Who Gets the Money in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?


Mistakes happen, and so does negligence. When the result of a mistake or negligence is death, a family can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit to hold the person accountable for their error or misjudgment.

If someone close to you died recently, you could pursue a lawsuit for this death.

If you don’t know a lot about wrongful death lawsuits, it might be helpful for you to learn a few things about these cases.

This guide will teach you about who gets the money in a wrongful death lawsuit, how courts determine the value of the settlement and more. Keep reading to find out more about wrongful death lawsuits.

How a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Works

When a person dies due to someone else’s mistake or negligence, that person cannot do anything about it. His or her family can, though.

When a family decides to pursue accountability for the responsible party, the family must initiate a wrongful death claim. The family can sue for wrongful death and may win if there is enough evidence to back up this claim.

The court takes these cases seriously, but also requires proof, facts, and evidence. If you have these things, you can likely win your case.

Who Gets the Money in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The person who receives the money from a wrongful death settlement is the person who files the claim or has rights to the claim.

In New Mexico, authorities first examine the deceased person’s estate plans to find out who has rights to this money.

If the deceased person has an estate plan, the people listed as beneficiaries have the right to sue and collect money from a wrongful death case.

If there is no estate plan in place, the money typically goes to the person’s spouse, children, or parents. It depends on the situation, but anyone close to the deceased person should consider pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Methods That Courts Use to Calculate the Value of a Case

The next thing you might wonder is how courts calculate the value of a wrongful death case. To determine the wrongful death compensation, courts factor in many things, including the following:

  • The person’s age
  • The expenses related to the loss
  • The value of losses related to the person no longer being alive to provide care, duties, income, or services to the family

An experienced lawyer can help you determine the value of your case. This type of lawyer can also explain to you how courts payout wrongful death settlements.

In many cases, courts require annuity payments for the payouts. An annuity provides a stream of payments over time instead of receiving all the money at once.

How You Can Learn More

So if you are wondering who gets the money in a wrongful death lawsuit, now you know. Wrongful death lawsuits can be complicated matters, and you should never pursue a case like this alone.

Instead, start reading articles about wrongful death claims and lawsuits and talk to an attorney. You can check out the rest of our blog for more information, too.


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