Who Can File a New Mexico Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

New Mexico’s Wrongful Death Act lets surviving family members obtain a monetary award for the passing of their relative due to another person’s negligent actions.  New Mexico’s Wrongful Death Act specifies how a wrongful death claim can be initiated and who may benefit from any monetary recovery.

These cases are brought by and under the name of a personal representative appointed under New Mexico’s Wrongful Death Act.   Choosing a wrongful death attorney for Santa Fe, New Mexico, is an important part in assessing, beginning and navigating the process.

Specific Parties Must File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

New Mexico’s Wrongful Death Act mandates that a wrongful death personal representative be appointed in order to bring forward a wrongful death claim.  A wrongful death personal representative is not a personal representative appointed to probate a decedent’s will.  The wrongful death personal representative is appointed solely to serve as the person whose name the lawsuit is filed under and will be tasked to work with counsel to ensure that any recovery is distributed pursuant to the mandates of the Wrongful Death Act. 

It is important to note that, although the personal representative files the case, the money received goes to heirs pursuant to the mandates of the Wrongful Death Act. 

Any monetary recovery under New Mexico’s Wrongful Death Act is distributed under the mandates of NMSA 1978, § 41-2-3 (2001).   More specifically a wrongful death recovery is distributed as follows:

  1. One spouse, but no children: All lawsuit proceeds go to the surviving spouse.
  2. One spouse and has descendants: Half of the lawsuit proceeds go to the spouse, while the other half is distributed equally among the descendants.
  3. No spouse but has descendants: All lawsuit proceeds are divided equally among descendants or under New Mexico’s distribution laws.
  4. No spouse and no descendants: All lawsuit proceeds go to the decedent’s parents.
  5. No spouse, no descendants, and no parents: All lawsuit proceeds go to siblings.

Handling a wrongful death case is complex. Grieving survivors typically feel overwhelmed by the intricacies and nuances associated with negotiating or litigating an adequate financial award for the careless and reckless damage someone else inflicted upon your family.

Recover Money for Your Financial & Emotional Harm

Money never replaces the love, warmth, and wisdom your family member brought when he or she was alive. However, it will help you pay for the things your family needs to recover its losses, potentially contribute to your future, and hold negligent parties accountable for their actions.

No amount of money can ever replace a loved one. Nevertheless, awarding compensation is all a court can do, so it can demand that any defendant who caused your loved one’s death to pay you money. This compensation is called “damages.” There are many different types of damages surviving family members can receive in a wrongful death lawsuit, including:

  • Funeral and burial or cremation expenses
  • Medical treatment for injury costs incurred before death
  • Pain and suffering endured before death
  • Mental anguish
  • Lost enjoyment of life
  • Loss of companionship
  • Lost work wages and benefits
  • Lost future earnings and contributions
  • Loss of guidance for children
  • In some cases, there may be a claim for punitive damages
  • And more

The amount of money you can anticipate receiving depends upon the facts and circumstances of your case. Many of these items are difficult to calculate since they are subjective. Hiring a wrongful death attorney for Santa Fe, New Mexico who has the experience, insight, and resources on hand to help you go after what you want and deserve is an important decision.

Free Consultation with a New Mexico Wrongful Death Attorney

If the unthinkable happens to your family, turn to a wrongful death attorney for Santa Fe, New Mexico that has a strong command of navigating these issues. You deserve money for the egregious acts that another person inflicted upon your loved one and your family member.

At Grano Law Offices, P.C., my staff, and I will treat you and your family members with the highest level of respect and empathy during this tragic time. Please call me for a free consultation to discuss your legal options at 505-587-8649.

If you prefer to send me a callback request online, send my professional legal team a message here.

Posted in Personal Injury

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