No family should ever go through the heartbreak of losing a loved one due to a negligent act.
Many accidents are preventable, yet they still happen frequently.
Whether a wrongful death happens due to a car accident, workplace incident, or product defect, the party responsible should be held accountable.
At Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C., our Phoenix wrongful death lawyers understand how devastating this loss is for families.
We have experience handling all types of wrongful death claims and approach every case with compassion, care, and professionalism.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is when someone dies due to the negligent or intentional act of another person.
While this includes things like car accidents, slip and falls, or other personal injury incidents, it also includes crimes.
However, it is a civil case that focuses on the damages of the surviving family members rather than criminal charges.
For situations involving negligence, the family might also choose to pursue a survival action on behalf of the victim.
The most significant difference between wrongful death and a survival action is that a wrongful death claim provides compensation for damages sustained by the survivors.
In contrast, the goal of a survival action is to pursue the damages that the victim suffered before their death. This is an important distinction for families considering their legal options after losing a loved one.
Who May Sue for Wrongful Death in Arizona?
The party allowed to sue for wrongful death varies from state to state. However, Arizona permits almost any family member to pursue a case.
Under ARS § 12-612, a wrongful death claim may be brought by the victims:
- Guardians, or
- Personal representative.
In addition, Arizona law distributes the total recovered damages among each of these individuals in proportion to their damages. Any amounts belonging to the victim’s estate will be distributed according to the person’s will.
We encourage you to check with a wrongful death lawyer in Phoenix if you’re unsure about whether you may file.
Recoverable Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim
In wrongful death claims, the damages are very different from those in a personal injury claim. This is because the damages include the plaintiff’s (that is, the surviving family member) losses rather than those of the victim.
The law typically divides these damages into two categories: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are the financial losses associated with the victim’s death.
This usually includes things like:
- Funeral expenses,
- Medical bills before death,
- Property damage repair costs,
- Loss of household services the victim would’ve provided, and
- Lost wages and benefits of the deceased if they had lived.
Usually, these losses make up the foundation of a wrongful death claim. However, not all losses sustained by the family are financial.
Losing a loved one is also emotionally devastating and intangible. For this reason, a Phoenix wrongful death lawyer also typically pursues non-economic damages.
Some examples of these damages include:
- Loss of love and affection,
- Loss of guidance and support, and
- The pain and suffering of surviving family members.
While some states cap the amount of non-economic damages, Arizona does not. Therefore, non-economic damages can make up a substantial portion of a wrongful death award.
Human life is irreplaceable, and the goal of non-economic damages is to recognize that fact.
How Long You Have to File for Wrongful Death
If settlement negotiations don’t go anywhere and you decide to file a lawsuit, keep in mind that you have a limited amount of time.
In Arizona, the statute of limitations for wrongful death is two years from the date of the victim’s death.
This means that if you don’t file within this time period, the court may refuse to hear your case, so make sure you contact a Phoenix wrongful death attorney as soon as you can.
The Benefits of Hiring a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Phoenix
The attorneys at Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C. understand how difficult this process is for families.
For us, every client deserves an attentive, compassionate attorney who has the experience necessary to advocate for them.
From day one, we assist clients with every aspect of their wrongful death claim, including but not limited to:
- Providing a free, comprehensive review of your claim;
- Helping you navigate the complexities of Arizona wrongful death law;
- Collecting evidence of your economic and non-economic damages;
- Identifying the appropriate defendants for the case;
- Negotiating with the defendant and their insurer; and
- Preparing your wrongful death claim for trial if necessary.
These are just a few of the ways a wrongful death attorney in Phoenix provides your family support. Our trial-tested team will fight for the justice you and your family deserve.
Our Phoenix Wrongful Death Attorneys Are Here for You
Filing a wrongful death claim on your own is incredibly difficult. However, you don’t have to go through it alone.
At Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C., we understand the ins and outs of wrongful death in Arizona. While no amount of money can replace your loved one, we believe that you and your family deserve recompense.