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Our New Mexico auto accident lawyers have considerable experience handling wrongful death cases like yours and success getting fatal car accident settlements and verdicts that help loved ones move forward.

Call our Albuquerque fatal car accident lawyers today at 505-900-0000. We offer 100% free case evaluations, and there’s no cost unless you recover compensation.

What To Do After a Fatal Car Accident in Albuquerque, NM

In the immediate aftermath of a fatal car accident, it’s important to handle things with care while understanding that this is an extraordinarily difficult time. In addition to making arrangements for your deceased loved one and comforting your family, here are some essential steps after a deadly car accident:

Obtain the Accident Report

Cooperate with responding officers and file an accident report with the police. You can get an accident report here. They may issue a traffic ticket or arrest the at-fault party. This information can be helpful to prove negligence or liability at a later stage.

Document the Accident Scene

The police usually control fatal car accident scenes. But if possible, take pictures or videos of the site, damage, and surrounding area. Collect the contact information of any witnesses and write down your memories surrounding the events to the best of your ability. This evidence will be essential in your insurance claim.

Notify Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance company and notify them of the accident. However, avoid admitting fault or the specifics of the accident before consulting with a wrongful death car accident attorney. If possible, wait to talk to the insurance companies until you have a lawyer. Dealing with insurance companies after a fatal car accident can be stressful and emotionally draining.

Document Your Loved One’s Injuries and Losses

Document your loved one’s injuries and keep track of medical records and bills that you receive. If they sustain any losses, including pain and suffering, you should document them in a post-accident journal.

Contact a Fatal Car Accident Lawyer in Albuquerque, NM

An attorney with experience handling fatal car accidents can guide you through legal options, answer your questions, and protect your rights. They can handle insurance claims, investigate the accident, and pursue compensation for your losses.

Seek the Support You Need After a Fatal Auto Accident

Consider seeking professional grief counseling to navigate this difficult emotional journey. Look for counselors specializing in trauma and loss. You may find support through The National Center for Grieving Children and Families after your loss.

Connecting with others who understand your experience can be incredibly helpful. Support groups for families who lost loved ones in car accidents can offer companionship and understanding. For example, if your loved one died in a drunk driving accident, you may find support through Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

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*The outcome of any individual case depends on factors unique to that case. Past case results listed on this website do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any similar or future case.

How to Get Justice After a Fatal Car Crash in New Mexico

Losing a loved one in a car accident is a devastating tragedy, and seeking justice can be emotionally challenging.

Causes of Fatal Car Accidents in Albuquerque

Unfortunately, fatal car accidents happen all too often. Understanding the leading causes can help raise awareness and promote safer driving practices. Here are some of the most common causes, along with statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • Drunk Driving: In 2020, 11,654 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for 29% of all traffic fatalities.
  • Drugged Driving: In 2020, 17,347 people died in crashes involving drivers who tested positive for drugs other than alcohol.
  • Distracted Driving: In 2020, 3,142 people died in crashes involving distracted drivers. (NHTSA)
  • Speeding: In 2020, 11,258 people died in speed-related crashes, accounting for 25% of all traffic fatalities.
  • Reckless Driving includes aggressive driving, failing to yield the right of way, and illegal maneuvers. While no specific statistic exists for fatalities solely caused by reckless driving, many fall under other categories like speeding or distracted driving.
  • Drowsy Driving: Fatigue impairs your reaction time and judgment, increasing crash risk. No national statistic exists, but studies suggest drowsy driving contributes to 15-20% of crashes.
  • Adverse Weather: Rain, snow, fog, and other conditions can decrease visibility and traction, contributing to crashes. Statistics vary depending on specific weather conditions.
  • Vehicle Defects: While rare, mechanical failures or faulty design can sometimes lead to accidents. NHTSA investigates and recalls vehicles with safety concerns.

Liability in Fatal Car Accidents

Identifying who is responsible for a fatal car accident in NM can be difficult to determine. A lot depends on the facts of your case. Your best option is to work with a fatal car crash attorney in Albuquerque, NM, who will conduct an in-depth investigation to name the parties at fault and help you determine liability.

The legal framework to determine liability typically employs the concept of negligence. This means someone (or something) is liable if their actions or inaction fell short of a reasonable standard of care, directly causing the accident and subsequent death.

Some factors impacting liability include driver behavior, road conditions, vehicle maintenance, and shared responsibility. When determining fault, your attorney will use police reports, experts (including an accident reconstructionist), eyewitness testimony, and other key evidence.

Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit After a Fatal Car Accident

While no lawsuit can replace the life lost, New Mexico’s wrongful death statute allows surviving family members to seek compensation for their losses.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

In New Mexico, only the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit. This is typically the surviving spouse, an adult child, or another person designated in the deceased’s will. If there is no will, the court will appoint a representative.

How Much is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Worth in NM?

We know that a fatal car accident lawsuit cannot fix everything, but it can get you the compensation you need to pay for funeral expenses, lost wages, and medical bills. You are likely facing a drastic change in how your family operates. The money you get from an insurance claim can help you get closure and justice from those responsible.

Examples of compensation available after a fatal auto collision include:

  • Pecuniary Losses: Compensation for financial losses suffered by the survivors, such as lost income, medical expenses, and funeral costs.
  • Non-Pecuniary Losses: Compensation for intangible losses like emotional distress after a fatal accident, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and guidance.
  • Punitive Damages: In rare cases where the defendant’s actions were intentional or malicious, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the defendant and deter similar conduct.

The Statute of Limitations for Fatal Auto Accidents

You have a deadline (“statute of limitations”) for filing a wrongful death lawsuit. In New Mexico, that statute of limitations is three years from the date of death. If you do not file a claim or lawsuit within that period, you will forfeit any compensation you deserve – even if you have a strong case.

Fatal Car Crashes are Complex. Trust an Experienced Attorney

Fatal car accidents are often more complicated than normal vehicle crashes. They involve much higher insurance claims, and the companies often fight back. That’s why you need a skilled and compassionate attorney for families of fatal car accident victims.

Law Giant Injury Lawyers has extensive experience helping the families of fatal car accident victims. We understand New Mexico laws that apply to wrongful death cases, and we use our knowledge to support your claims.

We have won millions for families like yours. We can never guarantee a specific outcome, but we always pressure the big insurance companies to do what is right. We can seek a wrongful death settlement or take your case to trial if necessary.

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Coping with Grief After a Fatal Car Accident

Losing a loved one in a car accident is a shattering experience. No words can truly describe the depths of grief you might be feeling. It’s important to understand that grief is a complex and unique journey, and there’s no single “right” way to cope.

Grief is a natural response to loss, characterized by a range of emotions like sadness, anger, guilt, numbness, and even physical symptoms. Remember, there’s no set timeline for healing. Be patient with yourself as you experience these emotions, and recognize that everyone grieves differently.

Some tips for coping with grief:

  • Allow yourself to feel your emotions: Don’t suppress your feelings. Talking about them with trusted friends, family, or a therapist can be helpful.
  • Seek support: Join a grief support group or connect with others who have experienced similar loss. Sharing your experiences can bring comfort and understanding.
  • Take care of yourself: Prioritize healthy habits like eating nutritious meals, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. These practices can help you manage stress and emotional fluctuations.
  • Find healthy ways to remember your loved one: Create a memory box, plant a memorial tree, or engage in activities they enjoyed.
  • Seek professional help: If you’re struggling to cope, consider seeking grief counseling to manage overwhelming emotions and develop healthy coping mechanisms.

Resources for support after a fatal car accident include:

Fatal Car Accidents FAQs

Can I Sue for Emotional Distress After a Fatal Car Accident in Albuquerque?

Yes, New Mexico’s fatal car accident laws allow you to sue for non-pecuniary losses like emotional distress after the wrongful death of a loved one.

How to Choose a Fatal Car Accident Lawyer in Albuquerque?

You should look for an Albuquerque fatal car accident lawyer with experience handling cases like yours and a proven track record. Law Giant Injury Lawyers has helped countless families of fatal car accident victims recover millions to help them move forward with life.

Can I Get a Free Consultation with a Local Wrongful Death Attorney?

Law Giant Injury Lawyers provides completely free consultations to the families of victims of fatal car accidents. We understand that you are dealing with a lot of stress and don’t need legal fees added to it.

Contact a Fatal Car Accident Attorney at The Law Giant for Help

Fatal car accidents in Albuquerque, NM, happen too often. If your loved one was a victim, you need a lawyer who will stand by your side and protect your rights against the insurance companies who will try to pay you as little as possible.

Our lawyers offers a free, no-risk consultation. We will discuss your case and immediately begin working to get you justice and closure. Call 505-900-0000 today to get started.