What is a wrongful death claim and what damages can be recovered.
After suffering the loss of a family member, because of a wrongful death, it can be overwhelming to figure out what to do next. It’s important to get help right away to file a claim against the person who caused your loved one’s death.
What is a Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death is defined as, a “wrongful death” as a death that is caused “by wrongful act, neglect or default.” According to A.R.S. Section 12-611, a wrongful death case may be brought to court if the deceased person could have filed a personal injury case based on the wrongful or negligent conduct that caused his or her death.
In a wrongful death case the injured person is no longer available to bring the case forward on their own behalf, so a family member or a member of the deceased estate, may bring a wrongful death lawsuit to court.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Arizona?
There are several important factors to remember in regards to filing a wrongful death claim. First, you must be an immediate family member of the victim. Immediate family members include spouses, parents, children or another legal guardian .
The second important thing to remember is the timeframe for filing. In Arizona most claims must be filed within 2 years of the death.
What Can I Expect for Damages if I file a Wrongful Death Claim in Arizona?
Wrongful death claims are filed in civil court. The defendant may be held liable for your loved one’s death, but this is not a criminal case therefore they will not have to serve any jail time.
In an Arizona wrongful death claim damages are expressed solely in terms of financial or monetary loss. Damages are typically divided into two categories for wrongful death claims.
The first category includes losses suffered by the death of the deceased person’s estate, such as funeral and burial expenses, unpaid medical bills, and pain and suffering of the deceased before death.
The second category includes damages suffered by family members as a result of the deceased death. It would include things such as; companionship, guidance, and loss of care.
A wrongful death claim in Arizona can arise from a number of different situations, such as:
- Car or airplane accident
- Exposure to hazardous conditions while on the job
- Death during a supervised activity
- Medical Malpractice that resulted in death.
In an Arizona wrongful death case, the surviving family members must decide how to divide the total damages awarded amongst themselves. If they cannot, the court may decide on how the damages will be awarded.
Finally, it is important to recognize that instead of criminal penalties the defendant will be required to pay damages for the loss of your loved one. There are varying types of losses which determine compensation, these include mental anguish to loss of financial support.
If your loved has died as the result of an accident or injury caused by the negligence of another company or individual you may be entitled to bring legal action against those responsible.
If you would like to discuss your legal rights with an experienced wrongful death attorney in Arizona please contact Dr. Grysen or call him at 800-727-1470 .