Phoenix Wrongful Death Attorney
There are few, if any, life events more difficult than the death of a loved one. Perhaps the only thing harder than losing somebody close to you is losing him or her prematurely, on account of another person’s carelessness or fault.
A “wrongful” death, as defined by Arizona statute, is one that is caused “by wrongful act, neglect or default.” That is, a wrongful death is a death caused by negligence. The negligence could be on the part of an individual, a business, or a government agency. It could occur at work, on the roadways, on private property, and even at home. By whatever means one is negligent and wherever the negligence occurs, however, the person or entity responsible for a wrongful death can be held legally accountable and made to compensate surviving family members.
If you’re dealing with the recent loss of a loved one, legal action can be a way to seek closure and obtain justice. It’s also a way to cope with the sudden departure of somebody you are financially and emotionally dependent on.
For help understanding your legal rights and initiating a wrongful death claim, turn to Resendez Injury Law Group. We know you’re going through a difficult time, which is why we try to make the legal aspects of a fatal accident as uncomplicated and stress-free as possible. We’ll treat you like a friend…not merely a client.
Call (602) 824-9444 or contact usfor a free case review.
Understanding Arizona Wrongful Death Laws
While the death of another may constitute a criminal act, a wrongful death action is a civil action brought on behalf of the person who died by members of their family.
A wrongful death action, then, is similar to a personal injury action. Had the decedent survived the accident, he or she would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the party who injured them. In fact, the types of compensation available in a wrongful death lawsuit are similar to those that can be recovered in a personal injury lawsuit.
There are some unique aspects to wrongful death actions, though. Read on to learn about who may file them, filing deadlines, and the types of damages they can provide.
Parties Eligible to File Wrongful Death Claims
According to Arizona law (12-612), the following parties can bring a wrongful death claim:
- The surviving spouse
- A surviving child
- A surviving parent or guardian
- The personal representative of one of the parties named above
- The personal representative of the deceased’s estate
A range of damages, including the following, are potentially recoverable in a wrongful death action:
- Medical, funeral and burial expenses
- The financial support/wages that would have been provided by the deceased
- Property damage that was incurred in the fatal accident
- Pain and suffering experienced by the deceased prior to death
- Pain and suffering experienced by surviving family members due to the untimely death
- Loss of care/companionship
- Loss of household services (i.e. childcare, cleaning, landscaping, and chauffeuring)
Arizona, like other states, doesn’t allow an unlimited amount of time to initiate a lawsuit. This time limit—adopted in the interest of fairness, since cases prosecuted many years after an incident occurred are subject to all sorts of errors—is known as a “statute of limitations.”
The statute of limitations for an Arizona wrongful death case is two years from the date of death. Failure to abide by this law could mean that you lose the right to file a wrongful death case, so it is extremely important that you abide.
The Importance of an Experienced Phoenix Wrongful Death Lawyer
Legal considerations may not—and understandably so—be your priority after the death of a loved one, but for the future well-being of your estate and your family, they are critical.
The issues of liability (or who is responsible for the death of a family member), is among the first matters that should be explored. This can be more complicated than it might seem, and in fact, more than one party may bear liability.
There is also the matter of calculating future damages such as future lost income and future loss of household services. Such damages must be meticulously documented, and financial, vocational, and other experts are often called on for assistance.
There are many specific ways a wrongful death attorney can help you through this difficult time. The main thing to keep in mind is that these cases can become very complicated, and that an attorney can keep legal worries from adding to your grief.
Legal Help for an Arizona Wrongful Death
A lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind right now, but due to filing deadlines and the need to promptly collect evidence, swift action is advisable.
At the very least, consider discussing what happened with a lawyer. Resendez Injury Law Group is available to answer your wrongful death case questions with tact and competence. To learn more, call or contact us online today for a free case review.
From our Phoenix offices we serve clients in Peoria, Avondale, Goodyear, Buckeye, Surprise, Mesa, Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, Gilbert, Queen Creek and all other areas of Arizona including Flagstaff, Yuma and Gila Bend.