Wrongful Death Claims: What You Need to Know

wrongful death claim

The death of a loved one is always a traumatic event, but if someone dies because of the careless or reckless actions of someone else, it can be even more heartbreaking for the person’s family. In such cases, the law allows a wrongful death claim to be made.

The United States Constitution, in its 7th Amendment, guarantees the right to a civil jury trial. As prison or probation is not perfect justice for a murderer or lesser crimes, a judgment of money is not perfect justice for a wrongful death or lesser injuries. But all a civil jury can do is declare the “value” of the harm that was done. Just as our jobs, cars and art have “value”, the “figure” is an acknowledgment of the harm suffered. It offers a degree of closure in our society, and a way to understand and address bad behavior that hurts others. Without the civil legal system, harms and losses – and bad behavior – would never be addressed.

When does a wrongful death claim apply?

Statistics reveal that, across the United States, accidents or unintentional deaths cause over 130,000 deaths per year. Of this total, a large percentage are the result of vehicle collisions, where perhaps a negligent or dangerous driver has caused a crash. Also to blame are falls, firearms discharge incidents, or even instances of accidental exposure to poisonous fumes or flames – cases where a landlord has disregarded his duty to maintain a safe premises.

Wrongful death claims can originate from a variety of different situations, so it is important to get in touch with an experienced attorney if your beloved has been a victim of wrongful death. A good lawyer can help make the claim process smoother, increase the claim value, and help you obtain financial compensation to pay for medical bills and recover lost earnings.

Who can file a wrongful death claim in Albuquerque?

Under New Mexico law, an appointed wrongful death personal representative files the lawsuit. Many people can act as a representative, including attorneys, spouses, adult children and other family members of the deceased. The deceased person’s survivors may be entitled to compensatory damages arising from the person’s death, such as lost wages and medical care. They can also file for punitive damages, which are not based on actual losses but instead serve to punish the wrongdoer and discourage others from engaging in a similar behavior.

Who benefits from a wrongful death lawsuit?

While state law allows for many people to file a wrongful death claim, there are rules regarding who can receive the proceeds under the New Mexico Wrongful Death Act. The deceased person’s spouse and children are first in line to receive money from a wrongful death claim. If the person wasn’t married and had no children, his or her parents, siblings, or other relatives may receive the proceeds.

A wrongful death lawyer in Albuquerque can help you make the person or entity responsible for your loved one’s death accountable for their actions. Contact the experienced team at Parnall Law Firm for a confidential consultation by calling 505-332-BERT (2378) today.