Wrongful Death Actions Require Underlying Liability

Phoenix Wrongful Death Attorney

Wrongful death litigation can be emotionally overwhelming.  Family members must not only process the untimely and unexpected death of their loved one but must also pursue comprehensive litigation in order to secure damages that can compensate them for the losses they suffered as a result.

Many first-time plaintiffs are not entirely familiar with wrongful death litigation and what it entails.  Wrongful death actions can be rather difficult to conceptualize compared to a standard personal injury action.

Stated simply, wrongful death actions are brought by certain qualified family members for the damages they suffered due to the loss of their loved one.  For example, suppose that a father dies in a car accident that was caused by the fault of another.  The child of the deceased might have a legitimate wrongful death claim for the losses they sustained — including but not limited to their mental anguish, the financial support they will no longer receive from their father, and the love, companionship, and guidance of their father.

If you’re interested in bringing a wrongful death action (against the party responsible for the death of your loved one), it’s important to understand some of the limitations typical of such disputes.

Let’s take a brief look at one such limitation.

Accident-Related Deaths Do Not Always Create an Actionable Wrongful Death Claim

In Arizona, actionable wrongful death claims require an underlying wrongful act — either negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.  If there is no underlying wrongful act linked to the death at-issue, then liability will not attach.

How does this work?

Suppose that your father dies in a car accident, but nobody else was at-fault for their death.  Perhaps the weather conditions were extremely poor and your father lost control of the vehicle as a result, leading to his death.  Under such circumstances, there could be no actionable wrongful death claim.

Now, suppose that investigators discovered that your father’s accident was partly caused by a mechanical defect in the car brake system.  If the brakes manufacturer would have been liable for your father’s injuries (had he survived), then you may be entitled to bring a wrongful death action against the manufacturer for damages.

Schedule a Free and Confidential Consultation With an Experienced Phoenix Wrongful Death Attorney

Hirsch & Lyon is a Phoenix-based boutique litigation firm with a focus on handling motor vehicle accident claims — car, truck, and motorcycle accidents — on behalf of those who have suffered serious losses.  We have extensive experience representing victims and their families in challenging litigation, including the family members of the deceased.

We are a client-oriented firm, and as such, we are committed to working closely with clients at every stage of litigation.  We maintain open lines of communication so that clients can have their questions and concerns answered — by encouraging the sharing of information, we are uniquely well-informed and capable of taking decisive action on behalf of our clients.  Over the years, this approach has helped us recover over $100 million for our clients.

If you’re ready to learn more about your claims, call 602-535-1900 or request an appointment online to schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Phoenix wrongful death attorney at Hirsch & Lyon today.