Handling Wrongful Death Cases in Phoenix and Surrounding Areas in Arizona, Including Kingman, Bullhead City, and Mohave County
While accidents may happen all the time in Phoenix and other areas, if a person’s life is cut short due to the negligence of another person, the law provides for legal remedies in the form of a “wrongful death” claim. Like all states, Arizona has enacted specific laws that address wrongful death claims. These laws set forth liability for a wrongful death, who has the right to file a wrongful death claim, and the damages that may be recovered under such a claim. If you have experienced the death of a loved one and believe someone else’s negligence played a role, you have a right to speak with an experienced Phoenix wrongful death attorney. At Hirsch & Lyon, we are dedicated to protecting our clients’ rights. To schedule a free consultation with one of our wrongful death lawyers, call 602-535-1900 today.
Who Our Wrongful Death Attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona Can Help
Our wrongful death attorneys in Phoenix regularly advise and represent families who are struggling with the aftermath of tragic accidents, such as:
- Rollover accidents where the victim was ejected from a vehicle and killed
- Intersection or T-bone accidents where a driver smashed into the side of another vehicle, killing the driver or passengers inside the other vehicle
- Pedestrians struck and killed by an automobile as they crossed the street at an intersection (cases involving jaywalking may still result in recovery with a thorough investigation)
- Truck accident wrongful deaths
- Other types of negligence-related wrongful deaths
Who Is Liable for a Wrongful Death Accident in Phoenix
Section 12-611 of the Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) provides that when a person’s death is due to a “wrongful act, neglect or default,” a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed if the deceased individual would have been entitled to recover damages based on the “wrongful act, neglect or default” that caused his or her death. Put simply, because the injured party is no longer alive, certain survivors have the right to recover damages by initiating a wrongful death lawsuit. Anyone considering filing a suit should first consult with a Phoenix wrongful death attorney to ensure their rights are protected.
Who Has the Right to File a Wrongful Death Case in Arizona?
Under A.R.S. Section 12-612, the following parties are permitted to file legal action for a wrongful death in Arizona:
- The surviving husband or wife
- Any surviving children
- A surviving parent or guardian
- The personal representative of the deceased person for and on the behalf of the surviving spouse, children or parents
- A personal representative on behalf of the deceased person’s estate (if none of the above survive)
Arizona law further provides that either parent can bring a legal action for the death of their child, and a guardian can bring an action for the death of the guardian’s ward.
What Damages Can Loved Ones of Wrongful Death Victims in Arizona Recover?
A.R.S. Section 12-613 addresses how damages are to be awarded for wrongful death cases in Arizona. The language in the statute is very broad and provides that the jury shall award the surviving parties “such damages as it deems fair and just” taking into account the “mitigating or aggravating circumstance attending the wrongful act, neglect or default.”
In a wrongful death lawsuit, two categories of damages can be awarded:
- Damages to compensate the surviving family members for the loss of their loved one. These damages are generally paid directly to the decedent’s family members and include compensation for pain and suffering and loss of companionship, care, comfort and guidance.
- Damages to compensate losses to the deceased person’s estate. These damages are typically paid to the decedent’s estate and include such items as funeral and burial expenses, medical bills, lost wages and benefits the decedent would have earned, damages to the decedent’s property and other losses.
How to Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim in Arizona
In the state of Arizona, when an individual’s death is caused by a “wrongful act, neglect or default,” certain surviving family members may bring a wrongful death lawsuit if the decedent would have had the right to pursue a personal injury action had he or she survived. Section 12-612 of the Arizona Revised Statutes provides that the following parties are entitled to pursue a wrongful death claim:
- The spouse of the decedent
- The child of the decedent
- The parent or guardian of the decedent
- The personal representative of the decedent on behalf of the parties listed above
- The personal representative of the decedent’s estate if none of the parties named above survive
When a wrongful death suit is filed, a number of different types of damages may be awarded in the case, including:
- Loss of income
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of companionship, love and affection
- Losses associated with the services the decedent would have provided at the home
In most wrongful death actions related to car accidents, the consumer automobile policy is not adequate to fully compensate the surviving family members for their losses. When you work with an experienced Phoenix wrongful death lawyer at our firm, we will carefully explore additional available sources of compensation. For example, if a drunk driver caused your family member’s death, our legal team will investigate to determine whether the restaurant, bar or other establishment that served the driver can be held responsible under a Dram Shop liability claim.
In other situations, the presence of defective tires or a faulty roadway design may result in additional compensation for our clients. Additionally, if the driver was on the job when the car accident happened, we may be able to pursue financial recovery under the employer’s liability policy. In every case we take on, our objective is to help our clients receive full financial compensation for their losses. This means that our legal team will aggressively investigate to determine whether any umbrella policies can provide additional compensation beyond the driver’s own limited liability policy.
Discuss Your Case With a Phoenix Wrongful Death Attorney
If you have lost someone you love and are considering filing a wrongful death action, the legal team at Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law P.L.L.C. is here to help. The laws addressing these types of legal actions are complicated and are best handled by an experienced Phoenix wrongful death attorney. We offer free consultations where we will answer your questions and help you determine the best path to take to recover the legal damages you may be entitled to. You can also learn more about how we handle wrongful death cases by reviewing the following pages on our site:
Call us today at 602-535-1900 to schedule a free consultation with our Phoenix accident law firm.