The death of a loved one can have devastating consequences on your well-being. Your family could lose its sole breadwinner, and you may be left facing the uncertainties of life all alone.
Fortunately, it is possible to bring a wrongful death claim against the responsible party and get compensation for your damages. Here is what you need to know.
Damages in a wrongful death claim
Like all other personal injury claims, there are two types of compensatory damages for wrongful death: economic and non-economic. In some cases, the court may award punitive damages depending on the prevailing circumstances of your loved one’s death.
Economic damages cover the direct and indirect financial losses arising from your loss. Usually, your loved one’s financial contribution to the household will play a significant role in arriving at the final figure for these damages. Economic damages include things like:
- Hospital bills, if your loved one incurred medical costs in treating their injuries or illness
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost present and future wages, among others.
On the other hand, non-economic damages are not based on monetary losses, but it does not mean they are inferior. The deprivation of family relationship benefits such as companionship or guidance can be equally damaging. Other non-economic damages include loss of consortium, emotional distress, as well as psychological pain and suffering from losing a loved one.
Damage caps that may apply
In New Mexico, damage caps only apply to medical malpractice cases. Therefore, if your loved one’s wrongful death was not a result of medical negligence, your settlement will not be legally capped. It means that you can recover the full value of your claim as long as the damages can be proven.
Emotions may run high in such proceedings, and you may not be in the right mental state to handle everything. Therefore, getting the necessary legal help is advisable if you have a wrongful death claim. It will help you protect your rights and interests as the dependents of the deceased.