Phoenix Wrongful Death Lawyer
Losing a loved one under any circumstances is traumatic and difficult. When your family member suffers an untimely and unnecessary death due to someone else’s negligence, it is even more difficult for your family. During this difficult time, you need someone to help you and your family seek justice and financial compensation. You need the support of a Phoenix wrongful death lawyer from Gallagher & Kennedy.
While the legal process may not be the first thing on your mind, it is something you must address. Even if you are not thinking about money now, you may feel an immense financial loss that you need to recoup from the legal process in the coming days. In addition, monetary compensation is also a way to get justice from the person responsible for your loved one’s death.
Why Choose Gallagher & Kennedy for Your Phoenix Wrongful Death Case?
Contacting an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Phoenix is the first step to take in the legal process to obtain compensation through a legal action, such as a wrongful death claim. The legal team of Gallagher & Kennedy is ready to help surviving family members obtain financial compensation following a fatal accident through a civil claim or wrongful death lawsuit.
With more than 40 years of collective legal experience, our Phoenix wrongful death attorneys have the skills and resources to handle your wrongful death claim effectively and help you get the full compensation you deserve.
Our law firm is proud to have obtained considerable financial compensation for grieving families through wrongful death cases, including:
- $1.55 million for a fatal bicycle crash
- $3 million for a fatal aircraft accident
- $2.25 million for a young inmate who suffered fatal medical negligence in jail
We have also recovered many other substantial settlements and verdicts for surviving family members, and we are fully prepared to help you get the maximum amount allowed under Arizona wrongful death law.
Wrongful Death Dangers in Phoenix
There are many risks of wrongful death around Phoenix, including high-speed crashes on I-10, swimming pool accidents, or pedestrian collisions at 75th Avenue and Indian School Road. No matter how your loved one died, always take time to learn about your legal rights. We’re here to help, so reach out today.
Seeking Justice After a Wrongful Death in Phoenix
Phoenix personal injury cases seek compensation when you have suffered a loss or injury because of someone else’s wrongful actions. In this case, the personal injury your family has suffered is the loss of a family member with whom you had a close, loving relationship. The untimely death of a loved one has a devastating effect on a family. It hurts you financially, and families will never be the same, collectively and individually.
Filing a wrongful death action means that your family must prove that someone else caused your loved one’s death. Like every other personal injury case, you demonstrate that someone else should be liable by proving that they were negligent. To achieve this, your experienced attorney must prove that someone else acted unreasonably under the circumstances.
Here are some examples of things that courts may consider negligence in a wrongful death case:
- A driver runs a red light and hits your loved one on the driver’s side in a T-bone crash.
- A doctor fails to anticipate risk factors and does not order an emergency c-section, resulting in the death of a child or mother in the delivery process.
- A truck driver falls asleep behind the wheel because they were violating hours of service rules and hits your family member in a head-on crash.
- A driver does not see a crosswalk because they are looking down at their phone, and they hit your loved one crossing the road.
- A restaurant owner does not limit the number of people on a patio, and your loved one loses their life in a deck collapse.
Types of Phoenix Wrongful Death Claims We Handle
At Gallagher & Kennedy, our Phoenix wrongful death lawyers have helped grieving families file claims and lawsuits seeking justice. We know the obstacles you face after losing a loved one, and we work quickly to help you overcome those obstacles and collect the compensation you need to move forward in your life. Some of the Phoenix wrongful death claims we have handled include:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Premises liability cases
- Medical malpractice claims
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
How Do I Prove a Wrongful Death Case?
Wrongful death occurs under Arizona law when a fatality results from someone else’s wrongful act, neglect, or default. A claimant may have the right to bring a wrongful death claim against the responsible party if the deceased individual would have had grounds to file a personal injury claim had they survived their injuries.
Proving a wrongful death case can be a complex process, and it typically requires gathering evidence to demonstrate that someone else’s negligence or intentional actions led to the death. It’s vital to work with an experienced Phoenix wrongful death attorney, who can help establish the following:
Duty of Care
Your attorney must show that the defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased. This duty of care could vary depending on the circumstances, such as in medical malpractice, car accidents, or other situations.
Breach of Duty
Your lawyer needs to demonstrate that the responsible party breached their duty of care through negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions. This may involve showing that the defendant failed to meet the standard of care expected in the given situation.
Your attorney must establish a direct link between the breach of duty and the death. They need to show that the actions or negligence of the defendant directly caused or substantially contributed to the death.
Finally, your attorney must prove the specific damages you suffered as a result of the wrongful death. This can include economic damages such as medical expenses, funeral expenses, and burial costs, as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering or loss of companionship.
To prove these elements in your wrongful death case, your attorney must collect relevant evidence, such as medical records, witness statements, and accident reports. They may also consult with expert witnesses, such as medical professionals or accident reconstruction specialists, who can provide testimony to support your claims and explain complex issues to the court.
Remember, the specific requirements for proving a wrongful death case may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the nature of the incident. Seeking the advice of a qualified attorney is crucial for navigating the legal complexities associated with wrongful death claims. An experienced Phoenix wrongful death lawyer to piece together what occurred and assemble a strong case that they can use in a wrongful death suit or insurance claim.
What Wrongful Death Damages Can You Claim in Phoenix?
A wrongful death lawsuit pays your family for what they have lost, not what the deceased person went through.
When your loved one dies unexpectedly, your family can suffer in many ways, and you may be able to recover compensation for damages such as:
- Medical Expenses: This may include the costs of medical treatment and care for the deceased person before their death.
- Funeral and Burial Expenses: The expenses related to the funeral service and burial arrangements may be claimed.
- Lost Earnings: If the deceased was the primary breadwinner, the family may seek compensation for the lost wages and potential future earnings.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical and emotional pain the deceased experienced before their death.
- Loss of Consortium: This refers to the loss of companionship, love, and support that the surviving family members experience.
- Emotional Distress and Mental Anguish: Family members may seek damages for the emotional trauma and distress caused by the wrongful death.
In certain rare cases, the court may award punitive damages to the surviving family members if it finds the defendant acted with extreme negligence, unlawfulness, or wanton disregard for people’s lives. Punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer and send a message to others not to engage in that sort of behavior. The court only awards these types of damages at its own discretion, and there’s no guarantee you will receive them.
Each wrongful death case is unique, and how much compensation you could receive depends on the circumstances of your case. Additionally, Arizona law may have specific provisions and limitations regarding wrongful death claims, so consulting with a legal professional with experience handling wrongful death cases in Phoenix is crucial for accurate and personalized advice.
If you need specific legal guidance, consider contacting a personal injury attorney at Gallagher & Kennedy to discuss the details of your case.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Most people who were dependent on the deceased person for financial or emotional support can file a wrongful death claim in Arizona. Arizona statute, however, dictates a hierarchy of who may file a wrongful death lawsuit, which includes:
- Surviving spouse
- Surviving children
- Surviving parent or guardian
- Personal representative
In addition, Arizona law is also very strict about who can file a wrongful death claim. Siblings and life partners may not file a lawsuit unless they are the decedent’s personal representative and there are no other family members who can file a claim.
Arizona law only allows for one wrongful death lawsuit against a defendant. The family members must join one case and work together to advance the lawsuit. The hope is that everyone can agree on the necessary actions.
What is the Deadline for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Arizona?
Arizona law places a strict time limit on your ability to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Arizona. Claimants have two years from the date of the death in most cases to file their wrongful death claims. They may have even less time if they have claims against government entities or employees. Most courts do not grant exceptions to the statute of limitations, so filing your case by the required deadline is essential.
What is a Survival Action?
In some cases, you may seek compensation for what your loved one endured between their accident and death if your loved one did not die immediately. These claims are called survival actions.
For example, in a product liability case for a dangerous medication, your loved one may have lived for years with cancer before they eventually succumbed to it. The responsible party must also pay for these damages. Instead of the family filing a wrongful death claim, the deceased person’s estate will file a survival action. The decedent’s personal representative can file these claims on behalf of the decedent’s estate.
Damages in a survival action may include:
- The medical bills necessary to treat your loved one
- Income that they did not earn between the time of their injury and death
- The pain and suffering that they endured as a result of their injury
- The loss of enjoyment of life between their injury and death
Your loved one’s estate will divide the damages from a survival action per their will’s terms.
Settlement Options in a Phoenix Wrongful Death Claim
The money you get in a wrongful death settlement must last because it needs to take care of your family for a long time. Your family cannot afford to make poor financial decisions with the money because there is no more where it came from. Accordingly, you will need to plan to manage the settlement money. Generally, there are two options for how to get your wrongful death proceeds:
- You can take a structured settlement that pays you money over time. Some families find this preferable if they cannot manage money well.
- You can take all the money at once in a lump sum payment. If you do this, get financial advice about managing and preserving your money.
How Can a Lawyer Help with My Wrongful Death Claim?
Your family does not have to go through the legal process alone. Gallagher & Kennedy is one of Arizona’s most respected wrongful death practices, and we are ready and willing to help your family. We have helped hundreds of other families over the last 25 years cope with the legal issues involved after the loss of a loved one. Our legal team is here to help you hold individuals and entities responsible for their misconduct in causing the death of your loved one.
The insurance company wants to make money, not help your family by paying the full damages that their policyholder’s carelessness or recklessness caused you.
If you do not have an attorney, you may recover far less than you deserve—if you get any money.
Here is what a Phoenix wrongful death attorney from Gallagher & Kennedy can do for you and your family:
- Spare you and your family from the legal details during this challenging time
- Investigate the circumstances behind your loved one’s death, gathering the evidence that will be necessary to prove that someone else must pay for your family’s damages
- File a lawsuit on your family’s behalf or a claim with the insurance company if that is the best legal strategy
- Estimate the damages that your family has suffered as a starting point for settlement negotiations
- Discuss possible compensation as part of a settlement agreement, either after filing a lawsuit or an insurance claim
- Try your case before a jury if you cannot reach a settlement agreement.
At Gallagher & Kennedy, we help you every step of the way with compassion and a commitment to providing the best client service possible.
Contact the Phoenix Wrongful Death Lawyers at Gallagher & Kennedy Today
The law firm of Gallagher & Kennedy fights on behalf of families when they have suffered the most significant loss of all from someone else’s recklessness or carelessness. Nothing can replace your loved one. You can lessen the other losses your family suffered.
We see firsthand the devastation families experience from a tragic loss, and our personal injury lawyers are here to help. We will handle your case diligently and will exercise the greatest degree of compassion when dealing with you and your grieving family.
Gallagher & Kennedy — Phoenix Office
2575 E Camelback Rd, Suite 1100
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Tel: (602) 530-8400