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Most people have heard the term “wrongful death” before. This is a term that has been popularized in movies, TV, or books, particularly legal victim or crime investigation cases. But many people do not know that a wrongful death is action a type of legal action or right to vindicate the death of a loved one. One of the most common ways that a family member or dependent may be entitled to file a wrongful death case is in a New Mexico trucking accident. This is because these large 18 wheelers are likely to cause significant damage to whatever they collide with given their large size and heavy weight. Thus, the wrongful death of an occupant is more likely to occur.
Here at the NM Truck Accident Attorneys, our New Mexico trucking accident lawyer knows that wrongful death cases can be complicated. This is both because of the emotional issues related with the passing of a client’s loved one, as well as the numerous legal complexes associated with wrongful death cases. Our compassionate team with work with you and your family to ensure that your rights are protected during this process. Call us today by dialing (505) 883-5000 for a FREE consultation to learn how we can help you today.
While most people are aware that a wrongful death case involves the death of a loved one at the hands of another, many people ask what happens if the wrongful death does not occur immediately after the trucking accident? This is an important question which pertains to “causation.” Causation is whether the conduct of the negligent party who caused the crash is a substantial factor in causing the wrongful death.
Unfortunately, this is a fact-dependent evaluation which should be reviewed by an attorney and likely determined trier of fact (judge or jury). But under New Mexico Stat. section 41-2-1, “[w]henever the death of a person shall be caused by the wrongful act, neglect or default of another . . . [which would,] if death had not ensured, have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages in respect thereof, then, and in every such case, the person who, or the corporation which, would have been liable if death had not ensured, shall be liable to an action for damages, notwithstanding the death of the person injured.”
Thus, when the death of a loved one comes days or weeks after a trucking accident, even months, as long as the wrongful act is what caused the death, a family shall have a wrongful death action. Said differently, if the actions by the other party did not occur, the person would still be alive. This is causation which is directly written into New Mexico law.
Now, some trucking companies and defense lawyers will attempt to argue that the “chain of causation” is broken, meaning that the trucking accident was not the cause of the wrongful death, but this can be defeated by using experts in both medicine and accident reconstruction. This is why it is important to retain experienced counsel to represent your family.
If you lost a loved one in a New Mexico trucking accident due to a wrongful death, please call the NM Truck Accident Attorneys by dialing (505) 883-5000 to schedule a FREE consultation with one of our wrongful death lawyers. We handle cases throughout New Mexico, including in Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Roswell, Farmington, Hobbs, Lordsburg, or anywhere else in the state, including Albuquerque where our law office is located. You can also contact us on our website through the easy to use and convenient Contact box located by clicking here.