The compensation that may be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit can be for the emotional anguish and grief the victim’s death has caused the family, the loss of the victim’s love, support and guidance, the loss of their services (such as a stay-at-home parent taking care of young children), and the loss of financial support. The family can also recover damages for any expenses that resulted from the victim’s death, such as funeral and burial expenses.
Each state has laws that determine who can file a wrongful death action when a victim has died. Generally, the family members who can file a wrongful death lawsuit include:
- The victim’s spouse
- The victim’s children
- The victim’s parents
The type of evidence a Glendale, AZ wrongful death lawyer may use in a lawsuit includes police reports, witness testimony, medical records, financial records of the victim, and the victim’s death certificate that states the cause of death.
What evidence is needed to prove a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Unlike a criminal trial, where the person accused faces jail time, fines, or other penalties if found guilty, the only “penalty” a defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit faces is financial. However, unlike a criminal trial – where the jury is instructed to vote guilty only if the case has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt – there is a different standard for civil cases. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the attorney only has to prove that the following four elements existed:
- The at-fault party owed a duty of care to the victim and breached that duty. For example, a driver who has a duty to other motorists not to drink and drive yet gets behind the wheel of a vehicle drunk.
- The at-fault party was negligent or reckless and that action caused the victim’s death.
- The at-fault party’s negligence caused the victim’s death.
- The family members filing the wrongful death lawsuit have suffered quantifiable damages (losses) as a result of the death of the victim.
While many people in Arizona may have heard the term “wrongful death,” they may be unsure of what that term legally means. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action where damages – or losses – are sought from the party who is deemed at fault and liable for the incident or accident that caused the victim’s death. Those damages are awarded to the victim’s family in the form of financial compensation. There are many types of incidents that can result in a wrongful death action, including car accidents, medical malpractice, and defective products. A wrongful death lawyer in Glendale, AZ can help families get the compensation they deserve for the losses they have suffered.
If you have lost a loved one in an accident caused by someone’s negligence, contact Saavedra Law Firm, PLC to schedule a free consultation with a Glendale, AZ wrongful death lawyer and find out how we can help.