When a person is killed as a result of the negligent or wrongful actions of another person or entity in New Mexico, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed against the responsible party or parties. The lawsuit must be filed by the personal representative of the victim. If the lawsuit is successful, New Mexico outlines how the damages should be distributed to the decedent's family members.
New Mexico Statutes 41-2-3 controls how damages are distributed in wrongful death claims. When the decedent leaves behind a spouse but no children, the damages will be distributed to the spouse. If the deceased leaves behind a spouse and a surviving child or grandchild, then half of the damages will be paid to the spouse, and the other half will go to the surviving child or grandchild.
If the decedent was unmarried but had a child or a grandchild, then the damages will be passed to the child or grandchild. If the person who was killed was a minor who did not have any children and was unmarried, the damages will be paid to the child's parents. If the decedent did not leave behind any spouse, parent, child or grandchild, then the damages will be paid to the siblings. Finally, if there are no surviving family members as listed in the statute, then the damages will be distributed as called for under the law.
The loss of a loved one can be devastating. The state allows family members to recover damages as specified by the law. People may want to talk to experienced personal injury lawyers about what happened to their family members. Attorneys may work to help their clients recover damages so that they can be compensated for the losses that they have suffered because of their loved ones' deaths.