Although some people die of natural causes, many others die of injury or even violence. When people die unexpectedly, their closest loved ones often have to bear the emotional and financial burdens that result. Their household may lose a significant portion of its income, as well as the unpaid services provided by the deceased individual to their family members. There are also expenses associated with someone’s medical treatment and interment to consider.
Although businesses and individuals often carry insurance to protect against liability, insurance reimbursement may not be sufficient when families must cover the cost of losing a loved one. Wrongful death lawsuits are one way for those affected by a tragedy in New Mexico to seek justice and financial compensation for their losses.
When is it possible for those who have lost a loved one to pursue a wrongful death claim in New Mexico?
When there is evidence supporting claims of fault
Anytime one party seeks to create legal or financial consequences for another party, evidence will be an important part of their claim. Under New Mexico law, wrongful death lawsuits are only an option when an individual or business commits a wrongful act, does something negligent or defaults on an obligation.
Wrongful acts are somewhat straightforward to establish, as they involve rule-breaking and other forms of misconduct. An assault that led to a fatal brain injury, for example, would be actionable under the New Mexico wrongful death statute. People are often a bit more confused about the concept of negligence. When attempting to prove negligence in civil court, the standard is whether or not a reasonable person would agree that certain actions or a failure to act were dangerous and unsafe.
Finally, defaults involve scenarios in which one party has a legal or contractual obligation to another that they fail to fulfill. A security company not responding to a door alarm alert during a crime in progress despite the client paying a monthly subscription fee could be one example of how a default could lead to someone dying.
Timely action is crucial
During discussions of when a wrongful death claim is possible, the overall timing is also an important consideration. New Mexico statutes typically forbid the pursuit of a claim brought more than three years after someone’s death. Families hoping to pursue justice in the civil courts need to take action quickly or potentially lose the right to do so.
Learning about when wrongful death lawsuits are a viable option for grieving families may help those who want to seek justice make use of the systems in place for their benefit under New Mexico law.