Posted on:Mar 17, 2023

Who Can Be Held Liable in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? 

HomeBlogWho Can Be Held Liable in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? 

People die unexpectedly every day. Car accidents, medical mistakes, dog bites, slips and falls, sports injuries, and crimes are examples of common events that can cause fatalities. 

Wrongful death is when a person dies due to someone else’s negligence or misconduct. Even if the death was an accident and the other person is not criminally responsible, you can still file a civil lawsuit against them to recover compensation for damages. 

A death can leave family members with unexpected medical bills, funeral expenses, and lost wages, not to mention unbearable grief. A wrongful death lawsuit can help pay for these expenses as well as bring about justice and hold the negligent party liable for their actions. 

However, you will want to know who can be held liable. Which parties can be sued in a wrongful death lawsuit?

What the Law Says

Under Arizona Revised Statute 12-611, a surviving family member may file a legal action against the individual or entity that the deceased would have been able to file “if had death not ensued.” So basically, whoever your deceased loved one would have been able to sue in a personal injury lawsuit had they survived, you can sue on their behalf. This can include many groups of people, including motorists, medical providers, government agencies, employers, property owners, product manufacturers, and criminal offenders. The person you would sue would depend on the circumstances of your case. 

Whoever caused your loved one’s death can be sued, as long as you can prove that their negligence caused your loved one to die. You will need to show that the defendant owed a duty of care, but that duty was breached, and that caused your loved one to die. You must also prove that you suffered damages due to your family member’s death, such as expenses and psychological effects.

However, remember that a statute of limitation applies to these claims. Under Arizona law, you have just two years to file a wrongful death claim, so you must act quickly.

Also, only certain family members can sue the liable party in a wrongful death claim. This varies from state to state. In Arizona, the people who are allowed to sue are the surviving spouse, surviving children, and surviving parents or guardians. If the deceased victim was a child, the child’s parents or legal guardians are the only ones who can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Contact Us Today

A loved one’s death can be a devastating situation. As a surviving family member, you will want to know your legal rights regarding obtaining compensation. 

Contact the wrongful death lawyers at Saavedra Law Firm for help with your case. We understand that nothing can replace your loved one or bring them back to life, but money can help with funeral expenses and other damages. Fill out the online form or call (602) 878-6625 to schedule a consultation.

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