You may have the option to start a personal injury case if a loved one dies. People typically call this a wrongful death action. This is separate from a murder case, but there is a possibility that both types of criminal proceedings could come from the same death.
These cases could involve large settlements or court awards. As a result, insurance companies and liable parties tend to fight vigorously. You should probably prepare yourself and your family to do the same.
The wrongful death law
New Mexico Statute outlines the option for a personal representative to bring action on behalf of a deceased person. Selecting this person is often the first of many complexities in these types of cases.
The law clearly recognizes the power of a personal representative to begin and pursue a lawsuit regarding the death of your loved one. The complication: The identity of that person for your case is not necessarily prescribed.
The personal representative
The official representative is usually a spouse, parent or child. However, if your family member left a will and listed you as a candidate for this position, you might have a basis to begin legal action. There could also be other situations in which you could sue — it all depends on your situation.
The humanistic approach
If you do not have a direct legal claim to begin action as a personal representative, please do not give up hope. Even if other family members initially disagree with you on how to proceed legally, there could be options to show the importance of seeking justice.
Above all, please do not delay. These processes take time, and New Mexico has a relatively short period after death during which personal representatives may begin legal action.