Santa Fe Wrongful Death Lawyer

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Santa Fe Wrongful Death Attorney

Santa Fe Wrongful Death Lawyer

Losing someone close to you due to the negligence or wrongdoing of a third party is one of the most devastating experiences a human being can face. At Berenson & Associates, PC, we understand the profound impact a wrongful death can have on surviving family members and loved ones, and our compassionate team of Santa Fe wrongful death lawyers is available to help.

As a top Santa Fe wrongful death law firm, we can provide you with the high-quality, end-to-end legal guidance you need to manage the process of seeking justice and recompense on behalf of your lost loved one. Our dedicated mastery of this sensitive and complex area of law allows you and your family to focus on supporting one another, mourning your loss, and rebuilding after this tragic experience.

While no legal action can ever bring back the family member you have lost, it’s important to consider your legal options when faced with this level of tragedy. A negotiated settlement or court-ordered judgment pursuant to a wrongful death action can provide your family with a substantial financial award that supports you while you heal and rebuild after the loss of a family member.

Leveraging the skills of a qualified Santa Fe wrongful death lawyer to help walk you through this legally daunting and emotionally sensitive process is a great way to pursue justice and financial stability for your family without taking on additional stress for yourself.

Understanding Wrongful Death Claims in New Mexico

In the State of New Mexico, a wrongful death claim may be filed to seek financial damages in civil court after a person dies as the result of the negligence, recklessness, unlawful behavior, or intentional malfeasance of another party. These claims allow a representative of the decedent’s estate to seek compensation from the responsible party.

Wrongful death claims can stem from a variety of different situations, including, but not limited to:

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents – Many wrongful death claims arise from car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and other types of fatal motor vehicle collisions.
  • Medical Malpractice – When a medical provider or long-term inpatient facility fails to provide an adequate level of care, directly resulting in the death of a patient, the decedent’s estate can pursue a wrongful death claim.
  • Workplace Accidents – Fatalities that occur at the workplace, such as construction accidents, industrial accidents, and deaths resulting from other occupational hazards, may also lead to wrongful death claims, either against an employer or a responsible third party.
  • Defective Products – Deaths caused by defective products, such as faulty machinery, inadequate automotive components, defective medical devices, and dangerous household appliances, can lead to product manufacturers facing liability for wrongful death claims.
  • Premises Liability – Property owners can also be held responsible for wrongful deaths when a fatal accident occurs on their premises due to unsafe conditions, inadequate maintenance, or negligent security practices.

It’s important to note that a wrongful death claim is separate from criminal charges such as homicide or manslaughter. Your wrongful death suit is a civil court matter and is designed to seek financial restitution for the loss of a loved one. It will not result in the defendant facing prison time or other penalties, which is an entirely separate matter that must be handled by the state’s criminal justice system.

While no financial award can ever replace the loss of a loved one, wrongful death settlements in civil court can be quite substantial and are often worth pursuing. Settlements are not intended to pay for your loved one’s death in a literal, transactional sense, but these funds can help grieving and wronged families find financial stability during an incredibly stressful and tumultuous time.

Of course, this legal process can, itself, become an additional stressor, but enlisting the help of a skilled New Mexico wrongful death attorney from Berenson & Associates allows you to seek justice and compensation without additional pressure on your own shoulders.

The total amount of a wrongful death award in New Mexico will be the sum of a variety of factors, including:

  • Final Expenses. For starters, a wrongful death award must cover all burial costs and other funerary expenses for the deceased.
  • Lost Income. The wages and other direct financial benefits the decedent would have otherwise brought into their household can be factored into a wrongful death award. This is often based on the decedent’s income at the time of death, but a skilled wrongful death attorney may be able to make an argument for additional earning potential if the decedent was underemployed when they passed away.
  • Emotional Distress. The untimely loss of a family member can result in severe psychological trauma to a surviving spouse, child, or parent. They are also robbed of the support, companionship, and guidance they once got from the decedent. While it is difficult to put a price tag on these intangible factors, they, too, can be included in a wrongful death award.
  • Medical Expenses. If the fatal injury or illness resulted in medical expenses before the decedent passed away, these should also be covered by the wrongful death settlement.
  • Pain and Suffering. This doesn’t just refer to the emotional distress suffered by surviving family members. If the decedent themselves were subjected to pain and suffering before their wrongful death, this can also be a factor in a settlement amount.
  • Your Attorney’s Skill Level. One key factor that sometimes goes overlooked is your attorney’s ability to effectively negotiate and litigate a wrongful death claim. Without a powerful attorney on your side, it can be difficult to ensure that all compensable damages are being considered and that you’re not being pressured into accepting an inadequate settlement.

Once all of these damages have been calculated and officially awarded by a judge, the funds are distributed to the qualifying surviving family members. This typically includes the decedent’s surviving spouse, children, and parents. In New Mexico, the exact percentage of the award that will be given to each party is based on their closeness to the decedent and the level of financial benefit the decedent would have otherwise brought to that individual’s life.

FAQs for Santa Fe Wrongful Death Lawyers

Q: Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in NM?

A: Unlike some other states, where qualifying family members can bring a wrongful death suit directly to court, New Mexico requires a wrongful death claim to be filed by the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. This personal representative could be the executor named in a will or a trustworthy party appointed by the court if no will exists. Any funds recovered are then split between surviving relatives like spouses, children, and parents, in accordance with New Mexico law.

Q: What Is the Highest Wrongful Death Settlement?

A: There is no maximum cap on wrongful death settlements in New Mexico. Instead, any settlement will be calculated to cover the legally compensable damages related to that unique case. Some people dealing with medical malpractice wrongful death claims mistake a medical provider’s liability insurance limits as the maximum possible payout, but this isn’t technically accurate.

For example, if a doctor carries liability insurance with a $750,000 limit and a wrongful death award is calculated at $1 million, the doctor may be individually responsible for the outstanding amount of $250,000.

Q: What Are Wrongful Death Suits Typically Filed Against?

A: It is important to understand that there is no such thing as a “typical” wrongful death case, as each situation is going to be totally unique. The types of entities that might be sued for wrongful death range from individuals to employers to large medical systems. It all depends on the circumstances of your individual case and how the at-fault party caused your loved one’s death.

Q: What Is the Statute of Limitations for Wrongful Death in New Mexico?

A: In the State of New Mexico, a wrongful death claim must be filed within three years of the death in question. This means that if there is a significant gap in time between the date of a fatal injury and the date of death, the statute of limitations begins at the latter event. The 3-year window gives parties ample time to gather evidence and plan a legal strategy, but it can often be beneficial to consult with an attorney and get the process started as rapidly as possible.

Berenson & Associates, PC: Your Trusted Partner for Santa Fe Wrongful Death Claims

At Berenson & Associates, we are dedicated to helping New Mexico families navigate the complex world of civil law under the most tragic and trying circumstances. We are committed not only to justice but also to your family’s well-being, which means helping you get through this difficult time with an adequate level of financial support from a substantial settlement or judgment.

We have a reputation throughout the Santa Fe area for handling this sensitive legal topic with the utmost compassion, integrity, and respect.

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another party, don’t hesitate to reach out to Berenson & Associates, PC for an initial consultation. Our world-class Santa Fe wrongful death team is here to provide you with compassionate yet powerful legal representation that will allow you to pursue justice and compensation on behalf of your fallen loved one. Contact us today to get the process started.


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