Farmington Wrongful Death Lawyer

Call Patscheck Law, P.C. for a free, no-obligation consultation with a local attorney, ready to help.

The loss of a loved one is always a tragedy. While a wrongful death claim cannot make everything better, it can help you process your grief. A New Mexico wrongful death lawyer from Patscheck Law will compassionately listen to your story and help you and your family move forward. Call us today at (505) 325-9898 or contact us online.

Defining Wrongful Death in New Mexico

According to the New Mexico wrongful death statute (New Mexico Statues Annotated Section 41-2-1), a wrongful death is a death “caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another.” These deaths often amount to felony criminal offenses; however, the family of the deceased individual can also recover damages through a civil lawsuit called a wrongful death claim.

There is a statute of limitations, or deadline, by which a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed. The injured party has three years after the death of their loved one to file a claim. This may seem like a long time, but the legal process can be extensive. It’s essential to reach out to a New Mexico wrongful death attorney right when the death occurs so that an investigation can begin immediately.

Elements of a Wrongful Death Claim

In New Mexico, a wrongful death claim may be filed when the following elements are present:

  1. There was a wrongful, negligent, or default act
  2. The act caused a death
  3. If the person had lived, they would have had a valid personal injury lawsuit

Different types of incidents could result in a wrongful death claim, including the following:

  • Negligence (car accidents, nursing home accidents, daycare accidents)
  • Wrongful Acts (typically criminal acts and other intentional actions)
  • Default (failure to take appropriate steps leading to death, such as medical malpractice)

Damages Available in a NM Wrongful Death Claim

Everyone’s situation is unique, and a Farmington wrongful death lawyer can help you understand the true value of your case. You can get compensation to cover the following losses:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Burial costs
  • Medical expenses incurred before death
  • Loss of health and life insurance due to death
  • Loss of financial support and inheritance
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of companionship

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Farmington, NM

The process of filing a wrongful death claim generally involves the following steps:

  1. Contact an attorney for wrongful death claims. An experienced attorney can help you understand the legal process and your rights.
  2. Conduct an investigation. This will require you to identify the defendant and gather evidence to support your case.
  3. File a complaint. A complaint is a legal document outlining the facts of the case and the damages you seek.
  4. Engage in the discovery process. This involves exchanging information between the parties involved in the lawsuit.
  5. Negotiate with the insurance company. The parties may attempt to settle the case out of court. This can save time and money, but ensuring a fair wrongful death settlement is crucial.
  6. Go to trial. If the case cannot be settled out of court, it will go to trial. At trial, a jury will hear evidence from both sides and decide if the defendant is liable for the wrongful death.

Wrongful death claims can be complex and emotionally taxing, so it is important to have an experienced lawyer for wrongful death claims on your side. An attorney can help you navigate the legal process and get the justice you deserve.

Wrongful Death FAQs

You likely have many questions about your wrongful death claim. Our legal team has answers for you.

How Do Wrongful Deaths Differ from Homicide Prosecutions?

A wrongful death is a civil lawsuit similar to a personal injury case. The outcome is a verdict or settlement that provides financial compensation to the victim’s family.

A homicide or murder prosecution may also take place in conjunction with a wrongful death claim. However, it is a criminal lawsuit in which the state sues the defendant who caused the death. The outcome involves criminal penalties like prison and fines.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in New Mexico?

In New Mexico, wrongful death claims must be filed by the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate on behalf of the deceased. A personal representative may be a surviving spouse, child, or sibling. If one of these individuals does not serve as the personal representative, the court may appoint someone.

How Is the Money Distributed in a Wrongful Death Claim?

The personal representative of the estate of the deceased does not have a say over how the money collected on a wrongful death claim is distributed. This is determined by law.

If there are no children, then the deceased person’s spouse receives all the money. If there is a surviving spouse and surviving children and grandchildren, then damages are split between the spouse the surviving children and grandchildren. If there is no surviving spouse, the damages are divided among the surviving children and grandchildren.

What Happens in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

During a wrongful death lawsuit, your attorney will investigate, gather evidence, draft legal documents, negotiate with the insurance company, and take the case to trial, if necessary.

You may be expected to testify regarding your losses and what happened to cause the death. This can be very difficult and emotionally exhausting. However, your wrongful death attorney can help you develop answers to frequent questions so you are prepared to answer them.

Call a Farmington Wrongful Death Lawyer Today

Attorney Shellie Patscheck truly cares about your loss. She knows that you’re going through the most difficult time of your life after the death of a loved one. She is here to help. Contact Patscheck Law to speak with a compassionate attorney who will help you get the compensation you need to move forward with life after the death of a loved one.

Call us today at (505) 325-9898 or use our online contact form to reach out and schedule a case consultation.