According to the Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 12-611, the definition of wrongful death is a circumstance in which, if the individual who was wounded had not passed away, there would have been sufficient evidence to make a claim for personal injury.
If the death was the consequence of a “wrongful act, neglect, or default,” then the party who is responsible for the death can be held financially responsible for the losses.
To say it another way, if you could have brought a claim for personal injury against a party, but the victim passed away from the injuries, you have the right to bring a claim for wrongful death on behalf of the deceased victim. Let’s look into what wrongful death means in Arizona.
Arizona Wrongful Death Explained
Wrongful death is a legal term used to describe the death of an individual caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another person. The death can be caused by a variety of factors, including car accidents and medical malpractice or intentional acts such as crimes.
When a wrongful death occurs in Arizona, the deceased’s family members may be able to file a civil lawsuit against the responsible party to seek compensation for their loss.
For a free legal consultation, call 866-499-8989
Proving Wrongful Death
In Arizona, it must be demonstrated that the person or entity at fault acted intentionally or with negligence in order to establish wrongful death. Negligence is defined as the failure to take reasonable precautions when carrying out a task that could reasonably result in harm.
Intent indicates that the perpetrator was aware of their actions and meant to cause harm. The family members may have the right to sue the at-fault party for wrongful death if either of these conditions is satisfied.
Who Is Permitted to File a Wrongful Death Claim in the State of Arizona?
Each state has different laws regarding who is allowed to file a wrongful death claim. In the state of Arizona, ARS 12-612 defines who can take legal action in a wrongful death. Those people include:
- Surviving spouse
- Parent or guardian
- Personal representative
In the event that the deceased person left a will, the executor of that will has the legal authority to submit a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased person’s estate.
In addition, if there are numerous claimants who want to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit in Arizona, they all need to come to an agreement on who will represent them in court and how any damages granted will be distributed among them.
Failing to do so could result in the case being dismissed. As a result, before initiating any kind of legal action, it is necessary to have a discussion with an experienced attorney.
Click to contact our personal injury lawyers today
Is There a Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death Claims In Arizona?
In Arizona, wrongful death cases do have a deadline. ARS 12-542 stipulates that qualified parties have two years from the date of the death of a loved one to bring a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court.
It’s crucial to consult with an experienced Arizona wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible to begin the claims process. There can be exceptions to eligibility, and time can destroy vital evidence.
Further, if you don’t file your claim within the two-year window, known as the statute of limitations, the court may reject your case, and you will lose the opportunity to collect any compensation.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
Do I Need to Work With an Attorney to File a Wrongful Death Claim in AZ?
Finding support when a loved one passes away as a result of someone else’s carelessness can be challenging. Wrongful death cases in Arizona are complicated and need the expertise of a competent attorney.
Finding an attorney who has handled wrongful death cases in Arizona is crucial because of the state’s unique laws and processes governing these cases. An attorney has the training and experience to present a compelling argument on your side and fight for a just resolution.
Your attorney will work to demonstrate the defendant’s liability in your loved one’s death and establish any damages you may have incurred as a result of the defendant’s negligence in the case.
What Is a Survival Action?
In most cases of wrongful death, the plaintiffs are the decedent’s surviving relatives, who are suing for damages to account for their own losses (both monetary and emotional) as a result of the decedent’s passing.
A comparable but different type of legal action known as a “survival action” is one in which the deceased individual’s estate sues the defendant for certain kinds of damages brought on by their actions.
It is possible to use Arizona survival actions (which are controlled by Ariz. Rev. Stat. 14-3110) to hold the defendant accountable for the deceased person’s medical expenses, lost wages, and related losses, beginning at the time of the accident and continuing until the deceased person’s death.
What Kind of Damages Are Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Arizona?
You can pursue compensation for the expenses and losses associated with the loss of your loved one with help from a lawyer. Recoverable damages may include:
- Monetary damages for medical and funeral expenses.
- Loss of past and future earnings or financial support
- Loss of companionship, care, comfort, love, and protection
- Compensation for the survivors’ pain, suffering, and mental anguish
Contact Us to Learn More About What Qualifies as Wrongful Death in Arizona
If you need help evaluating the specifics of the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death, you can talk to a personal injury lawyer with Zanes Law to find out more.
Our firm specializes in wrongful death cases and can provide you with the legal advice and representation you need to pursue a claim.