When someone dies due to the negligence or recklessness of another person, the decedent’s heirs may file a wrongful death claim against the party at fault. Unlike other personal injury actions, wrongful death will necessarily involve a probate action.
Persons Liable for Wrongful Death
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident, several parties may be responsible for the wrongful death of a person. They include:
- The original tortfeasor or negligent/reckless party
- Medical providers
- Ambulance facilitators
It’s important to examine all parties involved in order to identify the persons who may be responsible, and their degree of negligence that may have led to the death of the decedent.
Who May File Wrongful-Death Claim
As a rule, the surviving heirs of the decedent can file a claim for wrongful death against negligent persons. Surviving heirs include:
- Brothers and sisters
A wrongful death situation will usually involve a case filed by a spouse seeking compensation for their loved one and for the minor children, if minor children are present. A surviving spouse can further claim compensation for loss of consortium, loss of companionship, and loss of affection as a result of the wrongful death of a loved one.
Our Experience in Wrongful Death
Our firm has years of experience in wrongful death cases, many of which are intertwined with medical malpractice. One of our ongoing cases for wrongful death involves a claim arising from the death of a patient who fell off a hospital bed and died of head injuries due to the failure of medical providers to monitor the patient.
In another case, we obtained compensation for the death of a young child who suffered fatal injuries after going through a barbed wire fence that a construction company installed in order to keep four wheel drivers out.
What We Can Do
A wrongful death claim is filed in the name of the appropriate representative of the decedent. This involves a prior determination of the legal heirs under probate law and the filing of a probate action.
Samuel I. Kane has an extensive background in family law, a key advantage in wrongful death cases, which often involves probate proceedings in court. We have represented multi-million dollar probate disputes throughout New Mexico, helping clients obtain significant settlements for the death of their loved ones.
The Law Offices of Samuel I. Kane can help by sorting the legal aspects of your claim, identifying the primary beneficiary, filing the probate action and the related processes of providing notice and publication, and then filing the personal injury lawsuit against the negligent parties. Call us today at (575) 526-5263 for assistance and a no obligation consultation.