The Arizona wrongful death statute applies to cases where an accidental or intentional action leads to the death of another person. The law allows certain parties to recover compensation for economic losses and the emotional damage they suffered. Of course, Arizona civil court cannot replace the devastating loss of a loved one. However, with the help of a wrongful death attorney, you can understand the laws governing these cases and hold the responsible party accountable for their actions.
What Does the Arizona Wrongful Death Statute Say?
In Arizona, that statute states that a wrongful death occurs when the cause of death results from another person’s wrongful act. The death could be the result of any of the following:
- Medical malpractice
- A negligence-based accident, such as a car crash
- Intentional harm, including crimes like assault
Wrongful death differs from a survival action in Arizona. A survival action refers to legal action the deceased person would take if they had survived, whereas a wrongful death is a claim for damages suffered by the family.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Arizona?
The Arizona wrongful death statute limits the ability to file a wrongful death claim to the deceased person’s spouse, surviving children, surviving parent or guardian, or personal representative. If the loved one you lost is your child, you, as the parent or guardian, are first in line to file. A personal representative of the deceased’s estate, also known as an executor, can file for damages on behalf of the family members listed if they did not survive the deceased.
What Damages Are Available to Eligible Parties?
Damages refer to the losses associated with your loss. These can include economic and non-economic losses:
- The cost of your loved one’s medical bills accumulated after the accident and before their death
- The value of wages and benefits the deceased would earn if they were still alive
- The cost of funeral and burial expenses
- The loss of love, comfort, companionship and affection your loved one provided
- The emotional pain and suffering you endure as a survivor
Unlike many states, Arizona does not place a cap on the amount of damages you can receive in a wrongful death claim. For that reason, you may benefit from contacting an attorney about identifying and valuing the losses from your case.
Distribution of Damages
Only one plaintiff can file a wrongful death claim in Arizona’s civil court. That plaintiff will represent the eligible surviving members of the deceased’s family. Should the plaintiff receive an award for damages, the court will also decide how to allocate it to the survivors. When the award goes to the deceased’s estate, it becomes an asset.
Can an Attorney Help You Apply the Arizona Wrongful Death Statute to Your Claim?
The Arizona wrongful death statute can apply to many forms of personal injury, making every case different. Given the devastation the families face in the aftermath of a loss, having legal representation relieves the heavy burden of proving liability and damages to get the compensation they deserve. If you lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence or malintent, contact Sargon Law Group to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney today.