Santa Fe Wrongful Death Lawyer

Accidents happen every day in New Mexico, and some of these incidents have fatal consequences. Whether your loved one died in a car accident or as a result of another type of negligence or wrongful act, you have legal rights when the worst occurs. A wrongful death claim can help you to get both the compensation the deceased would have been entitled to, as well as payment for your own losses.

A Santa Fe wrongful death attorney at Caruso Law Offices can represent you in these difficult situations. We understand how devastating losing a loved one can be and we work hard to form personal relationships with all our clients while fighting aggressively for their rights.

With more than 32 years of experience and more than $30 million settlement dollars obtained, our dedicated team of Santa Fe personal injury attorneys can provide the support and advocacy you deserve.

Give us a call today at (505) 883-5000 to schedule your free consultation, or read on to learn more about how wrongful death claims work.

Why Choose Our Santa Fe Wrongful Death Lawyer

Each Santa Fe wrongful death attorney at Caruso Law Offices has deep compassion for family members who lost loved ones in a preventable accident. We understand the frustration and anger of knowing that a beloved family member would still be present if only someone else had taken reasonable care.

If your family member died from a truck accident in Santa Fe, car accident, motorcycle accident, pedestrian accident, or any traffic-related injury, you need attorneys who focus exclusively on car accident laws in New Mexico to ensure the best possible outcome.

At Caruso Law Offices, our Santa Fe wrongful death lawyer can offer the following advantages for your case:


Our law office has focused exclusively on car accidents and traffic-related injuries and fatalities for over 20 years. Our Santa Fe car accident lawyers have an in-depth understanding of New Mexico traffic laws and insurance company practices.

In fact, several of our attorneys previously worked for insurance companies. Their experience on the other side of traffic accidents benefits our clients as we determine strategies for their compensation.


We never forget to dot an i or cross a T while working on a case. We have sharp investigative skills and creative strategies for solutions. Our Albuquerque wrongful death lawyer is well-practiced in negotiation and litigation so you’re assured that we’ve been thorough in your case for the best possible outcome.


We are the lawyers with the power to win your case. Our track record of success includes over $30 million in settlements and jury awards for clients injured in Albuquerque traffic accidents.

We never hesitate to take on clients with small claims for compensation as well as multi-million dollar compensation claims. Every client deserves client-centered representation and the highest amount of compensation available in their claim.

When Can You Make a Santa Fe Wrongful Death Claim?

New Mexico Code Section 41-2-1 sets forth the rules for wrongful death actions. According to the relevant statute,

“Whenever the death of a person shall be caused by the wrongful act, neglect or default of another … and the act, or neglect, or default.would, if death had not ensued, have entitled the party injured to maintain an action and recover damages… the person who, or the corporation which, would have been liable, if death had not ensued, shall be liable to an action for damages, notwithstanding the death of the person injured.”

Essentially, this statute makes clear that if the victim could have made a personal injury claim had they lived, then surviving loved ones can make a wrongful death claim since the victim died. Such a claim exists when a defendant intentionally and wrongfully caused harm to the plaintiff or caused harm as a result of negligence.

Negligence means their standard of care fell short of what a reasonable person would have done and this lapse was a direct cause of the death.

Our Santa Fe Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help You

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Santa Fe?

In New Mexico, under N.M. Stat. § 37-1-8, the statute of limitation for wrongful death cases is three years from the day the victim dies. It is integral to consult an Albuquerque wrongful death lawyer to assist you with the claim and ensure the dependents of the deceased get fair financial compensation. If no claim is brought within that time period, any future attempts to pursue a case will be time-barred and typically not allowed to proceed as a result.

Who Can Make a Santa Fe Wrongful Death Claim?

Since the deceased victim can no longer fight for their own right to fair compensation after being harmed, New Mexico law designates someone to bring a wrongful death claim to help ensure losses don’t go unpaid.

As New Mexico Code Section 41-2-3 explains, the person who brings this action must be the “personal representative of the deceased person.” That’s the individual designated with the responsibility of managing the estate of the deceased.

The personal representative can work with an experienced Santa Fe wrongful death lawyer to identify who was to blame for the fatality and to move forward with pursuing a claim for damages.

This could sometimes include suing not just the person who directly caused the harm, but also that individual’s employer who could be held vicariously liable for actions of employees who caused harm while performing work duties.

Compensation For a Santa Fe Wrongful Death Claim

When a defendant causes a death through negligence or intentional wrongdoing, the consequences are far reaching and life-long. The deceased may have suffered before death as a result of the injuries. And surviving family members may be left without the financial and personal support the deceased provided.

As a result, wrongful death cases often result in substantial damage awards.

New Mexico Code Section 41-2-3 specifies that the “jury in every such action may give such damages, compensatory and exemplary, as they deem fair and just, taking into consideration the pecuniary injury resulting from the death to the surviving party entitled to the judgment, or any interest in the judgment, recovered in such action and also having regard to the mitigating or aggravating circumstances attending the wrongful act, neglect or default.”

Typically, the damages that a defendant will have to pay in a wrongful death case include:

  • Medical bills incurred prior to the death.
  • Loss of the wages the deceased would have made during the remainder of his working life had it not been cut short
  • Pain, suffering, and emotional distress
  • Loss of companionship or loss of consortium, which refers to the loss of the close and intimate relationship surviving loved ones had with the deceased before the death

There are no caps on damages in New Mexico, with the exceptions of limits set forth in New Mexico Code section 41-5-6 governing malpractice cases and those set forth in New Mexico Code Section 41-4-19 governing claims against the government. As a result, many plaintiffs can recover substantial compensation due to a wrongful death.

New Mexico Code Section 41-2-3 explains how this compensation is to be distributed. It’s not to go towards debts if the deceased has “left a spouse, child, father, mother, brother, sister or child or children of the deceased child.” Instead, it is to be distributed to close family members in the order of preference outlined in the statute.

Contact Our Santa Fe Wrongful Death Attorney

Caruso Law Offices will help you navigate the legal complexities of pursing a wrongful death claim and demonstrating the extent of your harm so you can be fairly compensated.

Contact our Santa Fe wrongful death lawyer today to find out more about the ways in which our firm can assist you in fully recovering your damages when a loved one has lost their life.

Schedule your free consultation by filling out our online form or calling us at (505) 883-5000.

Join us at the All-Out-Call-Out event at Albuquerque Dragway on June 8th.