When seriously injured in an accident, you may be confused on what you can do for help. The Arizona Wrongful Death Guide was created by Free Injury Advice to help Arizona residents who have been hurt by the negligence of another.
When you lose a loved one because of someone else’s negligence, the pain can be unbearable. The term ‘wrongful death’ applies to various accidents that could lead to fatal injuries. If you have lost your loved one and you believe that it could have been prevented, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with our Arizona wrongful death lawyers. We fight for full and fair compensation on behalf of families like yours. Please call us right away and we will set up a free initial consultation with you in which we will go over the details of your case and give you invaluable free advice. We would be more than happy to set up a time right away. Call us today.
What is Wrongful Death in Arizona?
In Arizona, wrongful death is legally defined as a wrongful act or negligence that caused the death of someone. According to the law in Arizona, you would be able to bring a wrongful death claim if your loved one died in a way that was caused by negligent conduct. Generally speaking, if you can prove that had someone acted differently your loved one would still be alive, you likely have a case for wrongful death. Our Arizona wrongful death lawyers are willing to talk to you during a free consultation to give you invaluable advice.
Wrongful death cases are brought by the family of the deceased who was the victim of an accident caused by a negligent party. These cases are brought in civil court in the hopes of receiving damages in the form of compensation for the family and loved ones of the deceased.
If you believe you may be eligible for compensation because of the death of a loved one please reach out to us right away so that we can go over the details of your case and put you on a path to success.
Who Actually Brings the Claim?
You may wonder if you would be the one to actually bring the case on behalf of your deceased loved one. In Arizona, there is a statute that limits who can legally bring a wrongful death claim. Here is a general list of who is legally allowed to bring a wrongful death claim in Arizona civil court:
- The spouse of the deceased that they left behind
- The children of the deceased that they left behind
- The parents or guardians of the deceased that they left behind
- A personal representative of the deceased’s relatives including children, parents, guardians and spouses
- A personal representative of the deceased’s estate
If the lost loved one was a minor in the state of Arizona, the person who will be bringing the claim is either going to be the legal guardian of the child or the parents of the child. If you have any questions about whether you are the one who is entitled to bring the claim, please call our Arizona wrongful death lawyers as soon as you possibly can.
Arizona Wrongful Death Damages
When you seek damages in a wrongful death claim, you are going to be pursuing justice in the form of financial compensation. This is what makes a wrongful death claim different from a criminal case involving homicide. Criminal cases will bring you justice by punishing the defendant with penalties or imprisonment. The purpose of a wrongful death case is to hold the liable parties accountable in civil court and seek justice in the form of money damages. When you make a wrongful death claim, you are not looking to put someone into jail. You are seeking financial compensation for the damages you have suffered because of your lost loved one.
There are two general categories for damages in a wrongful death claim. The first category would be any loss that was inflicted on the deceased person’s estate due to their death. This category would include the following as damages you could receive compensation for:
- The costs for a funeral and burial
- Any medical bills regarding the emergency care that the deceased incurred in their final treatments
- The lost wages and benefits that this deceased person would have brought in and earned had they lived
- Any property damage involved in the event such as a car accident with a vehicle being totaled
- The pain and suffering that your loved one had to endure before they passed
The next category of damages that you can receive are those that you suffer as a member of the family because you have lost someone in an untimely fashion. These damages would include:
- Losing a companion, a mentor, or someone who cared for your family
- Losing the value of the deceased person’s role in the household
- The pain and suffering that you and your family have had to go through because of an untimely and possibly avoidable death
Each case, just like each person’s life, is going to be different and unique. You want to make sure that you have Arizona wrongful death lawyers at your side to tell you what damages you are entitled to and what not to settle for when the insurance company comes to you with a lowball offer.
In Arizona, for wrongful death cases involving multiple family members, you must decide between how the estate is divided and how the damages are awarded between yourselves. If there is no agreement amongst you, then the court could step in and define how the damages should be divided, which would be a decision that is final and binding.
We would be more than happy to discuss the process with you further during a free consultation with our Arizona wrongful death lawyers. Call us today to set that up.
Statute of Limitations for an Arizona Wrongful Death Claim
In every state, there is a limited amount of time in which you are permitted to bring a claim. Arizona has a statute of limitations particular to a wrongful death case. This is a legal deadline and would not affect your case if it was a death brought on by criminal activity.
Arizona state says that wrongful death cases must be filed within two years of the date that you lost your loved one. If you bring your case after that deadline, then you are no longer going to be eligible to receive compensation on behalf of you and your family. We urge you to get in contact with our Arizona wrongful death lawyers as soon as you possibly can to avoid losing out on the justice that you and your family deserve.
Frequently Asked Wrongful Death Questions:
How do I choose an attorney for wrongful death?
Anytime anyone loses a loved one due to the carelessness or recklessness of someone else, which is typically called wrongful death, the question always comes up: How do I choose the best law firm for dealing with the loss of my loved one? In fact, someone called our office the other day and spoke to one of our attorneys and asked that very question. Here’s what the attorney responded.
The first thing that you probably want to look for is a lawyer or law firm that are sensitive to what you and your family are going through. At our law firm, we’re acutely sensitive to what you and your family members are going through. We actually can refer you to a wonderful grief support network of people who have gone through the exact thing that you’re dealing with right now. You’ll feel the difference immediately, and they can give you some specific things that can help you deal with your grief and your loss.
When it comes to the legal side of it, that’s where you also want to have a law firm who’s sensitive to your needs and what you family is going through. Sure, we’re going to jump in on the legal side, but it helps to have someone that you can basically just pour your heart out to, as we take you through the legal process. If you think you’re not ready to deal with the legal issues, call us anyway and let us make the referrals to people who have been through what you’ve been through and can help you on the emotional side. Do it for that reason alone, if nothing else.
Remember, when you call us, the call is free. Our assistance, those kinds of referrals are free. They can make a huge difference in your life. Call us and remember, we are here for you.
How do I determine the value of a wrongful death case?
One question always comes up in a wrongful death claim: How do you determine the value of the case? No amount of money will bring a loved one back, so how is it valued, if we’re just talking about money, since there’s no amount of money that could be equivalent to the life of a loved one? If you’re going through it, you understand that even a hundred million dollars is not going to bring your loved one back. How are those determinations made?
We’ve had clients call our law firm just recently and speak to one of our attorneys and this is what our attorney said. Emotionally, no, there is no amount of money that can ever take their place, it’s just not possible, but for insurance companies, they always reduce things down to dollars and cents. For them, they can put a number on it and if you don’t get an experienced law firm like ours working on your case, they’ll put a number on the value of your loved one that will be shockingly low in most cases. That’s an important reason to call us and at least talk to us on the phone for free. Then if you have one of our attorneys analyze your case in detail, we can explain how insurance companies put a number on the life of your loved one.
Insurance companies consider, for one, whether your loved one was working— how many years of income were list? That makes a big difference. It hurts our potential clients when they hear how insurance companies value these things. Did their loved one die instantly or were they in agony for several hours or days or something like that. These are all factors that are difficult to even discuss emotionally. Quite frankly, if this is a fresh situation and your heart is just bursting, we probably won’t go into that part of the case in a lot of detail now. We’ll focus on helping you recover emotionally, but when the appropriate time comes, we can discuss these things. In the meantime, we’ll be able to use the right experts to value the life of your loved one the way insurance companies value it, which is just dollars and cents. Even emotional pain they reduce down to dollars and cents.
Insurance companies value all those things, unfortunately, in dollars and cents. Understanding that, let us take care of that part of the case while you recover emotionally. We can refer you to great resources, great people who have been through what you’re going through right now. They lost a loved one because of a drunk driver or someone else’s carelessness or reckless behavior. They went through the process themselves and you’ll feel the difference when you talk to them immediately from just a regular counselor. Call us and we’ll be able to deal with the insurance company on the dollars and cents level. We’ll also help you deal with your grief and recover from the hole in your heart that losing a loved one caused you.
Call us for free— referrals are free, the information is free. It really can make a difference. Call us today.
How long does a wrongful death case last?
The question of how long a case will take often comes up after someone loses a loved one due to somebody else’s recklessness or carelessness. Do you have to continue to suffer emotionally whilst the legal process drags out? Is it going to go on for years? How long is it going to take? Well that’s a common question and in fact, one of our attorneys was asked that question the other day and here’s how they responded.
The process depends, of course, on the specific facts. That’s why you need to call us so we can have one of our attorneys analyze it. It can either be very quick or the other extreme, very long and drawn out. There are some cases that fall in the middle, but not very many. The reason why it can be very quick is because if there is not that much insurance available, let’s say 25,000.
Now there are times where we can even negotiate things. For example, say there was a situation in a nursing home where the staff had left somebody who was wheelchair-bound outside. His electric wheelchair had tipped over and he had literally fried to an egg on the sidewalk in the middle of the summer in Phoenix. Then they got together, and they did a cover up. They put his body in a super cold area and waited a long time before they called anybody. Then later on, the medical examiner told the family, no, this gentleman did not just pass in his sleep. He’s got burns all over his body. Something horrible happened. Then a member of the staff finally, on the sly, told the family what really happened. Of course, the nursing home totally denied this and just said, oh, no, of course that never happened. Situations like that can be resolved quickly in a mediation. Once the true facts came out, we were able to resolve those cases quickly.
In other situations, they hide it. They just try to say, no, we didn’t do anything wrong. Your loved one died of a heart attack. They’ll even have influence on what the medical death certificate says. They’ll get the death certificate signed without a medical doctor even examining the person, which is a violation, but it happens. Anyway, those situations can take a lot longer to resolve. Whatever the situation, please call us. Let us talk to you. Talk to one of our attorneys and we’ll get you the resources that you need to recover emotionally. We’ll take care of the legal end and, together, we’ll have a better result. Call us for a free consultation today. The information can be priceless if it helps heal the hole in your heart.
What is a wrongful death claim?
What constitutes a wrongful death claim? We had that question posed recently to one of our attorneys and this is how our attorney responded. It was a situation involving a couple that had lived together and had never, at least in Arizona, been married. The reason it’s important that someone calls our office and gets the right analysis is because if they had lived in Arizona their entire life, which wasn’t the case, the partner would have had no rights for recovery. However, in that particular case they had lived in another state for the required years and they were considered married in that state. When they moved to Arizona, we could use that and the spouse was able to recover for the loss of the father of her children, so that made a big difference.
Those kinds of issues are not simple that’s why you need to call and talk to one of our attorneys and let them analyze your case. They can then tell you what rights you may have. Now, even in a case where a spouse isn’t married, as the attorney explained, there still can be rights as to, let’s say, the mother to the children, especially if they’re young children. You have to have special protection for the children with setting up protective conservatorship and protecting their money and things like that. One of our attorneys can explain all that. That’s down the road, but you need to be aware of that.
The most important question is who is going to actually be in charge of the claim— who’s going to be directing the main part of the case. Call us, and one of our attorneys can explain it. As the attorney explained in that other case, it’s usually the surviving spouse, if we can show that they were legally married.
What do you do in a situation where parties to the case don’t get along? Well, they can have their own attorney represent their interests, and we’ve done that before. Maybe the surviving spouse chooses one law firm, and we represent the parents, or the other way around. That way, we actually work together as a team and we can keep, let’s just say, animosity, or keep better feelings among the family members. That can be very helpful because there may be situations where one spouse is driving, possibly got tired or something, and the car crashed and then the other spouse was killed. It’s very common for the parents to lay blame. That’s another reason why we can be helpful, to analyze an accident and show it wasn’t necessarily – these kinds of cases are reasons to call us and let us see how we can most help you and the surviving family members.
Remember, in a situation involving the loss of a loved one, their wrongful death, call us and call us early. Don’t call us when the whole family is wanting to blow apart. We’ll get involved but it’s a lot more difficult at that point. Remember, the call is free, and the information and referrals are free. It can make a huge difference to the long-term peace and tranquility of your family. Call us because we are here for you.
Who is considered a survivor?
This is a common question where a family has lost a loved one and there are different feelings about which law firm should be hired, or if they should even hire a law firm.
If you are a brother or sister of the victim, for example, can you make a claim? We had a call the other day about that and they spoke to one of our attorneys. What our attorney advised is in Arizona, unfortunately, brothers and sisters generally do not have a claim for wrongful death. Now, there are states right next door to us that allow that. Again, one of the important factors is where did this accident happen. In Arizona, generally brothers and sisters don’t have a claim. Now, parents generally do, as the attorney explained, and spouses do, children do. They say, well, what about sometimes this child lived with us, but we never adopted them. Those are situations you need to call us about; they’re more complicated. As the attorney explained, generally parents, spouses, and children are the normal claimants in Arizona.
There are some other situations in which recovery is possible for other reasons, but that’s another reason to call us and talk to one of our attorneys. As the attorney explained the other day on the phone to somebody who called in, normally if there’s a surviving spouse, the surviving spouse is in charge of the litigation, or the claim. The other family members, if they don’t agree on how it’s being handled, can get their own independent law firm to represent them. We can work together as a team and have a good result for the family.
Remember, if there is any situation where you lose a loved one, call us. Call us early if you can, we can prevent so many problems. The call is free, the information is free, the referrals are free. It can make such a difference in your life, and even in how the memory of your loved one is kept. We can have special provisions for that. Remember, if you lose a loved one, call us because we really do care about you.
Call Our Arizona Wrongful Death Lawyers Today
If you have lost someone you love in a preventable accident, we urge you to get in contact with our office as soon as possible. We want to start building a strong case for you and your family to get the justice that you deserve. Please don’t delay calling us. We understand that you have grief to process and there’s a lot of stress on your plate, but we can ease some of that worry by taking on the difficult part of your legal process. Call us right away to set up a free initial consultation with our Arizona wrongful death lawyers today.
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