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Wrongful Death Lawsuits for Medical Malpractice

Let Our Albuquerque Med Mal Lawyers Help You Through This Trying Time

When we visit a doctor or hospital, we expect them to provide effective medical care to cure or alleviate our health conditions, no matter how minor or serious. Unfortunately, there are many instances where patients suffer further injury or illness, tragically resulting in death. When a patient dies due to medical malpractice, surviving family members may file a wrongful death lawsuit against the healthcare providers responsible.

At the James Wood Law, we are committed to holding the negligent parties liable for their actions. Although no amount of money can ever bring back your loved one, the financial compensation you and your family can recover can pay for funeral and burial expenses, medical costs prior to your loved one’s death, as well as pain and suffering.

Compensation in a New Mexico Wrongful Death Case

Damages that may be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Pain and suffering of the deceased
  • Lost earnings
  • Loss of household services
  • Loss of guidance to the deceased's children
  • Value of the deceased's life apart from earning capacity

Survivors of the deceased may also file a loss of consortium claim. This is a separate claim from a wrongful death action. A wrongful death claim is brought on the behalf of the deceased. A loss of consortium claim is brought by the deceased's loved ones on their own behalf (you can read more about this type of claim below).

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Under New Mexico law, a wrongful death claim is brought in the name of a personal representative of the deceased on behalf of statutory beneficiaries. A personal representative for the purpose of bringing a wrongful death action is not the same as a personal representative for probate matters. The personal representative is often a statutory beneficiary, but they don't have to be a beneficiary.

A statutory beneficiary is someone who receives damages awarded in the wrongful death action according to how the statute has designated distribution.

The beneficiaries of a wrongful death lawsuit are typically the spouse and children. If there are no spouse or children, the beneficiaries could include parents, siblings, and other relatives.

The following are the elements the plaintiff must prove to win a wrongful death lawsuit in New Mexico:

  • The decedent’s (deceased person) medical provider was negligent by deviating from the proper medical standard of care.
  • The decedent’s provider failed to live up to the standard of care expected under similar circumstances.
  • The decedent’s death happened because of the medical provider’s sub-standard care.
  • The decedent and his/her family suffered damages as a result of wrongful death.

A wrongful death claim must be filed within three years of the decedent’s date of passing.

What Is Loss of Consortium?

Loss of consortium damages may be awarded to the surviving spouse, parents, grandparents, or other familial caretakers for the emotional distress caused by loss of society, guidance, and companionship. Loss of consortium damages can compensate surviving loved ones for the loss of the family benefits for which they have been deprived.

Put another way, loss of consortium compensates family members for the effects that the death of their loved one has had on them.

If your loved one has died due to the negligence or carelessness of another, you should recover compensation for the effects your loved one's death has had on you and the other members of your family. We believe that full and fair compensation not only helps to balance the scales of justice, but also makes the wrongdoer take responsibility for his or her actions.

Call (505) 906-6774 for a Free Consultation

With millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements recovered on behalf of our clients, our Albuquerque medical malpractice attorney knows what it takes to help you and your family maximize your entitled award. Not only do we want justice for your loved one, but we also want to ensure that this type of incident doesn’t happen to other families.

For more information, contact us to discuss your case today.

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