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How grief can interfere with a wrongful death claim

On Behalf of | Aug 7, 2023 | Wrongful Death

The emotional reaction that people have when they suddenly lose a family member or other loved one will differ based on their personal relationship and connection with the deceased person and will impact their own mental health. Anger and depression are common ways in which grief manifests in the first weeks after someone’s passing, and people may find themselves struggling to regulate themselves emotionally as they learn to live without someone they love.

People often go inward when struggling emotionally, which means that they defer making any major decisions until they have had time to work through their feelings. Unfortunately, that may put them at a disadvantage in the New Mexico legal system.

There is only a limited time to file a lawsuit

Insurance alone often isn’t enough to cover the costs generated when someone dies unexpectedly. A lawsuit may be necessary to more fully cover those expenses. New Mexico law allows wrongful death lawsuits.

A person or business that causes the death of someone else through negligence or misconduct could face a claim in civil court in addition to potential criminal charges. However, the right to bring such lawsuits does not continue indefinitely. Typically, the statute of limitations prevents lawsuits three years after the death of the individual. Claims against the government may require a notice of a potential claim within 180 days and a shorter period of time to file a lawsuit – as short as two years.

That means families have a limited amount of time to make a determination about pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit. Rather than waiting for their grief to pass, they may need to act even while they are still coming to terms with their loss.  That said, good legal representation can aid those grieving by having others responsible to investigate what happened and hold others accountable. Having experienced legal guidance will help those left behind file a wrongful death claim and more effectively pursue justice in New Mexico courts..