It is horrible to lose a loved one, but it is even more devastating when that person’s death was due to an oil company’s negligence.
Unfortunately, oilfield deaths are all too common and the victims leave behind family members who suffer tremendously. The grief can be all-consuming. Worse yet, you suffer financial losses as well. Fortunately, you do have rights as the family member of someone who died in an oilfield accident.
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit after an oilfield accident can seem overwhelming, but it is important.
An experienced oilfield deaths and injuries attorney can tell you more about filing a wrongful death lawsuit after an oilfield accident, but here are the answers to some of your questions.
What is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
When a person dies due to the negligent, reckless, or intentional acts of someone else, certain surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim. In such a situation, you can seek compensation for your losses from the responsible person, company, or other entity. These cases are like personal injury lawsuits, only the victim died instead.
A wrongful death claim may exist where someone’s death was caused by:
- A car accident;
- A defective, dangerous product;
- Medical malpractice;
- An assault or attack;
- An incident that takes place on a property due to a hazardous condition;
- Oilfield accidents; and
- Many other incidents.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Each state laws regarding who can bring a lawsuit for wrongful death; in New Mexico, the personal representative has standing to sue for wrongful death. However, the action is for the benefit of the surviving family members, so you may be able to recover compensation if you are:
- A surviving spouse,
- Grandchild, or,
- A distant family member, if none of the above exist.
What Types of Compensation Can I Recover?
A wrongful death action compensates you for the losses you suffer due to the victim’s death, including:
- Funeral and burial expenses;
- Medical costs related to treating the decedent’s last illness or injury;
- Loss of companionship;
- Emotional distress;
- The financial support the deceased person would have contributed to the household had he or she not died;
- Pain and suffering the victim endured between the oilfield accident and death; and,
- Other types of losses depending on the circumstances.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Represent Me and My Family?
While there is no legal requirement to hire an attorney to represent you after an oilfield death, your chances of success with a wrongful death case greatly improve when you retain counsel. Oil companies and their insurers are businesses that focus on profits. They do not have your best interests in mind and will try to pay out as little as possible for your claim. A knowledgeable lawyer will fight for your rights and help you obtain the highest amount of compensation allowed by law.
Discuss Wrongful Death Claims with a Skilled Oilfield Deaths and Injuries Lawyer
Hopefully, these answers to common questions about wrongful death cases are helpful, but you may have many more inquiries about your circumstances.
For more information about your rights and how to file a wrongful death lawsuit after an oilfield accident, please contact Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C. toll free at 800.433.2408. You can also reach us via our website. We are happy to schedule a free consultation with our wrongful death attorneys to discuss your claim at our office in Albuquerque, NM or one of our other convenient locations.