New Mexico has numerous personal injury statutes that protect members of the public from the bad behaviors of others. Under personal injury statutes, those who suffer physical injury or property damage because of another person’s misconduct or negligence could potentially file a civil lawsuit if they have losses insurance won’t cover.
When an incident causes someone’s death, a wrongful death lawsuit could be an option. Wrongful death claims help surviving dependent family members offset the financial impact of losing a loved one. There are two important timing restrictions that apply to claims made in civil court after someone in your family dies.
Limits on wrongful death claims
If someone in your family died because of negligence or bad behavior on the part of an individual or a business, the situation may meet the statutory standard for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. Such claims can compensate those left behind for the financial impact of their family’s recent tragedy.
Wrongful death claims can cover funeral costs and replace a lifetime of lost wages. In most cases, the right to file a wrongful death claim will typically expire three years after the date of death.
Limits on personal injury claims
When an individual hurt by another party suffers financial losses, such as hospital bills and lost wages, they have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit. If they die before initiating a lawsuit against the responsible party, their right to pursue compensation can pass to their immediate family members. However, the statute of limitation that applies is strict. The surviving family members may only have a year from the date of death to pursue a claim.
Those who allow too much time to pass before talking to a lawyer or filing a civil claim could lose their right to pursue compensation at all. When you understand the limitations on filing a wrongful death claim or a personal injury claim on behalf of a deceased family member, you may understand why it is important to act quickly rather than to wait for your sense of grief to subside.
Learning more about the rules that govern New Mexico wrongful death claims will help those who want Justice after a recent tragic loss.