Did you recently lose a loved one due to the negligence of an individual or entity? You may be entitled to seek financial compensation on their behalf by filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party.
Since the wrongful death claims process can be difficult to navigate without professional legal assistance, Shapiro Law Team is here to help. Our skilled attorneys are committed to helping you achieve justice for your loved one and secure maximum financial compensation. Take some time to familiarize yourself with wrongful death cases so you know what to expect.
New Mexico law defines a “wrongful death” as a death caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another or by a felony act. Wrongful death can apply to various cases, including the ones outlined in the section below. Wrongful death claims are similar to personal injury claims, the main difference being that the former causes death whereas the latter only causes injuries.
To file a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff must prove the following:
The leading causes of wrongful death include the following types of accidents.
A surviving family member can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a loved one to recover financial compensation for damages caused by another party’s negligence or intent to harm. This surviving family member must be the personal representative—normally the executor—of the decedent’s estate, as outlined in the decedent’s will or testament. If the decedent doesn’t have a will or testament, the court handling the wrongful death case will assign a representative.
New Mexico’s statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is three years. A statute of limitations defines the window of time after the decedent’s date of death that a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit for damages caused by a fatal accident. Failing to file a wrongful death lawsuit within the statute of limitations prevents a plaintiff from seeking financial compensation from the liable party.
Outlined below are the types of damages a plaintiff can seek financial compensation for in a wrongful death case.
Economic damages include the following financial losses:
Non-economic damages include the following mental and emotional losses:
In a wrongful death case, the plaintiff can choose to either settle with the defendant for an agreed-upon amount or file a civil suit against them to collect compensatory damages. Settling is often a quicker and simpler process than pursuing litigation, but lawsuits typically produce greater financial rewards for the plaintiff.
The plaintiff must decide what’s more important to them: settling quickly or waiting to achieve maximum financial compensation. Keep in mind, though, that not all settlements are reached quickly. The length depends on what compensation amount the plaintiff asks for and what amount the defendant—or the defendant’s insurance company—is willing to pay.
Hiring an attorney to handle your wrongful death lawsuit isn’t required, but it is highly recommended. Dealing with the aftermath of a wrongful death is extremely difficult, especially if you’re left to navigate the litigation process on your own. An experienced wrongful death attorney will walk alongside you during this difficult time to help you achieve the justice you deserve.
Having a skilled legal professional in your corner can lift a huge weight off your shoulders. This individual will help you navigate the insurance claims process, communicate with the liable party’s attorney, negotiate a settlement, and handle any court proceedings. They will increase your chances of securing maximum financial compensation and give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you don’t have to handle the technicalities involved in filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
Although no amount of money can right the wrong that has occurred, compensation can help ease the financial and emotional burdens caused by the wrongful death of a loved one. At Shapiro Law Team, we believe that you should never have to handle a wrongful death claim alone. That’s where we come in.
As Albuquerque’s leading personal injury and wrongful death attorney, David Shapiro and his team are equipped to build a solid case that will help you secure maximum financial compensation on your loved one’s behalf. Start the process today by requesting a free consultation with us.