosecutor from the state, tribal, or federal
government. Friends, co-workers, roommates, and other non-familial, non-governmental
parties are typically unable to successfully file a wrongful death suit.
What Can I Sue for in a Wrongful Death Case?
In a wrongful death suit, the prosecution can petition the court to require
a defendant to pay for damages if they can successfully prove the defendant’s
liability and fault for the death in question. Reasonable damages may
be awarded on the basis of any of the following:
- Pain and suffering by the deceased
- Mental and emotional suffering experienced by family members
- Medical, legal, and funeral costs related to the injuries, illness, death,
and court proceedings
When Can I File a Wrongful Death Suit?
According to New Mexico Statutes, section 41-2-2, a wrongful death suit
cannot be filed more than 3 years after the death in question has occurred.
In fact, due to a variety of factors that may delay or prolong even a
strong case for wrongful death, the court may throw out your suit if it
is filed too close to the 3-year mark. If your loved one has fallen ill
or been injured and died as a result of another’s negligence or
otherwise improper behavior, time is of the essence. Don’t make
the mistake of waiting to consult our experienced wrongful death lawyer
at Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law.
Call us at (505) 219-2176 today or send us your information to receive a free case evaluation