The types of damages to claim in your wrongful death lawsuit

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2024 | Wrongful Death

The death of a loved one can be devastating, especially when someone else’s negligence or intentional harm caused their demise. As a result, the surviving family members may face financial and emotional burdens.

In New Mexico, the law allows the deceased’s family members to seek compensation for their losses through a wrongful death claim. If you lost a family member due to wrongful death, what types of damages can you claim in your pursuit of justice?

Economic damages

Economic damages are quantifiable losses resulting from a wrongful death. These include medical expenses incurred before the death, funeral and burial costs and the loss of the deceased’s expected earnings. Additionally, you can claim the value of services the deceased would have provided to your family, such as childcare or household maintenance.

Noneconomic damages

On the other hand, noneconomic damages are more subjective. These include compensation for the suffering and pain the deceased experienced before death. Other examples of noneconomic damages are the loss of companionship, guidance and emotional support as well as the mental anguish that you and your family suffered due to the loss.

Punitive damages

In certain instances, the court may award punitive or exemplary damages. These are not meant to compensate for a specific loss of your family but to punish the defendant for extremely reprehensible behavior and deter similar conduct.

Time limit for wrongful death claims

According to New Mexico law, you must file a wrongful death claim within generally three years from the date of the deceased’s passing. This means that you must initiate a claim within this timeframe, or your family may lose the right to seek damages.

Fighting for your rights

While no amount of money can truly compensate for the loss of your loved one, seeking wrongful death damages can alleviate financial burdens and provide a sense of justice. With legal guidance, you may navigate the complexities of the law, explore your options and fight for your rights during a time of grief.

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Nathan A. Cobb