Arizona’s laws about wrongful death cases are similar to those in the rest of the country, but each state has its own nuances. In order to understand how our laws are applied, it’s important to define what wrongful death really means and to clear up any misconceptions about who can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

What is Arizona’s Definition of Wrongful Death?

Throughout the state of Arizona, wrongful death refers to the death of a person who reasonably shouldn’t have passed away.

Who can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Only certain people can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Arizona. The right is restricted to:

  • Surviving spouses
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Guardians

If there are no surviving relatives or guardians, a wrongful death lawsuit can be raised on behalf of the decedent’s estate. These types of suits are further restricted in that you can only file if the person who passed away would have had a valid personal injury case if they had survived. It’s always best to talk to a wrongful death lawyer who can evaluate your circumstances and provide you with legal advice.

What Damages are Available for Survivors?

Surviving family members often seek damages in wrongful death cases. Unfortunately, they’ll have to deal with the pain of losing a loved one for the rest of their lives, but an award can help those survivors pay for medical, funeral, and burial expenses, as well as make up for the loss of income and the loss of services to the family.

You can’t put a price tag on grief, but damages can be used to help pay for therapy and maintain the survivors’ lifestyle as well. In some cases, punitive damages are also awarded to grieving families in wrongful death cases.

The most common types of damages recoverable in this type of case are pain and suffering and punitive damages. There are, however, other types of damages that may be pursued in a wrongful death lawsuit.

When Should I File a Wrongful Death Suit?

Generally, the suit must be filed withing two years from the date of death; however, there are special circumstances that will require suit to be filed as soon as 180 days from date of death. To have a viable wrongful death case, your attorney needs to be able to prove that the defendants are responsible for the death. And that those left behind have been harmed as a result of the death. Time is of the essence to maintain a viable claim, so do not delay in seeking legal advice.

If your loved one has been killed and you have questions, the Thompson Law Firm is here to provide consultation 24/7. Initial consultations are free. Contact us today to speak to a qualified attorney.