Losing a loved one is never easy, and wrongful deaths caused by another party’s negligence are especially painful. Fortunately, surviving family members may be able to find justice for their loss through a wrongful death lawsuit. The best way to protect your rights and preserve your loved one’s legacy is to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Hunt Law Firm is dedicated to holding negligent parties accountable for wrongful death in Santa Fe, and throughout New Mexico, and helping surviving family members find solace. If your loved one’s death was caused by the negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct of another person or entity, we will stand by you through this difficult time and help you obtain just compensation.
What is wrongful death in New Mexico?
A wrongful death action arises when a person is killed as the result of negligence, product liability, or malice on the part of another party. To have a valid wrongful death claim, we must be able to show that the defendant’s negligence caused or contributed to the death.
In addition, that negligent conduct must also be the basis for a legal action had the death not occurred. Finally, surviving family members must have sustained losses arising from the death and there must be recoverable damages by the deceased person’s estate. Types of negligence that may be the legal basis for a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- Car Accidents — According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car accidents cause about 35,000 deaths in the U.S each year. In particular, accidents and fatalities caused by speeding, reckless driving, driving under the influence, and other traffic violations can result in a wrongful death claim.
- Truck Accidents — When collisions between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles result in fatalities, the truck owner, trucking company, and/or truck driver can be held liable.
- Medical Malpractice — Individuals who need medical treatment have a right to expect quality care. When doctors, hospitals, and others fail to provide the appropriate standard of care and cause or contribute to a patient’s death, it is possible to hold them accountable. A wrongful death lawsuit due to medical malpractice can be based on any type of negligence, such as surgical error, anesthesia error, prescription error, misdiagnosis, defective medical equipment or device, birth injury, or nursing home abuse or neglect.
- Workplace Accidents — Construction sites, manufacturing plants, sanitation work, and other hazardous occupations place workers at risk of being killed by falls, fires and explosions, harmful chemicals or equipment, and vehicle accidents. Safety violations and third-party negligence are common reasons for wrongful death claims.
- Product Liability — Manufacturers and distributors have an obligation to provide consumers in New Mexico with safe products. Wrongful deaths can be caused by a wide range of defective products, such as automobiles, electronics, appliances, and tools.
- Violent Crimes — Assault, homicide, and deaths that occur during the commission of a crime can lead to criminal charges; a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed to recover civil damages, regardless of whether the defendant is convicted.
Who can file a lawsuit in New Mexico?
The only person who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit is the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. If there is no will or estate plan, the court will appoint a personal representative. In any case, recoverable damages include:
- Past and future lost wages and benefits
- Medical expenses related to the illness prior to the death
- Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased before death
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of inheritance
- The deceased person’s financial contribution to the household
- Mental anguish due to the death of a spouse, child, or parent
- Reasonable funeral and burial expenses
Although no amount of money can ever replace a life, a wrongful death lawsuit is the surest way to hold negligent parties accountable and help surviving loved ones find justice and peace of mind.
Contact Our Experienced Santa Fe Wrongful Death Lawyer
Knowing that losing a loved one due to wrongful death is overwhelming, Hunt Law Firm will treat you with dignity, respect, and compassion. We will handle all the details of your claim and help lift the emotional and financial burdens you are facing. We have the skills and resources to show how the defendant’s negligence caused or contributed to the death and are committed to helping you obtain just compensation. Above all, we will provide you with a powerful combination of informed representation, innovative courtroom strategies, and caring, efficient service. If you believe your loved one experienced a wrongful death in Santa Fe or the surrounding New Mexico, please contact our office today to speak with our wrongful death attorneys.