Losing a loved one is never easy. Losing a loved one who’s been taken into custody feels unreal. These deaths are never just. Your loved one may face confinement when taken into custody, but they are still entitled to a certain degree of care. 

When police officers and other parties refuse to protect your loved one’s Eighth Amendment rights, you have the right to respond with legal force. That’s why the death in custody lawyers in Phoenix at Zanes Law bring a fight against the institution that harmed your family member.

How Death in Custody Lawyers Help You

Discovering that a loved one died while in police custody does more leave you with grief. It can compromise your trust in the systems that are meant to protect you.

You have the right to mourn your losses after the passing of an incarcerated loved one. Our team strives to give you that time without compromising your ability to take legal action. When you work with a death in custody attorney in Phoenix, you let us take over the process of building an applicable civil suit.

After our first case consultation meeting, you can count on our team to:

  • Gather evidence supporting your claim
  • Arrange witness statements from professional witnesses and bystanders
  • Communicate with a county clerk
  • Submit your paperwork within Arizona’s statute of limitations
  • Manage negotiations with the liable party
  • Protect you from intimidation attempts

Representing Loved Ones in Wrongful Death Cases

Some states require a personal executor to represent a deceased loved one’s interests in court. So, who can file a wrongful death claim in Arizona?

A.R.S. § 12-611 affords a deceased individual’s immediate family the right to represent their interests in a wrongful death case. In turn, those loved ones can receive compensation for the departed’s losses. 

How to Hold Someone Liable for Death in Custody

To hold the institution that held your loved one accountable for your loved one’s passing, you can work with a county clerk. More specifically, a Phoenix, AZ, death in custody lawyer can submit a complaint to your local civil court requesting an assessment of your losses. 

A complaint can also be referred to as a claim. You can use a complaint to detail the:

  • Name of the institution you believe to be responsible for your loved one’s death
  • Means through which you believe the institution contributed to your loved one’s death
  • Duty of care that the institution owed to your loved one
  • Compensation you would like in return for the pain and suffering you and your loved one endured

Prepare Your Death in Custody Complaint

Building a death in custody complaint requires you and an attorney to bring together evidence supporting your assertion of liability. You must also indicate that negligence on the part of the liable party caused your loved one’s death.

This negligence can take on a variety of forms. Medical negligence, for example, can see your loved ones robbed of the opportunity to visit the doctor, renew their essential prescriptions, or care for injuries. While incarcerated individuals’ movement is restricted, the Eighth Amendment still dictates that they should be treated with reasonable care (i.e., access to healthcare).

Negligence can also describe the denial of food, water, basic necessities, and even social care. The representatives at an incarcerating institution must treat your loved ones with basic human decency, or else they can be taken to court.

Request Compensation for Your Loved One’s Losses

As the loved one of someone who passed while in police custody, you may be entitled to compensation based on both your losses and those that your loved one endured. This means that your complaint should include all of the following (as applicable) in your request for financial support:

  • Any medical expenses your loved one incurred relating to their incarceration
  • Replacements for personal property damaged by an incarcerating institution
  • Replacement property for personal property permanently secured by an incarcerating institution
  • Unjust fines relating to your loved one’s incarceration
  • Emotional damages endured by your loved one
  • Your own emotional damages
  • Funeral expenses

Emotional damages, including loss of consortium, don’t always have concrete dollar values. However, you can work with Phoenix death in custody lawyers to assign dollar values to these losses.

You can turn to precedent throughout Arizona to see how much other parties have received for these losses. In turn, you can expand upon your losses considering the unique circumstances of your case.

Beware Upcoming Legal Deadlines for Death in Custody Cases

A.R.S. § 12-611 gives the family members of a person who passed while incarcerated up to two years to take legal action. This statute permits the applicable parties to file their suits against government bodies regardless of certain immunities. That said, those immunities may impact the recompense you can request in response to a wrongful death.

Attempting to file a complaint outside of this two-year period will see your request for compensation denied. With that in mind, contact an attorney as soon as you decide to take legal action. Your deadline begins on the day that your loved one passes. If you don’t act quickly, this deadline can pass you by.

Seek Justice for the Death of an Incarcerated Loved One

The institutions that hold incarcerated individuals must still protect those individuals from unreasonable treatment. If someone you love passes away while in the custody of Phoenix police, you can pursue a case against the party you believe to be responsible for your loss. Zanes Law knows how to help.

Are you ready to take a civil case up against an institution that incarcerated someone you loved? Contact us for a case evaluation. Our death in custody attorneys in Phoenix, AZ, can discuss your case in more detail.

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