New Mexico

Wrongful Death Attorneys

Losing a loved one is incredibly difficult.

What’s even worse is losing a loved one in an event that could have been prevented.

At Stewart + Harmonson, we help the surviving families of people killed in negligent or wrongful acts fight for the compensation that can help them move forward. We have a combined 40+ years of experience as dedicated personal injury attorneys in this region, and we’d be honored to help you with your case.

While nothing can bring your loved one back, there are protections in the law that allow you to seek compensation from the negligent or wrongful party who caused your loved one’s death through a wrongful death lawsuit. Like a personal injury lawsuit, wrongful death must be proven and either settled privately or through a trial.

Call (575) 333-HELP to schedule your consultation

New Mexico

Wrongful Death Attorneys

Losing a loved one is incredibly difficult.

What’s even worse is losing a loved one in an event that could have been prevented.

Call (575) 333-HELP to schedule your consultation

At Stewart + Harmonson, we help the surviving families of people killed in negligent or wrongful acts fight for the compensation that can help them move forward. We have a combined 40+ years of experience as dedicated personal injury attorneys in this region, and we’d be honored to help you with your case.

While nothing can bring your loved one back, there are protections in the law that allow you to seek compensation from the negligent or wrongful party who caused your loved one’s death through a wrongful death lawsuit. Like a personal injury lawsuit, wrongful death must be proven and either settled privately or through a trial.

“Mr. Harmonson was very professional and compassionate in the representation of my case. I can definitely say he is reliable and trustworthy. I was never left wondering where anything stood. I thank him from the bottom of my heart.”

- Carlos C.

What is wrongful death?

According to New Mexico law, wrongful death is defined as a death that is “caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another.”

The idea behind this type of lawsuit is that if the wrongful act had not caused this person’s death, they would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit. Instead, someone else must bring the claim to court to seek damages.

There are many injuries that could lead to a wrongful death lawsuit, including:

Who can file for wrongful death in New Mexico?

Something to consider while preparing a wrongful death claim in New Mexico is who can file the claim under New Mexico law. A wrongful death suit is a type of personal injury claim, so the person closest to the deceased should be the one to file.

Some states allow the deceased person’s spouse or children to file a wrongful death lawsuit, but New Mexico is not one of them. In New Mexico, a wrongful death claim must be filed by the personal representative (or “executor”) of the deceased person’s estate.

If the deceased person has an estate plan, the personal representative will be named in the plan. If they did not have an estate plan — or if the person named cannot serve as the representative and file the wrongful death suit — the court will appoint someone in their place.

If you’ve lost a loved one and are not sure who their personal representative is, contact a New Mexico wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible about your options. New Mexico limits the amount of time to file a wrongful death claim (the statute of limitations) to three years, and managing your grief can make that time go quickly.

Compensation for New Mexico wrongful death claims

If a wrongful death lawsuit is successful, the negligent party will have to pay damages.

A wrongful death claim can cover many different types of damages, including:

  • Medical expenses related to the illness or injury
  • Lost wages (particularly if your loved one was the household’s primary source of income)
  • Emotional trauma
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Pain and suffering (that your loved one suffered before they died)

Even though the personal representative of your loved one’s estate will be the one actually filing the lawsuit, the damages are awarded to the deceased person’s estate or directly to their survivors.

Here’s how those damages work in New Mexico:

  • If the deceased person was married with no children, all damages go to the spouse.
  • If the deceased person was married with children or grandchildren, damages are divided in half (half for the spouse and half for the children/grandchildren).
  • If the deceased person had children or grandchildren but no surviving spouse, the court will divide the damages between the children or grandchildren.
  • If the deceased person was not married, had no children, or was a minor, the child’s parents will receive the damages.

Even though the personal representative of your loved one’s estate will be the one actually filing the lawsuit, the damages are awarded to the deceased person’s estate or directly to their survivors.

Here’s how those damages work in New Mexico:

  • If the deceased person was married with no children, all damages go to the spouse.
  • If the deceased person was married with children or grandchildren, damages are divided in half (half for the spouse and half for the children/grandchildren).
  • If the deceased person had children or grandchildren but no surviving spouse, the court will divide the damages between the children or grandchildren.
  • If the deceased person was not married, had no children, or was a minor, the child’s parents will receive the damages.

Contact a New Mexico wrongful death attorney today

Our team at Stewart + Harmonson is dedicated to helping families recover as best they can from accidents and illnesses caused by other people. If you have a case that we can help you with, get in touch with our New Mexico office today to schedule your first consultation.

Call (575) 333-HELP to schedule your consultation
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    “Stephen Stewart and his associates are the most amazing people. They’re all caring and very personable. They got us everything we needed and even more! We’re beyond grateful for them.”

    - S.V.