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Wrongful Death Lawsuits for Medical Malpractice
Let Our Albuquerque Medical Malpractice 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.
Can I Sue For Emotional Distress?
If you have lost a loved one as a result of a medical professional negligence or malpractice, you may be experiencing lasting emotional distress as a result. Emotional distress can impact your life, wellbeing, mental health, career and other critical elements of your life. It's important to seek the proper care to help you recover. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help guide you through the process to get the compensation you need to help in your recovery.
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