Albuquerque Wrongful Death Lawyer
After the death of a loved one, the subsequent legal matters are likely the last topic you want to discuss. Instead, this time should be spent with family and friends grieving your loved one’s death and celebrating their life. Yet, with medical bills adding up, funeral expenses to cover, and perhaps a significant income source lost, and wrongdoing or negligence to confront, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney to protect your family’s rights and to seek financial compensation from the at-fault party as soon as possible. With an experienced and compassionate wrongful death lawyer from Dominguez Law by your side, we can handle legal matters so you can focus on what is important.
The accomplished Albuquerque wrongful death lawyers at Dominguez Law have represented countless families throughout the Albuquerque and New Mexico area who have lost loved ones because of someone else’s negligence. These cases often provide the only form of justice a family can obtain for their loss. Our legal team understands the consideration and delicacy required for a case of this nature and we will work to channel all of our energy into protecting your rights. With years of courtroom experience coupled with our use of innovative technology, we strive to provide the high level of attention that a wrongful death case requires.
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Wrongful death claims are brought against defendants who cause someone’s death, either through negligence or as a result of an intentional action. Although there may be a criminal prosecution against the at-fault party, wrongful death lawsuits are civil actions that are separate and distinct from any criminal charges. Wrongful death claims can involve any type of fatal accident, from simple car accidents to complicated medical malpractice or product liability cases.
A wrongful death claim is typically filed by a representative on behalf of the survivors who suffer damage from the decedent’s death. This is often the executor of the decedent’s estate. However, in New Mexico, there are other options for the designation of the representative of your deceased loved one’s estate for the purpose of wrongful death litigation. This is why it is important to contact the experienced wrongful death lawyers at Dominguez Law to assist with the designation and appointment of a representative of the deceased’s estate. Wrongful death lawsuits can be brought against a wide variety of people, companies, government agencies, and employees. The knowledgeable wrongful death lawyers at Dominguez Law may be able to help you identify the at-fault party and execute a solid strategy to retain the necessary compensation.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in New Mexico?
When determining who can file a wrongful death lawsuit, New Mexico follows a priority system to ensure that certain individuals have the opportunity to seek justice for the loss of their loved one. The following individuals have the right to open a wrongful death claim in New Mexico, in order of priority:
- The surviving spouse of the deceased person
- If there is no surviving spouse, the surviving children of the deceased person
- If there is no surviving spouse or children, the surviving parents of the deceased person
- If there is no surviving spouse, children, or parents, the personal representative can file the lawsuit on behalf of the deceased person’s estate
The personal representative, also known as the executor or administrator of the deceased person’s estate, is typically named in the deceased person’s will or appointed by the court if there is no will. This representative is responsible for managing the legal affairs of the deceased person and distributing their assets according to the will or the state’s intestate laws if there is no will.
It is important to note that in New Mexico, wrongful death claims must be filed within three years from the date of the person’s death. Consulting with an attorney who specializes in wrongful death cases is advisable to understand the specific requirements and legal procedures involved in filing a lawsuit in such cases.
Understanding Wrongful Death Lawsuits in New Mexico
If you are considering pursuing a New Mexico wrongful death lawsuit, it is crucial to note how the law applies in the state. New Mexico law sets out specific provisions that determine who may bring a lawsuit, when it must be brought, and who is entitled to damages.
The New Mexico Wrongful Death Act
The New Mexico Wrongful Death Act allows residents to pursue a lawsuit whenever someone else’s wrongdoing or negligence causes a person’s death. Typically, a wrongful death action in New Mexico is brought by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. This is commonly a surviving spouse, sibling, or another family member.
How Are Funds Distributed in New Mexico?
State law provides the specific manner in which proceeds will be distributed in a wrongful death case. Any damages would first be given to a surviving spouse or divided between a surviving spouse and children. If there isn’t a surviving spouse or child, compensation from a wrongful death suit would be distributed among other family members such as grandchildren, parents, or siblings, depending on your family’s circumstances. Damages that may be available in a wrongful death action include:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Mental anguish
- Loss of financial contribution
There may also be circumstances in which survivors can seek punitive damages, which punish the at-fault party based on their intentional, reckless or negligent actions, and to also send a message to deter any future intentional, reckless or negligent actions from happening in our community.
Protect Your Rights after a Tragic Loss by Consulting an Albuquerque Wrongful Death Attorney
If you have any additional questions about pursuing a wrongful death claim in New Mexico or if you’d like to discuss your situation with a skilled wrongful death lawyer, don’t hesitate to contact us at Dominguez Law today. Our team of compassionate and aggressive wrongful death layers is dedicated to protecting your rights by examining your case in detail and constructing a concrete case against the responsible party. While you focus on spending time with your family, you can also have peace of mind that our lawyers will be doing everything possible to secure the compensation you need from the at-fault party.
No matter the circumstance, enduring the death of a loved one is a devastating occurrence. The wrongful death attorneys at Dominguez Law understand the long-lasting effects that losing a relative can have on families and are standing by to assist in any way we can. We’re committed to remaining by your side throughout the legal process and helping you consider your options. To speak with an Albuquerque personal injury attorney during a free consultation, call 505-596-4481 or contact us online today.