Wrongful Death Caused by Commercial Truck Accident or Auto Accident
Losing a loved one is devastating, stressful, and difficult—there’s family to notify, funeral arrangements to make, and overwhelming grief to manage. When the death of your loved one is untimely and caused by a commercial truck or auto accident, you may have added stressors such as wondering how you’ll raise your loved one’s children or support yourself without the help of their income. If you live in Las Cruces and have lost a family member in a commercial truck or auto accident, read on to learn how an expert attorney at Carabin Shaw can help.What is Wrongful Death?
Chapter 41, Article 2, of the New Mexico Statutes defines wrongful death as a death caused by “the wrongful act, neglect or default of another.” In other words, wrongful death means that someone else’s negligence caused your loved one’s death. A Las Cruces wrongful death lawsuit can be filed for many reasons, among them wrongful death caused by commercial truck accident or auto accident. Many companies and large corporations fail to enforce strict laws and regulations for their drivers regarding consecutive hours driven, mandatory breaks, and substance use while driving. If a commercial truck accident caused your family member’s death, Las Cruces wrongful death attorneys could help you prove that your loved one’s death was the result of negligence on the part of the driver or the employer.Filing a Wrongful Death Suit
A wrongful death lawsuit is a type of personal injury lawsuit, and each state has different laws governing such civil suits. In New Mexico, a personal representative of the decedent must file the suit. Usually, this is the same person who executes the decedent’s will, but if you have a question about who the personal representative should be in your case, a lawyer can advise you. Another consideration in a Las Cruces wrongful death suit is the statute of limitations—in New Mexico, this limit is three years. While this may sound like a long time, talking to an attorney sooner rather than later is always a good idea because there may be mitigating factors you are unaware of that change the timeline.
The law is also specific as to who will benefit from the damages recovered in a wrongful death suit. Only heirs may benefit from the award, and a wrongful death attorney serving New Mexico will be able to provide expertise in this regard. Possible beneficiaries of wrongful death damages include the decedent’s:
The decedent’s age sometimes matters in determining which of these relatives is eligible to benefit from the damages recovered, and Las Cruces wrongful death attorneys can help you understand why the damages may be divided in a particular way.Damages Recovered
The damages that a lawyer recovers for you and your family in a Las Cruces wrongful death suit may be compensatory or punitive. Compensatory damages are meant to compensate the heirs of the decedent for things such as the costs associated with the death and future income the heirs are deprived of because of the decedent’s death. The court awards punitive damages when the responsible party was willful or reckless in their negligence. These damages are meant to deter them from committing similar acts in the future. You should always consult a wrongful death lawyer in Las Cruces for information specific to your case, but compensatory damages that are commonly recovered in a wrongful death suit include:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral or burial expenses
- Loss of potential income
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering of family members
If you’ve lost a loved in a commercial truck or auto accident in Las Cruces, contact a lawyer at Carabin Shaw today at 915-779-2301. You’ll receive a free consultation and expert advice on pursuing your wrongful death lawsuit.