If another person or a business causes the death of your family member, you will want justice. In some scenarios, the state of New Mexico May prosecute the responsible party. A conviction for drunk driving or a similar offense may give you some closure, but your family will have to absorb numerous, lasting consequences.
Regardless of whether the state successfully brings criminal charges against someone or not, you may want to pursue economic justice for your loss in the civil courts. A wrongful death lawsuit can reimburse surviving family members for the losses they suffered after a death caused by neglect, default or wrongful acts.
If your loved one would have likely had the right to file a lawsuit if they had survived, then you may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit after their death. What can you ask the courts for in such a claim?
You can ask for both current and future losses
A wrongful death lawsuit provides an opportunity to recover the significant financial losses that occur when someone dies. They may have required tens of thousands of dollars in medical care before dying. There may also be funeral and burial expenses for you to consider. You can claim any current financial expenses related to your loved one’s death.
Beyond that, there will be property damage losses, especially in a car crash.
Wrongful death claims can also seek compensation for future losses, including lost income your loved one would have earned. Both the wages and the employment benefits someone provided the family can factor into what their loved ones receive. Even the value of their unpaid services around the home could increase the claim.
Can you file a wrongful death lawsuit?
While many states let family members like spouses and children file a wrongful death lawsuit, that is not the approach in New Mexico. Instead, it is the representative of someone’s estate that brings a claim, and they will later distribute whatever they recover to the dependent family members according to state law.
Learning about the rules that govern New Mexico wrongful death claims can help surviving family members pursue justice after a family tragedy.