When it comes to civil lawsuits, each state has its own statute of limitations for each potential scenario. These filing deadlines are intended to protect defendants, who would otherwise be on the hook indefinitely for damages that arise as the result of their negligence.

Grave of American vet

If an individual fails to file a claim before the deadline has passed, the court will likely dismiss the case. Because there are sometimes exceptions, though, it is wise to discuss your case with a seasoned attorney even if you think the statute of limitations has expired.

In general, the sooner you start building your claim, the stronger it will be. At the end of the day, it is not uncommon for critical evidence to be time-sensitive.

If your loved one died in a preventable accident and you want to file a wrongful death claim against the liable party before time runs out, turn to The Law Office of Brian K. Branch, PC. Your family may be entitled to compensation for hospital bills, funeral expenses, lost income, lost benefits, and emotional distress. Call 505-207-4401 to schedule a free case evaluation with a compassionate wrongful death lawyer in Albuquerque.

How Long Do Family Members Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in New Mexico?

In New Mexico, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate must file a claim on behalf of any eligible surviving family members within three years of the incident that was ultimately responsible for the death. If the deceased had a comprehensive estate plan, he or she likely named a personal representative in the documents.

The executor is often a spouse or adult child, but according to The New York Times, it can also be a close friend, sibling, or other relative. If the deceased did not select a personal representative or the chosen individual is unable or unwilling to manage the estate, the court will appoint an executor.

Regardless of who serves as executor and actually files the wrongful death suit, only certain surviving family members can collect compensation for the damages. This includes:

  • The surviving spouse;
  • Children;
  • Grandchildren;
  • Parents; or
  • Siblings.

What If the Liable Party Is a Government Entity?

Three years may seem like a considerable amount of time in which to file a lawsuit, but there are certain exceptions to this statute. For example, families who want to bring a claim against a government entity have a much shorter deadline for pursuing legal action.

In the state of New Mexico, those who want to sue the state or local government for wrongful death have just six months to notify the municipality of their claim. They then have two years to file the official suit.

If you have a relative who died as the direct result of someone else’s reckless or negligent actions, contact The Law Office of Brian K. Branch, PC today. With a combined 32 years in legal practice, our attorneys have the experience and professionalism to help you through this tough time and get you fairly compensated

Call 505-207-4401 to schedule a free consultation with a wrongful death attorney in Albuquerque. You can learn more about wrongful death claims in New Mexico by visiting USAttorneys.com.