Yes, family members can sue for wrongful death on behalf of their loved one. If you’ve lost a loved one in a car accident, our team at Zanes Law is truly sorry for your loss.
Our team of Phoenix wrongful death lawyers can explain the details of filing a wrongful death claim. In a free case evaluation, we can advise you on how to proceed with your case.
How Long do Family Members Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim After a Car Accident?
In Arizona, the statute of limitations for wrongful death is two years from your loved one’s death in a car accident. However, filing early is optimal and can increase your chances of receiving the maximum compensation.
If you don’t file your wrongful death claim within this time frame, you’ll likely lose your ability to file and recover compensation. In your specific situation, you may have a different deadline based on your case’s details. To verify exactly how long you have to file, you can get in touch with one of our lawyers.
Benefits of Timely Legal Action After Losing a Loved One in a Car Accident
When faced with the tragic loss of a loved one in a car accident, taking prompt legal action can significantly impact the outcome of your case. Understanding the advantages of initiating proceedings within the stipulated time frame is essential to securing your rights and seeking fair compensation for your loss.
- Preserving vital evidence: Acting quickly allows for preserving evidence related to the accident. Accident scene details can fade over time, making it essential to gather and document this evidence as early as possible.
- Thorough investigation: Timely legal action enables a comprehensive investigation into the circumstances of the accident. This investigation can uncover details that support your case and reveal potential negligence on the part of the responsible party.
- Building a strong case: Initiating legal proceedings promptly gives your legal team the necessary time to build a strong and compelling case. This includes gathering evidence, consulting experts, and preparing arguments for court.
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What Family Members Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Arizona?
According to A.R.S. § 12-612, only certain family members can file a wrongful death claim. These family members include:
- Surviving children, adopted or biological
- Parents or legal guardians
If you are any of the abovementioned family members, our team of wrongful death attorneys can help you get started with your claim and get justice and compensation for you and your family. We’ll help you file within the statute of limitations and gather relevant evidence to support your claim.
Can Extended Family File a Claim?
Arizona law prohibits extended family members from filing a wrongful death claim on behalf of the decedent. The person filing the claim must have had a direct relationship with the decedent, which is why extended family members cannot file on their behalf.
The only person who isn’t family that can file a claim is the decedent’s personal representative on behalf of one of the eligible family members to file. If none of the eligible families survive the person, the personal representative can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased person’s estate.
What Damages Can a Family Member Recover in an Arizona Wrongful Death Case?
There are two types of damages you can recover as a surviving family member after you lose someone you love in a car accident: economic and non-economic. Economic damages, also called non-monetary damages, are losses you’ve suffered that have a value that can be quantified with a dollar amount. Some economic damages our car accident lawyers in Phoenix can help you recover include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical costs
- Loss of the decedent’s wages
- Property damage costs for repair and replacement
Non-economic damages are associated with the emotional trauma that you went through and the long-term effects of your loss on your life. Our team at Zanes Law can help you recover non-economic damages such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional pain
- Loss of household services
- Loss of companionship
The damages you can recover will depend solely on the losses you’ve suffered in your case. Our wrongful death attorneys can tell you what damages you might be able to recover in a free consultation.
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What Evidence Is Helpful When Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Arizona?
When you’re filing a wrongful death lawsuit after losing a loved one in a car accident, a wide range of evidence can help you prove negligence. Some of the evidence that can help your case includes:
- Medical records: Medical reports and records showing the injuries your loved one suffered by the deceased during the Phoenix car accident.
- Eyewitness testimonies: Statements from individuals who witnessed the accident and can provide details about how it occurred.
- Expert opinions: Testimony from accident reconstruction experts who can analyze the accident to determine factors like speed, impact, and sequence of events.
- Autopsy reports: If an autopsy was conducted, the report can provide information about the cause of death and its connection to the accident.
- Toxicology reports: If relevant, toxicology reports can indicate whether alcohol, drugs, or other substances were a factor in the accident.
- Cell phone records: If distracted driving is a potential cause, cell phone records can show whether the driver was using their phone at the time of the accident.
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Contact Us to Learn More About Filing a Wrongful Death Claim
At Zanes Law, we want to empower you with legal information as you go through this difficult time in you and your family’s life. We can help you with every aspect of your wrongful death case. Our wrongful death attorneys in Phoenix are ready to build a strong case so you can recover the compensation you need.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation.