Santa Fe Wrongful Death Attorney
The passing of a family member is a difficult experience for anyone. But the pain and sadness of your loss may be compounded if your loved one’s death was caused by the wrongful acts of another party. If your loved one suffered an avoidable and untimely death, you deserve to pursue justice and accountability for this immeasurable loss.
A Santa Fe wrongful death lawyer from Parnall Law can help your family demand the compensation you need and the justice you deserve. Since 1997, we’ve advocated for the rights and interests of families in complex wrongful death cases across central New Mexico. Our firm is committed to providing qualified, knowledgeable, and compassionate legal counsel to those who’ve lost loved ones in Santa Fe. We offer a 100% client satisfaction guarantee. So if you aren’t satisfied with our work on your case within the first 30 days of retaining our firm, you may take your case file at no cost and with no questions asked.
Contact us today for a free initial case review to learn more about how a Santa Fe wrongful death attorney can make the difference in helping your family.
Do I Need an Attorney After a Wrongful Death Accident in Santa Fe?
A wrongful death refers to a person’s death being caused by someone else’s intentional, willful, reckless, or negligent actions. When you’ve lost a loved one, the last thing you want to do is embark on a complicated legal undertaking. Yet, a wrongful death claim can help provide you with some closure by holding the at-fault party liable for their behavior.
While a wrongful death claim can be complicated, a skilled trial attorney can help you navigate the entire legal process and protect your family during this difficult time.
What Parnall Law Can Do for You
When you and your family have lost a loved one due to another party’s wrongful actions, Parnall Law can help you demand justice and compensation for your loss. Our firm has a proven track record of successful results obtained on behalf of our clients, including:
- $2.5 million for the family of a motorcycle rider killed by a pickup driver
- $1.6 million recovery after a hospital patient passed away from bedsores
- $1.15 million for a family after a fatal auto accident caused by criminal activity
Our firm will handle all aspects of your family’s wrongful death claim so you can have the time and space to grieve for your loved one. We will fully investigate the circumstances of your loved one’s death to identify the parties who are liable. We can also handle negotiations with the responsible parties and insurance companies, vigorously pursuing a settlement that provides your family with full compensation and some measure of justice for your loss.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Under New Mexico law, a wrongful death claim needs to be filed by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. The personal representative would typically be the executor or administrator of the estate. For most people, their surviving spouse, a surviving child, a surviving parent, or a surviving sibling would serve as the executor or administrator of the estate.
A wrongful death claim is brought on behalf of the decedent’s estate for the benefit of the decedent’s eligible surviving family members. Eligible family members that can receive compensation in a wrongful death claim in Santa Fe include:
- A surviving spouse.
- Surviving children and grandchildren. If a decedent leaves a spouse and surviving descendants, then one-half of the recovery in a wrongful death claim goes to the surviving spouse, while the other half is split among the surviving descendants. If a decedent only has surviving children, the compensation from a wrongful death claim is divided according to New Mexico’s right of representation laws.
- If a decedent leaves no surviving spouse or descendants, then the compensation from the claim is paid to surviving parents or to surviving siblings.
What Types of Compensation Will I Get After a Wrongful Death Accident in Santa Fe?
In a wrongful death claim, you may be entitled to recover compensation for the losses your loved one’s estate and your family have incurred, such as:
- Medical expenses incurred to treat the decedent’s last injury or illness
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Conscious pain and suffering experienced by the decedent prior to death
- Loss of the decedent’s expected financial contributions to the household or surviving dependents, if they had survived, including loss of benefits such as health insurance
- Loss of the expected growth of the value of the decedent’s estate if they had survived
- Mental anguish and distress caused by the loss of a spouse, parent, or child
- Loss of the decedent’s companionship, society, and guidance
Under certain circumstances, a family may also be entitled to recover punitive damages in a wrongful death claim. Punitive damages are intended to punish the at-fault party for conduct that is considered particularly egregious or shocking, such as intentional harm or reckless behavior, and to serve as a deterrent to others in the future.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Wrongful Death Claim?
Many factors can affect the length of time that it takes to settle a wrongful death claim. Typically, the complexity of the factual and legal issues in the case and whether liability or other facts are being disputed can affect the time it may take to reach a settlement.
If the at-fault party accepts liability for the decedent’s death, a settlement can often be reached within a few months. However, if the at-fault party denies liability or contests the extent of claimed damages, such as the loss of future expected financial contributions or the value of the loss of the decedent’s companionship and society, it can take much longer to reach a settlement, sometimes as long as a few years.
What Is the Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death in New Mexico?
New Mexico’s statute of limitations on wrongful death claims typically gives you three years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a lawsuit. If a lawsuit is filed after the limitations period on your family’s claim expires, the at-fault parties can move to have your case permanently dismissed from court. This means you would lose your right to seek financial compensation in a wrongful death claim.
Contact a Santa Fe Wrongful Death Attorney from Parnall Law
If you lost a loved one due someone else’s negligence or a wrongful act, don’t wait until it is too late to get the financial compensation and closure that you deserve. Contact Parnall Law today for a free consultation to speak to a Santa Fe wrongful death attorney about your rights and options.