What can you do if you lose a loved one in a fatal car accident?

You never want to get that call. Someone you love -- a partner, friend or family member -- has been involved in a fatal car crash on a New Mexico street or highway. Their loss may impact you in many ways, from emotional trauma to the loss of companionship and loss of income or financial support. Although nothing can ease your grief, you may wish to take legal action to help your family. You may have the option to pursue a wrongful death suit and hold the other driver or their insurance company responsible for your harms and losses.

Under New Mexico law, you may bring a wrongful death lawsuit as a surviving family member of the deceased, or as a representative of the surviving beneficiaries of the deceased. This can include spouses, children, parents, grandparents and familial caretakers, as well as others. Reasonable compensation  can include the cost of medical care, treatment and funeral expenses, and an amount for the pain and suffering of the deceased prior to death. Other losses that may be covered include lost wages, the value of the deceased's life separate from earning capacity, emotional distress, and the loss of parenting to minor children.

The statute states no fixed standard for damages. Therefore the amount you may claim could vary from case to case and even court to court, as judges may choose to award the requested amount in full or only in part.

The information provided here is for educational purposes only and should not be considered actionable legal advice.

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