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.
Wrongful Death: Arizona’s Definition
Throughout the state of Arizona, wrongful death refers to the death of a person who reasonably shouldn’t have passed away.
Only certain people can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Arizona. The right is restricted to:
- Surviving spouses
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.
Damages 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.
When to File a Wrongful Death Suit
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. Monetary damages can cover a range of expenses from medical and funeral expenses to loss of future income and benefits.
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.
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. Call us at 480-634-7480 to speak to a qualified attorney.