attorney discussing wrongful death

Questions Concerning Wrongful Death

The sudden loss is difficult enough to process without considering the legal ramifications of the event. Nonetheless, it is important that you find an experienced and highly skilled personal injury attorney to guide you through the ensuing legal process to ensure just compensation for you and your family in the face of the tragedy. Following are answers to some commonly asked questions by New Mexico residents about wrongful death. Even though these answers may be helpful, it is always imperative to consult directly with a knowledgeable attorney before making any decisions.

1. Must you be a relation to the person who died to file a wrongful death claim? 

Yes. Non-family members cannot file a wrongful death claim on their own, no matter how closely connected to the deceased, unless those who have first claim to administer the deceased’s estate cede their claim to the non-family member. 

2. How is the amount of the settlement decided in a wrongful death suit?

Typically, the range of the settlement depends on the following: the manner of death, what the victim was doing at the time of the incident, and on the age, employment or employment potential of the victim. Other factors may also come into play.

3. How long is the statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death suit in New York State?

Two years from the date of injury.

4: What is the statute of limitations for a wrongful death in prison, such as after an assault or due to a suicide? 

Claims against the state have a 3-year statute of limitations but there is a requirement that a Notice of Intention be filed sooner.

5. Is it possible for both a spouse and a child of the deceased to file separate lawsuits?  

No, only one lawsuit can be filed on behalf of the estate. 

6: What are survivors compensated for in a New Mexico wrongful death case?

The family of the deceased is eligible to receive both economic and noneconomic damages for the wrongful death. Economic damages may include lost income, medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, etc. Noneconomic damages may include damages for trauma or emotional pain. In rare cases,  punitive damages may be awarded if the party responsible was grossly negligent.