If a loved one dies an untimely death due to another person or entity’s negligence or misconduct, you may be able to sue for wrongful death. A wrongful death action is a civil lawsuit that is wholly distinct from a criminal charge. In other words, you can hold a negligent person responsible for your loved one’s death even if the negligent person was not found criminally responsible. The standard of proof is lower in civil lawsuits than it is in criminal cases. Phoenix wrongful death lawyer Freddy Saavedra understands the turmoil that a family may be going through in these situations, and he can take the legal burden off your shoulders.
Wrongful Death Claims
In Arizona, a wrongful death is a death caused by another party’s default, neglect, or wrongful act. Under Arizona Revised Statute section 12-611, a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought if the decedent could have sued for their personal injuries based on negligence or intentional wrongdoing had they survived. You have a restricted time within which to sue for wrongful death; the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the decedent’s death. If you do not file within this time, you will likely be barred from having your case heard at all.
Only certain people can sue for wrongful death. Specifically, the people who are allowed to sue after someone passes away are the surviving spouse of the decedent, surviving children of the decedent, and a surviving guardian or parent of the decedent. If the decedent is a child, the child’s legal guardian or parents can file a wrongful death lawsuit for the child.
In most wrongful death cases, liability is predicated on the defendant’s negligence. A wrongful death attorney in the Phoenix area will need to show that the defendant owed a duty of care, but there was a breach of duty, causation, and damages. For example, if your husband was killed in a truck accident because the truck driver was driving drunk and had a history of doing so, you may be able to establish the truck driver’s negligence and the trucking company’s negligent supervision. You could hold them liable for wrongful death.
Arizona follows the doctrine of comparative negligence. That means that the damages will be reduced by an amount equal to the decedent’s percentage of fault, if any. The jury will evaluate the total damages and assign a percentage of fault to the decedent and the defendant or defendants. For example, if your husband was partially responsible for the truck accident because he was driving at an excessive speed, and the jury determines that he was 20% at fault for the accident, and the damages are $1 million, you may be able to recover $800,000 for the wrongful death.
If your Phoenix wrongful death attorney can establish liability, you can recover wrongful death damages. These include losses that the estate sustained and losses sustained by the decedent’s surviving family members. The estate can usually recover funeral and burial expenses, medical bills, lost wages and benefits, property replacement or repair, and pain and suffering felt by the decedent prior to dying. Family members may be able to recover damages for loss of care and companionship, lost household services, and pain and suffering sustained due to the loved one’s death. Survivors usually need to determine how the damages will be divided among themselves, but they can ask the court to determine apportionment, in which case they will be bound by the court’s decision.
Consult an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Nothing can make up for the loss of a loved one, but often, after a loved one’s death, grief and practical considerations combine. It may be hard to know how you will pay your bills or find alternative sources of support. You should consult an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Phoenix if your loved one died as a result of negligence. Attorney Freddy Saavedra handles wrongful death lawsuits for people throughout Maricopa County. Call us at 602-878-6625 or complete our online form for a free consultation.
There are multiple incidents resulting in a death that could be considered a wrongful death by a court of law, and an experienced Wrongful Death Attorney Phoenix, Peoria, and Maricopa County AZ residents trust can discuss your options. Situations such as a fatal car accident, an incident involving neglect that resulted in a death, and more could be considered a wrongful death and leave you with legal options to submit a lawsuit for compensation for damages.
Your Phoenix, Peoria, and Maricopa County AZ work accident attorney from Saavedra Law Firm, PLC will take many factors into consideration when determining the value of your claim. Some things considered will be lost income, medical expenses, damages property, pain and suffering, and more. It can be difficult to put a monetary value on some damages, such as pain and suffering, but your wrongful death lawyer has the experience needed to complete this and advise you on what all should be included and what value can be given to each item.
There is no time too soon for filing a lawsuit for wrongful death. However, the statute of limitations (the longest amount of time you have to submit the lawsuit) for a wrongful death in Arizona is 2 years. This means that from when the wrongful death occurred, you have 2 years to file a lawsuit, and if you choose not to you will no longer have that option after the statute of limitations is up. It may seem like a lot of time to decide about submitting a claim or not, but it can go by quickly, especially as you learn to live without the loved one that you lost, so there is no need to wait to discuss your potential options with a wrongful death lawyer.
Who is eligible to sue for a wrongful death can be tricky, but in general a parent or guardian, a child or dependent, the executor of the will for the deceased, and others who suffered damages because of the death have the option to file a wrongful death lawsuit. It is recommended that you speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney about the details of your circumstance to get legal advice about pursuing a lawsuit.
No matter the legal situation you’re facing, it is recommended to have legal counsel from a professional Phoenix, Peoria, and Maricopa County AZ wrongful death attorney. There is nothing that can replace the legal advice and guidance of an experienced wrongful death lawyer. This is likely a very emotional time for you as you deal with the death of your loved one, and a lawsuit can be difficult to get through at a time like this. Your lawyer will shoulder the legal process of your lawsuit for you so that you can focus on your mental and emotional health.
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Attorney Freddy Saavedra supports accident victims as their trusted personal injury lawyer. With experience in a range of injury-related cases, Attorney Saavedra works hard to help clients seek compensation for their suffering. He also serves families who have lost a loved one in an accident by representing them in wrongful death claims.
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