Wrongful Death Lawyer Maricopa County, AZ

HomeWrongful Death Lawyer Maricopa County, AZ

Wrongful Death Lawyer Maricopa County, AZ

Have you lost a loved one to the negligent actions of another party? If so, please call a wrongful death lawyer Maricopa County, AZ trusts, such as one from the Saavedra Law Firm. We will be able to speak with you about what happened, what kind of proof we will need to have to continue pursuing your case, and whether or not you may qualify. We know this is an incredibly difficult time for you and your family, so we will act with kindness and compassion. We will understand that this is a difficult thing to speak about, so we will try to make it as simple as possible for you and your family. 

Wrongful death claims can be filed for both accidental and intentional deaths; however, most are filed based upon claims of negligence. Examples of these cases include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Vehicular accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Hospital negligence
  • Nursing home negligence
  • Product liability
  • Premise liability
  • Construction accidents
  • Recreational accidents

Depending on the case, the liable party might be criminally charged and could face imprisonment. Even if this is true for your situation, you can still pursue a civil claim. You often should pursue a civil claim to be somehow compensated for your terrible loss. It will not bring back your loved one but it can help make life a little easier for you and anyone else who depended on your loved one’s finances. 

Proving a Wrongful Death

In order to prove a wrongful death, you must demonstrate that the party was negligent, careless, reckless, or acted with malicious intent, and that their actions (or lack of) resulted in the death of a person. If the death was intentional, there must be evidence to support that claim. If you retain a wrongful death lawyer in Maricopa County, Arizona, it will be up to him or her to show the burden of proof. Your lawyer may take the initiative to hire an investigator or someone to look into what happened. He or she may also hire expert witnesses to testify about how negligence occurred in your case. This is often seen in cases of medical malpractice — wrongful death lawyers may hire other doctors to testify that they would not have made the same mistakes as the doctor who was allegedly negligent. This can be a form of proof that negligence occurred. 

What Factors Dictate the Size of a Wrongful Death Settlement?

If your loved one has recently passed away, you need to be focused on honoring the memory of him or her. On the other hand, you may have suffered significant financial difficulties as a result of the death of someone close to you. If your loved one has passed away unnecessarily, then you need to reach out to a wrongful death lawyer in Maricopa County, AZ, such as an attorney from the Saavedra Law Firm, PLC. What factors will dictate the size of your wrongful death settlement? 

Final Expenses

One of the biggest factors that will dictate the size of your wrongful death settlement is any final expenses you may have incurred. For example, if you had to pay for a funeral for your loved one, this will play a role in your settlement. Furthermore, if you have to pay a bunch of medical bills on behalf of your family member, this could play a role in your settlement as well. 

Lost Income

If your family has lost income as a result of the death of your loved one, then this could be taken into account. For example, if you were counting on your family member to work for another ten years, and he or she has suddenly passed away, your family may have a difficult time making ends meet without that income. This is another factor that a wrongful death lawyer in Maricopa County, AZ can use to increase the size of your settlement. 

The Financial Resources of the Defendant

Even though it may not sound fair, the financial resources of the defendant will also play a role in the size of your settlement. For example, if the defendant doesn’t have a lot of financial resources, then you might not get as much money when compared to a defendant who may have a lot of financial resources. Trust a lawyer to navigate this process on your behalf.

Trust an Attorney

These are just a few of the many factors that will dictate the size of your wrongful death settlement. If you want to maximize your financial benefit, you need to talk to a wrongful death lawyer in Maricopa County, AZ, such as an attorney from the Saavedra Law Firm, PLC, who can walk you through the process. Make sure you focus your time and energy on honoring the memory of your loved one. Let an attorney handle the paperwork for you.

Wrongful Death FAQs

The death of a loved one is always difficult. If you think that your loved one died because of someone else’s negligence, you may be feeling confused and angry. The Saavedra Law Firm, PLC can help you team up with a wrongful death lawyer in Maricopa County, AZ so that you can navigate the details of this difficult situation. Following you will find answers to frequently asked questions concerning wrongful deaths. 

Can A Doctor Be Sued For Wrongful Death?

Doctors and hospitals can be held liable for wrongful deaths in certain cases. If there is sufficient evidence to prove that a patient died because of a misdiagnosis, malpractice, unsafe hospital conditions, or unnecessary risks being taken, you may be able to file a wrongful death case. You will need to discuss the details of your loved one’s experience with a wrongful death lawyer in Maricopa County, AZ. These professionals are highly trained at reviewing medical records and information to help determine if someone else was responsible for the death. 

What Should I Do If An Offer Is Made To Settle Out of Court?

Responsible parties in wrongful death cases will sometimes attempt to settle cases out of court. You should understand that these types of settlements do not always hold the responsible party accountable in a way that would bring justice to the deceased. If you are approached concerning a settlement, you should discuss these details with a wrongful death lawyer in Maricopa County, AZ. You will want to have professionals review the settlement that is offered to ensure that it is fair and just. 

It is usually best to only discuss the case with a lawyer present. This way you can be sure that you are not being deceived in any way. A professional wrongful death lawyer is highly trained to understand what is and is not equitable in this type of case. 

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Case?

The laws which determine who can file a wrongful death case vary from state to state. In general, however, a wrongful death case can be filed by the immediate family members of the deceased. This usually includes spouses, children, and adopted children. However, there can be exceptions made if there are financial dependants left behind following the death. These financial dependents may be able to file a wrongful death case even if they are not usually considered to be immediate family members. 

If you are in need of a wrongful death lawyer in Maricopa County, AZ, the legal team at Saavedra Law Firm, PLC can help. 

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Arizona?

According to Arizona legislation, family members of a person who died can file a claim for compensation. These claims can be filed by a:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Parent
  • Sibling
  • Child
  • Grandparent
  • Grandchild
  • Representative of the estate

Before a claim can be filed, the family member must first be appointed by the estates’ personal representative. In general, the family will agree on who will hold this position. As a wrongful death lawyer in Maricopa, AZ can explain in more detail during a consultation, one claim is typically filed on behalf of all parties involved. 

Steps to Filing a Case

If you believe you have a case, the first step to take is to call an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Maricopa County, AZ. If the Saavedra Law Firm determines that you have a valid case, a personal representative should be appointed by the court. This procedure is generally done through the probate court located in the county where the decedent last resided. In addition to this, a lawyer may need to help you with the following:

  • Determining what family members can file a claim
  • Notifying other family members
  • Determining the extent of damages
  • Filing a case
  • Negotiating a settlement
  • Taking the case to trial if a settlement cannot be reached

Wrongful death cases can take anywhere from 8 months to 2 years, or more. How long your case might take will depend on the circumstances. The same principle applies to the value of your case. In other words, it cannot be said what your case is worth until it is thoroughly reviewed and investigated. 

If Your Loved One Was Lost Due to Work-Related Harm

In Arizona, surviving loved ones of employees (who are eligible for workers’ compensation at the time of their deaths) whose fatal injuries were caused by work-related harm – injury or illness – are entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits under certain circumstances. Arizona law provides for up to $5,000 in burial expenses in addition to general compensation awards. The amount and distribution of these awards is dependent upon the wages that the deceased was earning at the time of their death and the dependents that they left behind.

For example, if an employee is survived by a spouse and the couple had no children, the spouse is entitled to two-thirds of the average monthly wage earned by the deceased paid in monthly installments. The surviving spouse is entitled to receive this compensation amount until they pass away or remarry. In the event of remarriage, they may collect a final amount of compensation equal to two years’ worth of compensation owed, in a lump sum. However, if the deceased and surviving spouse shared children, the compensation award is subject to the same terms but the amount reduces to 35 percent of the average monthly wage of the deceased. The surviving children of the deceased, shared by the surviving spouse, are then entitled to an additional 31 percent of the average monthly wage – divided equally among them, if there are more than one, until each reaches the age of 18 or 22 if they are enrolled as a full-time college student. The surviving spouse will then be paid as if there were no shared children once all of the shared children reach these milestones and are no longer eligible for benefits.

Different standards apply to single surviving children, the parents of a deceased worker who was unmarried and had no children, as well as brothers and sisters of deceased workers. In short, closely-related relatives of workers eligible for workers’ compensation benefits who died as a result of work-related harm may be entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits, subject to very specific conditions and award terms. If this form of compensation may be relevant to your situation, speak with our team about your eligibility and the claims process so that we can advise you of your rights.

Criminal vs. Civil Cases Related to Wrongful Death

It is important to understand that any civil action you may file in regards to the loss of your loved one is independent from any criminal proceedings that may or may not be filed related to your loss. Too often, surviving loved ones are not informed that they may hold individuals civilly liable for criminal wrongdoing that leads to a loved one’s death. Whether the individual(s) who caused your loved one’s fatal injuries have or have not been criminally charged – and if they’ve been criminally charged, whether or not they are found guilty – has no bearing on your ability to hold them liable in civil court. The standard of proof is far lower in civil court than it is in criminal court, so you may be able to hold someone accountable for your loss in civil court even if a prosecutor can’t make charges stick in a criminal context.

Common Myths About Wrongful Death Cases

Losing a loved one can be even more painful when the death is caused by negligence. While nothing can make up for the loss of a family member, you can recoup your financial losses by filing a lawsuit. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about wrongful death cases:

  • There Is No Time Limit to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit: In the state of Arizona, you have two years from the time of your family member’s death to file a lawsuit. If you miss the deadline, you won’t be eligible for compensation anymore. Although you should give yourself time to grieve before pursuing legal action, you don’t want to wait too long.
  • Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit is Greedy: Some people are reluctant to file a wrongful death lawsuit because they don’t want to be seen as greedy. They don’t want others to think that money will make up for their family member’s death. However, filing a wrongful death lawsuit is anything but greedy. It can hold the negligent person accountable for your loved one’s death and help relieve some of the financial burden that resulted from the death.
  • Individuals Found Liable in Wrongful Death Lawsuits Go to Prison: Wrongful death lawsuits are resolved in civil court, not criminal. As long as the death was ruled an accident, the negligent party doesn’t have to worry about prison time.
  • The Insurance Company Will Provide a Fair Settlement: If your family member was killed because of someone else’s carelessness, you might assume the negligent party’s insurance company will offer you a fair settlement. However, that’s not the case. Insurance companies care about their bottom line first and won’t likely offer you fair compensation without a fight. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Maricopa County, AZ on your side. He or she will negotiate with the insurance company and work hard to help you obtain a fair settlement.
  • It’s Too Expensive to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit: Unfortunately, some people don’t file wrongful death lawsuits because they think they can’t afford to hire a wrongful death lawyer in Maricopa County, AZ. However, most wrongful death lawyers work on a contingency fee, meaning they take a percentage of their clients’ settlements. If you happen to lose your case, you don’t have to worry about owing your lawyer any money. 

Do not believe any of the myths you have heard about wrongful death cases. You need to speak with a lawyer to make sure you are able to file for what you deserve. Having a wrongful death lawyer on your side can make the difference of winning your case and getting the greatest amount of compensation. 

Why You Need a Wrongful Death Lawyer on Your Side

There are many different reasons it is beneficial to have a wrongful death lawyer on your side in a case. As mentioned above, you will likely get a free initial consultation to see whether or not your case is even worth pursuing. If your lawyer thinks that there is a chance that you could be compensated for your loved one’s untimely passing, he or she will help you every step of the way. Wrongful death cases are particularly difficult since they are dealing with intense feelings and loss. Your lawyer will handle your case with care and empathy, and can handle all of the tedious paperwork and other logistics while you plan the funeral and grieve the loss of someone important in your life. A lawyer not only takes a big burden of stress off your shoulders, but he or she also will do their best to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. We can never bring your loved one back, but we can lighten the burden you are carrying by trying to get financial compensation from the untimely death that occured. 

The Do’s and Don’ts of Legal Action for a Wrongful Death

Pursuing legal action for wrongful death is something you are not accustomed to. Familiarity with the process will help you avoid mistakes and allow you to make the best use of your time and energy. An experienced wrongful death lawyer in Maricopa County, AZ, can help you get the results you deserve. At the Saavedra Law Firm, PLC, our team is happy to provide you with guidance during this journey. 

Do Meet With Our Office

Your initial meeting with our legal team will help you get your bearings. We will discuss the case with you and ask for the relevant details. Compassionately, we will help you determine if you have a valid case that will hold up in court. We will also go over the procedural details of a wrongful death filing.

Do Ask Questions About the Process

Many of our clients are not overly familiar with the legal system. That is to be expected. While we will try and fill you in on all pertinent matters, you must ask questions when things are unclear. You might have questions in the following areas:

  • What is the cost of legal representation?
  • What is the difference between a civil case and a criminal case?
  • How long could a court case last?
  • What will your role be in a wrongful death action?

A qualified wrongful death lawyer in Maricopa County, AZ, should be able to provide answers to your satisfaction. This will help you decide your best course of action.

Don’t Assume You Do Not Have a Strong Case

Unless you are experienced in legal matters, it can be hard to fully and objectively determine the merits of your case. It is possible you are overlooking important factors or that you do not understand the burden of proof needed to win a civil case. To get the benefit of a professional judgment it is appropriate to speak with our team at the Saavedra Law Firm, PLC.

Don’t Feel Guilty About Pursuing Legal Action

This can be an emotional time for you and you could have many conflicting feelings. Sometimes people do not pursue a case because they are worried about how others might see them. However, a wrongful death case may be necessary to achieve justice and to hold a person accountable for negligent actions. A wrongful death lawyer in Maricopa County, AZ, can help ease financial burdens as the result of the death of a loved one.

Legal Assistance Is Available

If you have lost someone to the negligent, or wrongful, actions of another person or entity, please call a wrongful death lawyer in Maricopa County, Arizona today. Call the Saavedra Law Firm, PLC to learn about your rights and to be advised of your legal options. You can set up a free consultation with one of our lawyers to go into detail about how the death happened and if there is enough proof of negligence to proceed. If so, your lawyer can begin creating a case. He or she may contact the negligent party first to hopefully come to a good settlement amount, but if the settlement is not fair, your lawyer will likely suggest going to court. Settling is a good option to save emotional pain and turmoil, but you do deserve to be compensated for the passing of your loved one. Reach out to Saavedra Law Firm to set something up to speak in depth about what happened and what you may deserve.

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