Losing a loved one unexpectedly is a tragic and painful experience, especially if someone else’s negligence caused the incident. It can take a lot of strength to move on and pursue a wrongful death claim afterward. You have to consider how Arizona defines wrongful death, who can file the claim, what damages you are entitled to, and the statute of limitations on wrongful death claims.
Because there are so many factors to consider after a wrongful death, you may need help sorting through it all. Our seasoned legal team at Feller & Wendt may be able to guide you on the best path forward to bring your family peace and fight for you.
What Does Arizona Consider Wrongful Death?
According to ARS §12-611, a wrongful death occurs when a person’s death is “caused by wrongful act, neglect or default.” Essentially, wrongful death occurs when a person dies as a result of someone else’s fault. Types of wrongful deaths can be the consequence of the following:
- Car accidents: Whether a single or multiple vehicle accident, those injured could be hurt due to a negligent driver or defective part.
- Pedestrian or bicycle accidents: When a vehicle hits a person walking or a cyclist. These happen most often in school zones or busy intersections.
- Premise liability accidents: These can include a slip-and-fall accident or being struck by something. Property owners are responsible for keeping their premises safe.
- Medical malpractice: When a person is harmed due to the negligence of a medical professional, such as a misdiagnosis or improper surgical procedure.
- Accidental overdoses or poisoning: Illegal medications and other narcotics could potentially cause a wrongful death.
- Boating accidents: A boat operator could be responsible if they did not practice proper safety protocol.
- Workplace accidents: A fatal accident in the workplace can lead to a wrongful death claim in addition to workers’ compensation.
Please keep in mind that wrongful death cases are different from criminal cases because wrongful deaths only involve the defendant paying compensation to the surviving family. Wrongful death cases do not involve jail or prison time, nor do they involve fines paid to the state or other parties besides the plaintiff. While a defendant may have criminal charges at the same time the wrongful death case is going on, the two do not overlap.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
In Arizona, the people allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased include the following:
- The deceased person’s spouse
- Any of the deceased’s adult children
- The deceased’s parent or guardian
- A personal representative if the deceased has no surviving family to file for them
- The parents or guardians of a child if that child was a victim of wrongful death
Please note that cousins, siblings, and grandparents cannot file a wrongful death claim. According to ARS §12-542, you must file your wrongful death claim within two years of the victim’s death. If you have lost someone to wrongful death and want to file a claim, we are here to help you get started. We understand the grief of losing someone, and we are here to listen to your story and present it in the best way possible.
What are the Potential Recoverable Damages in a Wrongful Death Case?
Once you have filed your wrongful death claim, you must also look into your desired compensation. In a wrongful death case, you may be entitled to the following economic and non-economic damages:
- Funeral expenses
- Medical bills
- Lost wages the victim would have earned
- Property damage costs
- Loss of a loved one
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of any services the deceased provided
It’s important to note that while some states have a cap on the financial compensation you can receive, Arizona does not. Our lawyers will fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
Speak With a Skilled Wrongful Death Lawyer in Arizona at Feller & Wendt
When grieving the passing of a loved one due to wrongful death, we understand the legal processes that follow can be challenging. If you need help getting started on your wrongful death claim, our experienced legal team at Feller & Wendt may be able to help you.
Our lawyers have the knowledge and tools to advocate for maximum compensation for you and your family and share your story. We have a 95% success rate and 30 years of combined experience helping victims receive compensation through their hardest times. We are ready to help you with your unique case and develop the best path forward. To schedule a free consultation, please fill out our contact form or call us at (801) 499-5060.