Wrongful death is a legal term referring to a death caused by severe negligence or carelessness. In the state of Arizona, wrongful deaths are governed by Arizona Revised Statutes Section 12-611 to 12-613. These statutes outline when a person can file a lawsuit, who can file, and what damages can be awarded.
Wrongful death can only be brought by specific survivors. Of the relatives of the deceased, a spouse, child, parent or guardian, or legal representative of all of these individuals can bring a wrongful death suit against the responsible party. If none of these individuals apply, the estate of the deceased can bring a wrongful death claim. However, siblings, same-sex partners, common law spouses, and other relatives cannot file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party.
If an individual related to the deceased wishes to file a wrongful death claim, he or she must decide whether the situation is appropriate. A wrongful death suit can only be submitted if the deceased person would not have died during an act and instead could have filed a personal injury suit. This section means the death must have occurred because of a wrongful act, neglect, or default, and if the person had survived, he or she would have filed a personal injury lawsuit on his or her own behalf.
Most people who file a wrongful death claim are trying to seek compensation for the losses they suffered by the absence of their loved one. Some claimants were financially dependent on the deceased. Others lost the potential earnings he or she would have provided in the future. In some cases, the family needs to sue to cover the cost of medical, funeral, and burial expenses. Last, families can sue for the value of emotional damage and loss to survivors because of the absence of their loved one.
The court will use the above and other variables to determine an appropriate level of compensation. A judge will then distribute this to the statutory survivors as he or she sees fit.
If your loved one was killed because of negligence or carelessness, let us help. Our skilled Phoenix wrongful death attorneys can evaluate your case and offer you experienced advice regarding your best course of legal action. Talk to us about your situation today.
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