- Personal Injury
- Criminal Defense
- Success Stories
The loss of a loved one in an accident is a tragic experience. While nothing can bring them back, the surviving family members could be entitled to compensation to replace some of the value of their lost loved one’s financial and emotional contributions to the household. When someone or something caused the accident that led to a death, the survivors are entitled to damages through what is known as a wrongful death claim. As we will discuss, these benefits are sought by filing a claim with the insurance carrier of the party at fault for the accident.
The legal process of these claims requires collecting evidence and drafting a claim within the amount of time legally allowed. Working with a Buckeye wrongful death attorney from The Law Offices of John Phebus can be extremely helpful in removing the stress from the day-to-day life of the survivors and ensuring that the survivors are fully compensated. We step into the shoes of the surviving family members so that focus and energy can be spent on coping with the loss. Schedule your free consultation with an experienced Buckeye wrongful death lawyer by completing our contact form or by calling (623) 847-7117.
The wrongful death laws of Arizona apply when a person’s death is caused by the negligent or intentional act of another in an accident, a crime, or by medical malpractice. In Arizona, most wrongful death claims are made by the decedent’s surviving family members to seek compensation for their losses.
Generally, the surviving family members have a viable claim for wrongful death if the decedent would have had a viable personal injury claim had the decedent not perished.
An action for wrongful death can be brought by, and in the name of, the surviving spouse, child, parent, or guardian or by the personal representative of the estate when there are no surviving family members.
These claims intend to place the surviving family members, and others who may have depended upon the decedent, in the same financial position as though the accident did not occur. A wrongful death claim is a civil procedure filed in Arizona’s state civil courts. Under the laws of civil procedure, damages are expressed and awarded in monetary compensation.
This is the best and the only remedy our society has to offer.
The party filing a claim is the plaintiff, and damages are the plaintiff’s claimed losses. In Arizona, there are two categories recognized for damages: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are the monies paid by the survivors to cover their financial losses resulting from the incident. Receipts, pay stubs, and other representations of a paid expense provide proof of these claims. Examples of economic damages are:
The value of economic damages is derived from tangible proof. When calculating the value of future lost wages and benefits, these claims are taken at the date of the death and extended forward through a reasonable working life.
Non-economic damages have no tangible proof. However, the lack of tangible evidence does not mean these damages have no value. These losses experienced by the survivors are very real. Examples of non-economic losses are:
The value of these losses claimed by the surviving family members is hard to monetize, and the process can be technical and complicated. However, the court does recognize the value in a claim for non-economic losses. It will take the expertise of an attorney experienced in valuing wrongful death claims and presenting these claims to the court, opposing counsel, and the insurance company to negotiate a settlement acceptable to all parties.
It is the total sum of both the economic and the non-economic damages that comprise the full value of the claim.
The State of Arizona places no caps on the amount claimed by, or awarded to, the surviving family members in wrongful death cases.
In Arizona, a wrongful death claim must be filed by the surviving family members within two years of the loved one’s death, not the date of the accident. Like every statute and rule, there are exceptions. However, exceptions to the statute of limitations are narrow and specific.
If a claim is not filed within the two years mandated by the statute, then it is very likely that the court will dismiss the claim without any opportunity to re-file or proceed further in the seeking of recoverable damages. This is why it is important to contact a Buckeye wrongful death attorney as soon as possible.
When it comes time to collect compensation on your wrongful death claim, you will need to put together a claim with the insurance carrier of the party that caused the accident. It is important to remember that the insurance company works for profit, not for you. The less they pay on claims and the more they deny outright, the greater their profits. Insurance companies have full-time teams of claim analysts and attorneys scrutinizing your claim and having an attorney of your own helps to even the playing field.
For your risk-free, cost-free assessment of your wrongful death claim, schedule your free consultation or call us at (623) 847-7117. Our Buckeye personal injury lawyers have the knowledge and experience needed to get you and your family the compensation deserved.