Arizona’s wrongful death statute (A.R.S. Section 12-611) states that certain family members may recover damages/compensation for their losses resulting from the wrongful death of a deceased person. The statute’s purpose is to protect the interests of family members who bear the burdens (emotional & financial) of the death of their family member who died through no fault of their own. Those who claim damages must show that their family member’s death was caused by another party’s negligence, in whole or in part.
Arizona’s statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is two years from the date of the person’s death. In certain cases it can extend beyond the two-year limit, for example, in cases of plaintiffs with disabilities, or in cases of fraudulent concealment of facts about the claim by the defendant.
Who Is Able To File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Arizona
According to Arizona law, the parties who can file a wrongful death claim are limited to four potential groups:
- The surviving spouse of the deceased person
- The surviving children (natural and adopted) of the deceased person
- The parents (natural or adoptive), or guardians, of the deceased person
- The personal representative of the estate of the deceased person
- Brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, grandparents, grandchildren, ex-spouses, best friends or any other person close to the deceased person may not file a wrongful death claim, no matter how close their relationship was to the deceased person.
What Type of Compensation Is Available for Wrongful Death Claims?
Compensation available in wrongful death actions is based on the beneficiary’s loss resulting from the wrongful death, and the compensation is usually divided into two separate categories: Compensatory Damages and Pecuniary Damages, both of which are described below.
Compensatory damages typically include:
- The loss of love, affection, companionship, care, protection, and guidance since the death and in the future
- The emotional suffering (pain, grief, sorrow, anguish, stress, shock, mental) already experienced, and reasonably expected to continue in the future
Pecuniary damages typically include:
- Funeral & burial costs
- Medical expenses related to an injury that caused the wrongful death
- The value of lost wages and benefits the deceased person would have earned if he/she had lived
- The cost to repair or replace property that was damaged relating to the event that caused the wrongful death
- Any pain and suffering endured by the deceased person before the wrongful death occurred
How Is Compensation Calculated In an Arizona Wrongful Death Claim
In wrongful death cases, calculating a beneficiary’s compensation can be complicated, and might include factors such as:
- What was the nature of the relationship between the beneficiary and the deceased person, and to what extent was the beneficiary dependent on the deceased person
- Calculating the deceased person’s expected lifespan, and future earnings & benefits
- Determining whether or not the deceased person was comparatively at fault for his/her own death
Free Case Evaluation — Call Mesa Wrongful Death Lawyer Nathaniel B. Preston Today
Nate Preston helps people who have lost a family member due to someone else’s negligence get the compensation they deserve. Your initial case evaluation is absolutely free and you don’t have to pay a dime unless Nate recovers money for you first.
If you or a friend has lost a loved one in Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale or the Phoenix Metro area, contact Nate today to set up your free initial case evaluation by filling out the online form or by calling 602-833-0933.