Most people in New Mexico do not anticipate dying early. They often assume that they will live to a ripe old age, perhaps retiring after a long career, and, for some, seeing their children grow and seeing grandchildren born. However, all these rights of passage can be stripped from a person if they experience a wrongful death.

If a person dies due to the negligence of another, that person’s loved one may want to pursue a wrongful death suit. However, they only have a certain amount of time to do so. This time period is legally known as the “statute of limitations,” and once this time period has passed, a person can no longer take any legal action based on the fatal incident.

New Mexico’s statute of limitations for a wrongful death suit can be found in the New Mexico Statutes § 41-2-2. Under that statute, a person has three years to file a wrongful death suit beginning when the cause of action occurred. The date of accrual begins on the date the victim passed away.

As this shows, even though the loss of a loved one can be a time of grief, stress and confusion, the loved ones left behind should keep in mind that they may want to consult with an attorney as soon as is reasonably possible to learn more about filing a wrongful death suit. An attorney can assess their situation and provide them with guidance so they can file a lawsuit, if appropriate, in a timely manner.

Source: FindLaw, “New Mexico Statutes Chapter 41. Torts § 41-2-2. Limitation of actions,” accessed May 30, 2017