Albuquerque, NM (Law Firm Newswire) January 25, 2011 A wrongful death is one that happens as the result of another’s negligence. Wrongful death actions are by Statute to recover compensation for the death.
“When someone comes to see me about a wrongful death case, they are generally here to ask me what they can do about the death of a loved one. They don’t realize that the death may be categorized as a ‘wrongful death.’ They just want to know what to do,” said Scott Atkinson, a New Mexico injury lawyer and New Mexico wrongful death lawyer with the Atkinson Law Firm, LTD.
In order to proceed with a wrongful death action, the survivors need to prove that another person or entity is responsible for that death. That means they need to prove the deceased died at their hands because of the failure of that person or entity to take proper care. To put this another way, their needs to be negligence involved in the other person’s actions or inaction.
While many think a death is a death and that another person is obviously responsible for it, things are not always what they may seem to be on the surface. This is why it is vital that anyone who has lost a family member consult with a seasoned New Mexico wrongful death lawyer to find out their rights, what happens with a wrongful death case and what compensation may be awarded.
“Wrongful death cases may be tricky on the face of the incident that caused the death,” Atkinson said, “largely because the death may look like it was accidental. For example, deaths as a result of truck wrecks, defective products, medical malpractice, car crashes, reckless driving, unsafe premises or mistaken identity appear to be the result of presenting circumstances. In reality, on further probing, they may turn out to be negligence that caused a death.”
Probing the circumstances of a death is one of the main jobs a New Mexico wrongful death lawyer tackles when a client comes to them for help. “If the case has a criminal element involved, that doesn’t mean that the family can’t proceed with a wrongful death action at a later date,” Atkinson said.
Money never, ever brings back a loved one, but the money awarded in a settlement or jury verdict for a wrongful death may assist the family financially to carry on with their lives. Each state has a wrongful death statute, but many of them have different provisions about who may file a claim. “Generally speaking, it is usually the kids and spouse of the deceased.
Other damages often awarded in court may deal with loss of future earning, loss of care and protection, medical and funeral expenses and pain and suffering,” Atkinson said.
Atkinson Law Firm, LTD
9400 Holly Ave. NE, Bldg. 4
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87122