Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In Arizona, and all other state jurisdictions, the surviving family members (i.e., the surviving spouse, child, parent, guardian, siblings, grandparents, etc.) of the deceased may bring a wrongful death action against the defendant whose negligence or other misconduct caused the death of their loved one.
For example, if your loved one died in a car accident involving a defendant-driver who was intoxicated at the time of the accident, then you would likely be entitled to bring a wrongful death action for damages.
Wrongful death actions can give rise to significant damages. Specifically, such actions are intended to compensate the surviving family members of the deceased for the losses they suffered due to the death of their loved one. These losses are quite varied, and are certainly not limited to emotional losses — in fact, surviving family members may be entitled to recover for a range of damages that include lost financial support and lost companionship.
Wrongful Death Damages — Basics
Wrongful death claims can vary significantly from case-to-case, as the individual bringing the action may have a more interdependent relationship with the deceased (than others with a wrongful death claim). For example, if you are completely financially dependent on your spouse, and your spouse dies in a car accident (involving the defendant’s negligence), then you would be entitled to wrongful death damages that account for the lost financial support that you would have otherwise received had your spouse survived.
Wrongful death damages include, but are not limited, to:
- Funeral, burial, and medical expenses that you expended on behalf of the deceased
- Financial support (pre-existing and projected future support)
- Domestic services and support
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of parental guidance
- Loss of love
- Loss of care
- Loss of consortium (i.e., marital relationship)
- And more
These damages can be somewhat difficult for first-time litigants to understand, let’s clarify with a quick example.
Suppose that your mother dies in a car accident where the defendant was driving negligently and is therefore responsible for your mother’s death. As the child, you are entitled to bring a wrongful death action.
Before the accident, your relationship with your mother was highly dependent, and as such, the losses are substantial. You lived with your mother in a shared family house, and she cooked, cleaned, and provided various other domestic services. Perhaps she also provided supplementary financial support for your education. You would likely be entitled to damages that include existing and future financial support, the value of the domestic services, loss of companionship, love, care, and parental guidance, and mental anguish.
Speak to a Skilled Phoenix Wrongful Death Attorney at Hirsch & Lyon for Assistance
If your loved one has died due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct of another, then — in all likelihood — you are entitled to bring a wrongful death action against the liable defendant and secure damages for the losses you suffered as a result of your loved one’s death. Arizona law entitles the qualified, surviving family members to a range of possible damages, depending on the circumstances. Given the variation, we encourage family members to contact a seasoned team of attorneys for guidance.
Here at Hirsch & Lyon, our attorneys have over 65 years of combined experience handling car, truck, and motorcycle accident claims, including those that involve wrongful death — we are fully capable of representing claimants in complex wrongful death actions. Further, we offer discounted contingency fee arrangements, so whatever you recover in the lawsuit (whether through a negotiated settlement with the defendant, or a favorable verdict), we take a lower percentage.
If you’d like to learn more about your claims and speak to a qualified professional about how best to proceed with your wrongful death action, call (602) 497-3117 or submit an online claim form through our website to schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Phoenix wrongful death attorney today. We look forward to assisting you.