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Wrongful Death

Arizona’s laws about wrongful death cases are similar to those in the rest of the country, but each state has its own nuances.

To understand how the law in Arizona is applied, it’s important to define what wrongful death really means and to clear up any misconceptions about who can file a 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. In many cases, this means the death was unexpected and those who survived may struggle with grief.

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 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.

Types of Wrongful Death cases

A Wrongful Death in Arizona is the death of any person who reasonably shouldn’t have passed away. This means that a this type of death can occur in a wide range of circumstances and the type of case can be very broad.

Some of the most common types of Wrongful Death cases we work on include deaths caused by:

You can find out more about the different types of unexpected death cases we cover by reading our guide to wrongful death settlements in Arizona.

Wrongful Death case results

Some recent Wrongful Death cases we’ve won for clients include;

  • $800,000 following the death of a 76-year old grandfather, father and husband in an auto-accident in Mesa, AZ. The at-fault driver had taken medication before driving and was charged with negligent homicide.
  • $215,000 following the death of a wife and mother who was killed in a car accident in Chandler by a driver on prescription medication.

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. This is particularly the case in DUI and nursing home abuse 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 lawsuit.

When Should I File a Wrongful Death Suit?

Generally, the suit must be filed within two years from the date of death; however, there are special circumstances that will require the suit to be filed as soon as 180 days from date of death. To have a viable case, your attorney needs to be able to prove that the defendants are responsible for the death, beyond the point of doubt. And that those left behind have been harmed as a result of the death, either emotionally, financially, or mentally (and often all 3). 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, Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm near you is here to provide consultation 24/7. Initial consultations are free. Contact us today to speak to a qualified attorney. You can call us on the phone, or make an appointment at our Chandler office, conveniently located near you.