Defining a Wrongful Death Claim in Arizona
Arizona law defines a wrongful death as a death that is caused “by wrongful act, neglect or default.” In Arizona, a wrongful death claim may only be brought to court by a surviving spouse, child or parent in the case that the deceased person could have filed a personal injury case based on the wrongful or negligent conduct that caused his or her death. It is important to note that although a sibling of the deceased may have suffered (either emotionally and/or financially,) under Arizona law a sibling may not file a wrongful death action.
When Can a Wrongful Death Claim be Filed?
When filing a wrongful death claim in Arizona, there are certain factors that must be taken into consideration, including the time limits for filing a wrongful death claim, the types of damages that can be compensated for and the circumstances surrounding the death.
A wrongful death claim can be filed when a person dies from:
- Medical malpractice or negligence
- A drunk, distracted or drowsy driving accident
- Any accident in which the other motorist was negligent
- The use of a defective product
- Any other type of negligence
Types of Damages and Compensation in Wrongful Death Claims
Damages in an Arizona wrongful death claim are solely those surrounding financial or monetary loss. In a typical wrongful death case, you may be able to receive compensation for the following damages:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering the deceased person had to endure before death
- Lost value of household services the deceased person performed
- Loss of care, companionship, and guidance
- Pain and suffering due to the untimely death
It is important to note that unlike criminal cases, the purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to financially compensate the deceased’s survivors for their losses—not to punish the accused through imprisonment or sentencing. Although a criminal case may be filed against the defendant, the two cases will be completely separate from one another.
Time Limits Surrounding a Wrongful Death Claim in Arizona
In almost every case, a court will refuse to hear a wrongful death case if it is not filed within two years of the date of the death. Filing the correct claim within the time allowed by law is a complex and time-consuming process. The best thing to do if you are thinking about filing a wrongful death claim in Phoenix is to contact an experienced Phoenix personal injury lawyer, such as those at Simon Law Group.
With over 30 years of experience, our talented Phoenix personal injury lawyer and staff will stand up for your rights and work hard to obtain the best results possible. Call us today at 480-745-2450 or click on “Contact Our Firm” to learn how you can get a free and confidential consultation.