Facing the death of a family member, friend, or loved one is never an easy task. When their death is caused by the negligence of another, that can make it even harder for all parties involved. If the accident had only been injured during the accident, they would be able to seek compensation for lost wages, expenses, and pain and suffering in a court of law. But what happens when an accident leads to the death of someone you held close? They’re unable to make a claim against the one responsible for the situation. That’s where Peoria AZ Wrongful Death Attorneys can help.
By filing a claim in Peoria, Arizona, the family of the deceased can recover damages for their loss and suffering. Nathaniel B. Preston of Warnock MacKinlay Law can help you hold the person that caused the death of your loved one responsible for their actions. Let an experienced attorney help get the justice your grieving family deserves.
- 1 What is a wrongful death claim?
- 2 What type of situations would result in accidental death claims?
- 3 Who can file a claim for wrongful death?
- 4 How can I file a claim for accidental death?
- 5 Hire a Wrongful Death Lawyer Before it’s Too Late
- 6 What type of compensation could I receive for a wrongful death case?
- 7 How is compensation calculated in a wrongful death claim?
- 8 Will there be additional compensation if children are involved?
- 9 Should I settle my wrongful death claim?
- 10 Contact us for a Free Consultation for Your Wrongful Death Case
What is a wrongful death claim?
The death of a loved one can leave behind a financial and emotional burden that is hard to bear. For deaths caused by the negligence of another, families don’t have to take on that weight alone. In the state of Arizona, wrongful death statute A.R.S. Section 12-611 states that certain family members of a deceased relative may recover compensation for their losses in cases of accidental or wrongful death.
When your loved one passed away due to a wrongful or neglectful act in which, if death had not ensued, they would have been able to recover damages for any resulting injuries or financial loss, then your family may be entitled to compensation from the person(s), company or corporation that is liable for the damages.
If this sounds like your family’s situation – don’t wait to file your wrongful death claim. In Arizona, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death action is two years from the date of your loved one’s death. The only exceptions allowed to extend this date are: if the plaintiff has a disability that prevented them from filing sooner, or if the defending party withheld information or concealed facts that may impact the claim.
Let Nathaniel B. Preston of Warnock MacKinlay Law provide the aggressive representation you need to get the compensation your family deserved. Warnock MacKinlay Law has a vast understanding of Arizona personal injury and wrongful death law. He’ll use this knowledge to negotiate on your behalf and ensure a fair settlement.
What type of situations would result in accidental death claims?
While a seasoned Peoria, Arizona, attorney will have the knowledge needed to determine if you have a strong wrongful death case, you may want to ensure you fully understand these types of claims before moving forward. In a lot of ways, accidental death cases are similar to personal injury claims. In order to get the end result you’re looking for, you must prove that the death of your loved one or family member was caused due to the negligence of another party. There are many situations in which a wrongful death claim would be appropriate. The most common include:
- Car or trucking accident
- Workplace accident
- Motorcycle accident
- Medical negligence while in a hospital
- Patient neglect or abuse while in a nursing home
- Dog bite or animal attack
- Slip-and-fall accident on unsafe property
- Accidents caused by a defective or malfunctioning product
The goal of a wrongful death claim goes beyond receiving financial compensation. It ensures your family has the peace of mind that comes with knowing the responsible party is being held accountable for their negligence. When you hire Nathaniel B. Preston of Warnock MacKinlay Law for your case, you’ll have a legal representative who’s on your side and can use professional resources to investigate your claim. Once every detail of the fatal accident is examined, that information will be used to determine who is liable for the resulting damage so you can file your claim in court, or begin the negotiation process with the insurance company.
Who can file a claim for wrongful death?
Losing a loved one is always a difficult time in life. You may want to receive compensation immediately for the resulting damage and emotional burden caused by the loss of a close family member, however you should know that Arizona law limits the parties who may file a wrongful death claim. Any siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, or divorced spouses of the deceased cannot file a wrongful death claim in the state of Arizona.
A claim can only be filed by the following:
- The husband or wife of the deceased
- Children of the deceased (either natural born or adopted)
- Parents of the deceased (this includes natural parents, adoptive parents, or legal guardians)
- Estate representative for the deceased
How can I file a claim for accidental death?
Hiring a lawyer who specializes in accidents, personal injury, or wrongful death lawsuits can be the difference between shouldering the financial burden of your loss on your own and being able to recover damages caused by the accident. If your loved one has passed away due to a car accident, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, or even a product defect, then an attorney can help you receive the compensation your family deserves.
While in many cases, a wrongful death lawsuit involves the family of the deceased and the person, company, or entity responsible, there can be multiple plaintiffs if the accident, malpractice, or product malfunction affected many families at once. For one example, if there’s a tragic car accident caused by a single drunk driver, then all the resulting drivers involved (or their family members) may be able to file a claim against that individual to hold them responsible.
If you’ve experienced a loss due to personal injury of a loved one, then contact a wrongful death lawyer in Peoria, Arizona, as soon as possible. They’ll be able to determine who is liable for the death of your loved one and then let you know what to expect from the impending trial.
Hire a Wrongful Death Lawyer Before it’s Too Late
In the state of Arizona, there is a limited amount of time in which a family member can file an accidental death claim. The usual statute of limitations is only 2 years long, which is why you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible to ensure your claim is filed in a timely manner. You don’t want to miss your chance to receive the maximum possible compensation for your loved one’s wrongful death.
The unexpected death of a loved one leave behind more than just emotional pain. The resulting medical costs and funeral expenses may be too much for your family to bear. You shouldn’t have to carry the financial weight of the loss on your own – especially when the death occurred as a result of someone else’s negligence or malpractice. A wrongful death lawyer will examine your case and help you recover damages for all associated medical or funeral costs from the person or company responsible.
What type of compensation could I receive for a wrongful death case?
Family members seeking compensation for their accidental death claim should know that compensation is traditionally divided into Pecuniary Damages and Compensatory Damages.
The definition of “pecuniary” is “of, relating to, or consisting of money”. This means that pecuniary compensation is related to any wrongful death losses that can be quantified in monetary terms.
Pecuniary damages include:
- Medical expenses for any treatment needed in relation to the injury that lead to your loved one’s death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost wages the deceased would have earned if the accident hadn’t occurred
- The cost to repair or replace any property damaged by the accident
Compensatory damages are awarded when the plaintiff is able to prove that their loss was due to the negligence or unlawful conduct of the accused party.
Compensatory damages include:
- Pain and suffering of the family following a wrongful death
- Pain and suffering the family may experience in the future due to the death of their loved one
How is compensation calculated in a wrongful death claim?
While no amount of money can bring back the loved one you’ve lost, holding the negligent party responsible for their death can result in you recovering the cost of the damage they’ve caused. The court will calculate the amount of compensation the beneficiary is entitled to for their wrongful death claim using a number of factors. These include how dependent the plaintiff was on the income of the deceased, the nature of their relationship, expected lifespan of the deceased as well as any earnings and benefits the family may have received before the accident. They may also consider additional damage to your family like pain and mental suffering caused as a result of your loved one’s death.
Will there be additional compensation if children are involved?
During your accidental death claim, the Arizona court will also determine what is fair compensation for the surviving family members based on whether or not the deceased had children. These children will now be missing the value of that parent’s instruction, education, and training. These types of general, non-financial damages can be considered a “loss of consortium”.
Consortium is a Latin word that is translated as “ in consequence of which he lost society and service.” In relation to the law, this means that following the loss of a family member, those they left behind are now missing the benefits of that bond they once shared. This includes social companionship and intimacy.
Deciding how much compensation should be awarded based on these types of losses can be very complex. Money can’t buy back the love and guidance a parent can provide – it can only be a rough substitute for what the children will be missing in their life. As such, the decision to include this type of award for your claim is based on the judge’s discretion. An Arizona judge will traditionally consider the following to make this decision:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Humiliation or embarrassment caused by the death
- Damaged reputation of the deceased or the family
- Mental anguish and emotional distress of the family
- Mental anguish that requires therapy to recover
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of guidance from a parent or head of the family
Traditionally, loss of consortium claims can only be filed by the spouse of the deceased, however, there are special cases where the dependent child can seek damages for the loss they suffered from losing a parent. They can argue that they will no longer be able to receive the same level of care and affection as they enjoyed prior to their loss.
In the state of Arizona, a loss of consortium claim is not handled as a separate case, but is combined with the existing wrongful or accidental death lawsuit. Before deciding to combine a loss of consortium claim to your overall lawsuit, you may want to discuss this decision with your Arizona attorney first.
In order to be awarded damages, you must be able to prove that the death of your loved one greatly altered your quality of life both financially and emotionally. The defendant’s lawyer will pry into the most private and intimate details of your marriage and subject you to rigorous questioning in order to determine if this is true. If your marriage has suffered through hardships such as abuse, infidelities, or long-term separation, then these problems will likely be discussed in court and will become part of the public record.
This is why it’s important to reach out to your wrongful death lawyer before these issues are brought forth in an Arizona court. Your lawyer will help you prepare for this type of questioning and can help you determine if you’re emotionally ready to face these questions in court.
Should I settle my wrongful death claim?
Not all wrongful death claims reach the Arizona court system. A strong majority of accidental death cases are settled outside of court because the negligent party wants to avoid the negative publicity a trial can bring. The defendant, their insurance company, or their lawyer may try to pressure you into accepting a fast settlement in order to avoid a lengthy court case.
When presented with the offer to settle outside of court, there are a number of factors you need to consider to determine if this is the right decision for you. These considerations include:
- The average length of a wrongful death trial
- The amount your lawsuit could be worth
- Whether there are similar cases to yours and if the plaintiff achieved a positive result
- The amount of supporting evidence you have for your claim
- The supporting evidence the defendant may have for their case
Before you accept a settlement for your wrongful death claim, contact your attorney as soon as possible. They can then review the settlement offer and make sure it’s fair compensation for your loss. If the offer isn’t considered fair by your lawyer, they can negotiate a better settlement for your case.
It is ultimately up to you to decide whether to settle out of court or to have a traditional trial. Consider the factors involved in your case. Beyond receiving compensation, a traditional lawsuit can ensure the negligent defendant is publically held responsible for their actions and could help protect other families from experiencing the same fate. Discuss your options with your attorney in Peoria, Arizona, and they will help you decide if settling your wrongful death claim outside of court is right for you.
Contact us for a Free Consultation for Your Wrongful Death Case
As with all lawsuits, it takes time to prepare and file the proper paperwork before you can begin fighting for your compensation. With Arizona’s two-year limit for accidental death claims, you want to reach out to a Peoria AZ wrongful death attorney as soon as possible to get started.
If your spouse, child, or parent has recently passed away as a result of another party’s negligence, then you may been entitled to compensation for your financial loss as well as pain and suffering. Nathaniel B. Preston of Warnock MacKinlay Law has successfully handled a number of wrongful death lawsuits in the state of Arizona. He’ll use this knowledge to help you and your family recover damages and get the justice you deserve. Our number is (602) 652-2009.