According to the Albuquerque Journal, a woman is suing the Santa Fe city government for the wrongful death of her husband, who died in a motor vehicle collision during a power outage. The 39-year-old man was riding a motorcycle when a 24-year-old woman driving an SUV crashed into him at an intersection.
The accident occurred during a widespread power outage that left many parts of the city—including the traffic signals—in darkness. The wife of the deceased believes the city is partially liable for her husband’s death because the government failed to have an adequate backup power source for the traffic light at the scene of the accident.
The woman who was driving the SUV faced charges for homicide by vehicle and reckless driving; however, the court dropped her charges after one of the witnesses allegedly gave a false account to the grand jury. The wife of the deceased then filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city. She did not name the woman driving the SUV in the lawsuit because they reached a settlement out of court.
The complaint states the city not only failed to maintain the traffic signals or provide a backup power supply but also neglected to place any warning signs, lights, or signals at the intersection to warn motorists of the malfunctioning lights. Although the accident occurred on a state highway, the lawsuit claims the city is responsible for maintaining that particular intersection pursuant to an agreement between Santa Fe and the New Mexico Department of Transportation.
If you lost a loved one in a preventable accident and you want to hold the liable party or parties accountable, contact The Law Office of Brian K. Branch. Since 1997, our firm has been representing families who have lost loved ones as the result of motor vehicle collisions, construction accidents, medical malpractice, oilfield accidents, and nursing home neglect. Call 505-764-9710 to schedule a free case evaluation with a wrongful death attorney in Albuquerque.
How Long Do You Have to File a Claim against a Government Entity in the State of New Mexico?
In the state of New Mexico, families typically have three years from the date of their loved one’s death to file a wrongful death claim; however, those who wish to pursue a lawsuit against a government entity have a much shorter time period in which to do so.
If you wish to bring a claim against a municipal government body, you must give them written notice within 90 days of the incident. If the government denies the claim, you then have just two years from the date of death to file a lawsuit.
Securing a settlement for your loved one’s death will not bring the deceased back, but it may ensure the loss does not threaten your family’s financial security during an already stressful time. If you recently lost a relative as the result of someone else’s negligence, contact The Law Office of Brian K. Branch to discuss your case.
Call 505-764-9710 to schedule a free consultation with a wrongful death lawyer in Albuquerque. To learn more about wrongful death claims in New Mexico, visit the USAttorneys website.