The accomplished wrongful death lawyers at Dominguez Law Firm, LLC have represented countless families near Albuquerque who have lost loved ones because of someone else’s negligence. These cases often provide the only form of justice a family can ever obtain for their loss. Aware of this situation, our legal team will channel all of our energies into protecting your rights. With years of courtroom experience, coupled with our use of innovative technology, we can provide the high level of attention that a wrongful death case requires.Pursuing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
This type of legal claim arises from negligent behavior that tragically causes a person to lose his or her life. As with standard personal injury cases, the plaintiff must show that the defendant has breached a duty of care. While there are specific standards in certain circumstances, these are variations on the general principle of “due care,” which means that everyone must behave as a reasonable person would act in a similar situation to avoid endangering the safety of others. To succeed on a negligence claim, there must also be sufficient proof that the breach caused injuries to the victim and that actual damages resulted from the harm.
In cases where carelessness by a person or entity causes someone’s death, there are important legal considerations to take into account. State 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 allows a lawsuit whenever the death of a person is caused by another’s wrongdoing or negligence. In these cases, the law permits another person to bring the claims that an injured individual would have been entitled to bring had he or she not passed away. 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 other family member.
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. In the event there is no 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 the family circumstances.
Damages that may be available in a wrongful death action include pain and suffering, medical expenses, loss of consortium or companionship, mental anguish, and loss of financial contribution. In addition, there may be circumstances when survivors can seek punitive damages in a wrongful death case. In these situations, it must be shown that the defendant acted intentionally, recklessly, or with gross negligence.
Wrongful death actions are subject to a statute of limitations, or a specific time period in which a claim must be filed. The failure to file a lawsuit within the appropriate amount of time usually results in a complete bar to recovery. In New Mexico, a wrongful death claim must be brought within three years of the date of the deceased individual’s death.Protect Your Rights After a Tragic Loss by Consulting an Albuquerque Lawyer
The death of a loved one is a devastating occurrence. The injury attorneys at Dominguez Law Firm, LLC understand the long-lasting effects that losing a relative can have on Albuquerque families. Our lawyers can guide you through the legal process with compassion and understanding. If you have lost someone you love as a result of another person’s negligence, our firm can help you consider your options and decide on next steps. To speak with a lawyer today, call (505) 850-5854 or contact us online.