What can people claim in a wrongful death lawsuit?

by | Apr 6, 2021 | Firm News

When someone suddenly causes the death of one of your family members, the impact is immediate and severe. You will experience intense emotional grief. If you have children, you may have to handle the grieving process of your kids instead of dealing with your own emotions.

Additionally, you may have to deal with hospital bills, funeral planning, funeral expenses and concerns about how you will pay the bills next month. In situations, like car crashes, where someone else has clear fault for the death of your loved one, your family could potentially benefit from a wrongful death claim.

Under New Mexico law, a representative of the estate of your loved one will be the one who brings a claim in the civil courts against the responsible party. Any compensation the courts award will go to spouses, children, grandchildren, or even parents and siblings. What exactly can someone seek compensation for in a wrongful death lawsuit?

You have the right to seek medical and funeral expenses

The unexpected loss of your loved one will saddle your family with bills and lost income. You can ask the courts for compensation for any medical costs that insurance hasn’t covered, as well as any out-of-pocket expenses you had to pay for that care.

You could also ask for compensation for funeral and burial costs, provided that they are reasonable. In fact, you can theoretically even seek compensation for the pain and suffering that your loved one endured before succumbing to their injuries or illness.

You can seek lost financial contributions and inheritance

The income, financial value of employment benefits and even future inheritance they could have left behind if they had lived out their working life can all contribute to the total amount sought in a wrongful death lawsuit. You can look at current wages, as well as what they may have earned in the future, to determine what amount is appropriate.

You can claim loss of companionship and mental anguish for your grief

Your loved one did more than just provide a paycheck for the family. They did practical work around the house for which they didn’t get paid and likely provided social and emotional support for family members. You can claim the value of their services and a loss of companionship claim.

Additionally, you can see reimbursement for your own suffering and the suffering of your children through a mental anguish claim. Trying to put a price on these forms of personal suffering can be difficult, but it is important that you try to do so in a timely manner.

You typically only have three years from the date of death to initiate a wrongful death claim. Taking action quickly can help protect your family both legally and financially while also helping you secure justice for your loved one.



FindLaw Network
Nathan A. Cobb