How a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Works in Phoenix
One of the most complex and often confusing areas of personal injury law is wrongful death. The following offers a brief explanation of:
- What wrongful death is in Arizona;
- Who can bring a wrongful death claim;
- The time frame in which a wrongful death claim must be filed; and
- The damages are available in a successful Arizona wrongful death claim.
What is Wrongful Death in Arizona?
Wrongful death in Arizona is a death caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another. Many personal injury accidents result in wrongful death, including:
- Car and truck accidents;
- Motorcycle accidents;
- Commercial truck accidents;
- Slip and fall accidents;
- Workplace accidents; and
- Medical malpractice.
Wrongful death can also result from an intentional act that would amount to a crime under state law.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in Arizona?
In a wrongful death lawsuit, the deceased’s surviving family brings a civil claim against the person or entity liable for the death. Successful wrongful death lawsuits can provide financial compensation to the party(s) who bring the lawsuit.
In Arizona, a wrongful death claim is treated as a personal injury claim that the deceased would have been able to bring if death had not occurred. The survivors of the deceased pursue a wrongful death claim on the deceased’s behalf.
Arizona requires a wrongful death claim to be filed by:
- The deceased person’s surviving spouse;
- Any surviving child of the deceased person;
- A surviving parent or guardian of the deceased person; or
- The deceased person’s personal representative on behalf of a surviving spouse, child, or parent, or on behalf of the estate if none of those people survived the deceased.
If the deceased person is a child, either of the child’s parents or a legal guardian may file a wrongful death claim on their behalf.
What is the Time Frame in Which a Wrongful Death Claim Must be Filed?
A wrongful death claim in Arizona must be filed within two years of the date of the deceased’s death. After three years, any recovery of damages is barred.
What Damages are Available in a Successful Arizona Wrongful Death Claim?
There are two types of damages available in a wrongful death lawsuit: punitive and compensatory damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and deter similar behavior in the future. Compensatory damages are intended to cover the costs associated with wrongful death.
Compensatory damages may include but are not limited to the following:
- Medical costs;
- Funeral costs;
- Loss of financial contribution;
- Mental anguish; and
- Loss of consortium.
Contact an Experienced Arizona Wrongful Death Attorney
If you have questions about wrongful death lawsuits in Phoenix or are considering filing a wrongful death claim in Arizona, speak with the legal professionals at Knapp & Roberts. Our compassionate and empathetic wrongful death attorneys in Phoenix will answer your questions and address your concerns about the wrongful death process and where to begin your claim.
Contact us today to schedule a no-obligation consultation. We look forward to meeting with you at your convenience.
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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.