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Albuquerque Wrongful Death Attorney

Losing a loved one is never easy.  If this happens to you or someone you know, it’s important to understand that legal recourse may be available to help get closure after such a difficult event. While no amount of money can ever make up for the loss of a family member, our goal is to provide support and guidance while helping to build a case against those responsible. Our team of experienced Albuquerque wrongful death attorneys will work with you during each step along the way, providing compassionate and professional counsel that is suited to your particular situation. The Davis Kelin Law Firm is here to help you hold the negligent party accountable. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. 

How an Albuquerque Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help

Knowledge and Experience

A wrongful death lawyer understands relevant laws and can navigate complex legal processes, ensuring your case is handled effectively.

Investigation and Evidence Gathering

Your lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation, collecting essential evidence and can also enlist expert witnesses to strengthen your case.

Legal Strategy and Advice

A lawyer will evaluate your case, advise on the best legal strategy, and guide you through procedures, paperwork, and deadlines.

Negotiation and Court Representation

Lawyers are skilled negotiators who can engage with the defendant’s (at-fault party’s) representatives to secure a fair settlement. If a settlement isn’t reached, they will prepare your case for trial and represent you in court.

Financial Matters 

They can help assess the financial impact of your loss and structure settlements for long-term stability. 

Emotional Support and Advocacy

A wrongful death lawyer provides emotional support, handles legal matters, and advocates for your rights and interests, ensuring fair treatment throughout the process.

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Wrongful Death?

In wrongful death cases, liability can be assigned to various parties depending on the circumstances that led to the death. For example:

Negligent Parties

Individuals whose negligent or reckless actions directly caused the death, such as drivers in car accidents, individuals involved in violent acts, or caretakers who failed to provide adequate care.

Medical Professionals

Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals can be held liable for wrongful death if their actions or omissions constitute medical malpractice, such as misdiagnosis, surgical errors, or failure to provide appropriate treatment.


Employers may be liable if the death occurred due to unsafe working conditions, lack of proper training, or failure to adhere to safety regulations.

Manufacturers and Distributors

Companies that produce defective or dangerous products can be held liable if the product causes a fatal injury. This includes defects in design, manufacturing, or failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions.

Property Owners

Property owners or managers can be held responsible for wrongful deaths that occur on their property due to hazardous conditions, inadequate security, or failure to maintain safe premises.

Government Entities

Government entities can be held liable if the death was caused by negligence, such as poorly maintained roads, unsafe public facilities, or failure to provide necessary public safety measures.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Albuquerque? 

In New Mexico, only the personal representative of the deceased individual’s estate may file a wrongful death claim. The personal representative is typically named in the decedent’s will or estate planning documents. If there is no valid will, then an alternative personal representative may be appointed by the probate court. This person usually has some close connection to the deceased, like a spouse or other family member. 

In the event of an Albuquerque wrongful death claim, understanding how damages are distributed is essential.

Any compensation obtained shall be disbursed in the following manner:

  • If there is a surviving spouse and no children or grandchildren, all proceeds go to the surviving spouse.
  • If both a spouse and one or more children/grandchildren exist, half of the proceeds should be given to the spouse while the other half will be evenly divided among the children/grandchildren.
  • When an unmarried minor passes away without any parents or relatives with rights, distribution follows state laws for personal properties left by deceased individuals.

Compensation Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Claim

The death of a family is difficult enough, but when it is caused by someone else’s negligence, the pain and suffering can be even greater. In these cases, it is important to understand what types of damages may be recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Medical Bills 

When someone passes away due to another person’s negligence, they usually incur medical expenses leading up to their death. These medical bills may include costs associated with hospital stays, ambulance rides, treatments, surgeries, and medications. A wrongful death lawsuit may be able to recover these medical expenses for the family members of the deceased person. 

Burial & Funeral Costs 

Funerals and burials are expensive and often come as a financial burden to grieving families who have just lost a loved one. A wrongful death lawsuit may be able to recover funeral and burial costs from the at-fault party to help alleviate this financial strain.

Lost Income & Benefits 

If the deceased was bringing in an income before their passing, their family has suffered a significant loss not only emotionally but also financially. In many cases, a wrongful death lawsuit can provide compensation for the lost wages and benefits that were previously enjoyed by the deceased individual’s family members prior to their passing. 

This can help make up for some of what was lost due to their untimely death. Commission, retirement, and benefits will all be taken into account when calculating these types of damages.

Lost Inheritance

In some cases, you may also be able to recover damages for lost inheritance. If the deceased owned investment accounts or other assets that accrue interest value, and their sudden death resulted in those assets not reaching their full potential, then a wrongful death attorney may help you recoup those funds.

Intimacy-Related Losses

If the deceased was married or had a partner at the time of their death, intimacy-related losses can also be claimed by the surviving spouse/partner. Your accident lawyer can work with you to further discuss these claims, which include compensation for any physical relationship between two people that has been interrupted due to one person’s untimely passing.

Pain & Suffering between the Date of Accident & Death    

In some cases, a wrongful death lawsuit may seek damages for the pain and suffering of the victim from the time between when the accident occurred and when they passed away from their injuries. This type of compensation is typically sought in cases where there was an extended period of time between when the accident happened and the victim’s death.

Deadline to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Albuquerque

In all of New Mexico, families that have suffered the wrongful death of a loved one have three years to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If the claim isn’t filed within three years, the plaintiff will be barred from bringing forth their case.

What Is Required to Prove Wrongful Death?

To prove wrongful death, four elements of negligence must be present at the time of the victim’s death. These elements include the following:

Duty: The first element requires proof that there was a duty owed to the deceased. For example, in the context of car accidents, all drivers have a duty of care to operate their vehicles safely and to follow traffic laws. 

Breach of Duty: The second element requires evidence that this duty was breached. This means showing that the defendant did not act with reasonable care and caution when it came to protecting others from harm. This could be shown by providing evidence that the defendant was speeding or driving under the influence. 

Causation: The third element requires proof that the breach of duty was what caused the victim’s death. 

Damages: Finally, you must prove that damages were incurred by the family as a result of their loved one’s death. This includes both economic and non-economic losses such as medical bills, funeral costs, and loss of companionship.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death

Wrongful death can occur due to various circumstances where someone’s negligence or intentional actions result in the loss of life. Some common causes of wrongful death include:

Car Accidents

Fatalities resulting from reckless driving, speeding, drunk driving, distracted driving, or failure to obey traffic laws. Our Albuquerque car accident attorney can help with these claims. 

Medical Malpractice

Deaths caused by medical errors such as misdiagnosis, surgical mistakes, medication errors, or failure to provide appropriate treatment.

Workplace Accidents

Fatal workplace incidents occurring in the workplace, especially in high-risk industries like construction, manufacturing, or mining, due to unsafe conditions, lack of proper training, or inadequate safety measures.

Defective Products

Deaths caused by dangerous or faulty products, including automotive defects, unsafe pharmaceuticals, malfunctioning medical devices, or hazardous consumer goods.

Slip and Fall Accidents

Fatalities resulting from slip and fall incidents due to hazardous conditions on someone else’s property, such as wet floors, uneven surfaces, or poor lighting.

Drowning and Recreational Accidents

Deaths occurring in swimming pools, lakes, or during recreational activities due to lack of supervision, inadequate safety measures, or faulty equipment.

Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse

Fatalities caused by neglect, abuse, or inadequate care in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

Violent Crimes

Deaths resulting from assaults, homicides, or other criminal activities.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents

Fatalities involving bicyclists or pedestrians hit by vehicles due to driver negligence or failure to follow traffic laws.

Why Hire Davis Kelin Law Firm For Your Albuquerque Wrongful Death Claim

Our compassionate Albuquerque personal injury attorney understands how difficult this time is for you, and we are here to help. Here’s why you should work with us:

  • We know how important it is for you to receive compensation in the wake of your traumatic experience, and we will do everything we can to make that happen.
  • We have been representing clients in wrongful death claims for almost 20 years, so you will benefit from our extensive experience both in and out of the courtroom. 
  • If a settlement cannot be reached, we will confidently take your case to trial—you can rest easy knowing that we’re well-versed in the complexities of Albuquerque personal injury litigation.

For help with your wrongful death claim, contact our attorneys today to schedule a free consultation.

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