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Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law Michael J. Doyle, Attorney At Law
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Overview of New Mexico Wrongful Death Laws


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.

New Mexico Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations

New Mexico Statutes section 21-2-2 states that wrongful death claims must be filed within three years of the death. This deadline, or Statute of Limitations, is very strict. If you miss the deadline then you are no longer eligible to file a claim.

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?

It is advisable to file your wrongful death claim as soon as possible. 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 immediately.