How Can an Arizona Wrongful Death Lawyer Help Me?
You are never prepared for the death of a loved one, but when the death is caused by the negligence of others, it can be particularly hard to accept. Although a wrongful death action cannot erase the pain of losing a loved one, it can allow you to hold negligent persons accountable for their actions. Your Phoenix wrongful death lawyer at Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A. can help you obtain the financial compensation that your family deserves for the loss of your loved one.
If you or a loved one had suffered injuries in an accident due to another’s negligence, you could file a personal injury lawsuit. However, when a death occurs due to negligence, surviving family members of the deceased must file a wrongful death action. Although no amount of compensation can replace your loved one, financial security in the form of a wrongful death settlement or damages award can enable your family members to rebuild their lives.
Wrongful Death Actions in Arizona
Like most states, Arizona has very specific wrongful death laws that govern how wrongful death cases proceed through the legal system. Having a wrongful death attorney on your side throughout this process enables you to focus on your family during your time of grief while we handle the legal issues on your behalf.
The surviving spouse, children, or parent can file a wrongful death claim after the death of a loved one against those who negligently caused the death. If no relative is available to do so, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file the wrongful death claim. In the case of a child, a parent or legal guardian of the child can file a wrongful death claim.
Damages in Wrongful Death Claims
A wrongful death claim allows you to hold negligent parties responsible for causing your loved one’s death. Damages can be economic, in that they relate to a specific monetary expense, or non-economic, in that they are tied to a less tangible loss. However, personal representatives of estates only can collect economic damages in a wrongful death claim.
Family members are eligible to collect both economic and non-economic damages in a wrongful death claim, including:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost wages
- Property damages
- Last medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship and household services
Although it can be difficult to quantify the loss of a loved one in terms of non-economic damages, we can present evidence on your behalf to explain how the wrongful death has impacted your life and that of surviving family members. In cases involving reckless or intentional behavior that leads to the death of a loved one, you also may be able to claim punitive damages in a wrongful death claim.
Surviving family members must agree on how to divide damages awarded in a wrongful death claim. Otherwise, the family members must agree to follow a court-ordered disbursement plan for the damages.
Time Limits for Filing Wrongful Death Claims
In Arizona, you only have two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death claim. Failure to meet this deadline or statute of limitations can result in you being unable to pursue your claim. As a result, you should be sure to contact a wrongful death lawyer to assist you as quickly as possible after an accident wrongfully claims the life of a loved one.
When You Lose a Loved One in an Accident, a Wrongful Death Lawyer Can Help
Going through the legal process can be confusing and overwhelming, especially following the unexpected loss of a loved one. A Phoenix wrongful death lawyer at Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A., are here to help you through that process from beginning to end. Contact us by calling 602-530-8400 or reaching out to us online. Set up your free consultation with us today and learn how we can help.