The law in New Mexico requires that every driver carry insurance on their vehicle. Liability coverage protects people from the costs a crash can cause. Drivers have financial protection from liability and the right to make a claim for their losses when a crash damages their vehicle or puts them in the hospital.
Surviving family members can also file car insurance claims when a New Mexico car wreck proves fatal. Those who have lost a loved one in a car crash may be able to claim both property damage losses and bodily injury losses from insurance.
However, they may also need to file a wrongful death lawsuit, especially if the person who died was young or was a major financial contributor to the household.
New Mexico insurance requirements are low
In a crash where the only person hurt was your loved one who died, the maximum amount of insurance available might not even cover their hospital bills, let alone decades of lost wages. A driver with a bare minimum insurance policy in New Mexico might have as little as $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage.
Once the insurance company pays out that maximum amount, you have no right to make further claims, even if the insurance only pays a tiny portion of your losses. Wrongful death claims help better compensate family members. When the circumstances involved negligence or illegal activity and the results involve a death that costs the family tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, a wrongful death lawsuit can help.
Wrongful death claims are more robust
A wrongful death lawsuit can hold a person or business accountable not just for funeral bills but also for lost wages, lost employment benefits and loss of service and support in the family home. The courts could potentially award you multiple times the maximum value of the insurance policy that applied to the crash.
Some family members don’t like the idea of being litigious or of seeking money when they have lost someone that they love. Still, there is no denying the financial devastation that follows a sudden, wrongful death situation. Pursuing a wrongful death claim can give your family a sense of justice and can create meaningful financial penalties for the person who caused your loss.