Wrongful death in Arizona is not considered a crime but a civil matter. Therefore, the person or entity responsible for the untimely death can be held liable for monetary damages in a civil lawsuit brought by the deceased person’s surviving family members or estate representative.
If the circumstances of the death involve criminal behavior, such as reckless or intentional conduct, the responsible party may also face criminal charges. In such cases, the charges would be separate from any civil lawsuit and brought by the state rather than the deceased person’s family.
Under Arizona law, wrongful death is defined as a death caused by another person or entity’s wrongful act or neglect. It can result from intentional or unintentional conduct by the responsible party. Certain criteria must be met to bring a wrongful death claim in Arizona.
According to Section 12-611 of the Arizona Revised Statute, there are legal grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit if the victim wouldn’t have died and would have filed a personal injury lawsuit instead. The at-fault party is liable for damages suffered by the decedent’s surviving family members.
While wrongful death is not considered a crime in Arizona, a civil lawsuit can provide financial compensation for the deceased person’s medical bills, funeral expenses, and other related costs, as well as for the emotional and financial losses experienced by the surviving family members.
Wrongful death claims can arise under a variety of circumstances and can involve a wide range of defendants, from individuals to large corporations. Many types of wrongful death cases can occur, including:
While each case is unique, they all share the common theme of a preventable death caused by another party’s careless or intentional actions. Our client-focused and result-driven legal team has vast experience representing a wide range of wrongful death lawsuits.
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful conduct, it’s important to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney at Zanes Law to discuss your legal options.
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Wrongful death cases are handled as civil actions through which plaintiffs can access compensation for their losses. The defendant does not face criminal charges, as this case is not criminal. However, prosecutors can pursue a separate criminal case if the at-fault party breaks the law.
A wrongful death case can be founded on both intentional and unintentional conduct. However, if the defendant acted with intent against the victim, they may be charged with murder, a criminal charge.
Two different court systems independently handle civil and criminal cases. While both paths may be pursued, the outcome of each does not necessarily impact the other.
Whether you pursue a wrongful death case or a criminal case will influence the standard of proof. Therefore, understanding how each path will impact your chances of success is crucial to consider when taking legal action.
When the defendant faces criminal charges, the prosecutor must prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In a wrongful death lawsuit, however, the plaintiff must only prove liability by a preponderance of the evidence.
Since civil cases have a lower liability standard, you have a higher chance of winning than a criminal lawsuit. Based on this information and the details of your case, your lawyer will advise on the best course of legal action in your situation.
Losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful act can be a devastating experience. In Arizona, family members of the deceased may file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation for the loss of their loved one. However, not everyone is eligible to file such a lawsuit.
According to Arizona’s wrongful death statutes, only specific individuals can file a claim. These are generally the surviving family members of the deceased, such as the spouse, children, parents, or siblings.
Arizona law also permits the personal representative of the deceased’s estate to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased’s beneficiaries.
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In Arizona, the deadline for wrongful death cases is two years from the date of the victim’s death, as outlined in ARS § 12-542. The statute of limitations is a legal term that refers to the time limit within which someone must file a lawsuit. After the expiration of the deadline, a plaintiff’s right to sue is barred.
In some cases, the statute of limitations can be tolled, meaning the clock stops running for a certain period. For example, if the plaintiff is a minor at the time of the victim’s death, the statute of limitations may be tolled until the plaintiff reaches the age of majority.
There are strict time limits for filing a wrongful death claim in Arizona, so it’s crucial to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible if you believe you may have a wrongful death case.
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The untimely death of a loved one is a painful experience that overshadows the lives of many. However, you do not have to deal with the legal aftermath alone. An experienced wrongful death lawyer in Arizona can help you hold the defendant liable.
At Zanes Law, we understand your pain and offer compassionate legal services to help you access fair financial compensation. In addition, we will determine whether you have a viable claim and ensure your lawsuit is filed within the applicable statute of limitations.
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