Under the Arizona wrongful death statute, A.R.S. Section 12-611, certain family members of a deceased person may recover compensation for their losses as a result of the deceased person’s wrongful death. The purpose of the wrongful death statute is to protect the interests of those who bear the financial and emotional burden of the death of a family member, due to no fault of their own. A wrongful death claim is proven in much of the same way as any other personal injury case. Claimants must show that the death of their family member was caused in whole or in part by the negligence of another party.
The statute of limitations for a wrongful death action in Arizona is two years from the date of the decedent’s death. It can extend past that date if the plaintiff has a disability or if the defendant has engaged in fraudulent concealment of facts regarding the claim.
Who Can File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Arizona
Arizona law limits the parties who may file a wrongful death claim to four potential groups:
- The surviving husband or wife of the deceased person
- The surviving children of the deceased person, both natural and adopted
- The deceased person’s natural parents, adoptive parents, or guardians
- The personal representative of the deceased person’s estate
- 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 In A Wrongful Death Claim In Arizona
The amount of compensation available in a wrongful death action in Arizona is based on each beneficiary’s loss as a result of the wrongful death. Compensation is typically divided into two categories: Pecuniary Damages and Compensatory Damages.
Pecuniary damages paid typically include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- The cost of medical treatment relating to the injury that caused the wrongful death
- The value of lost wages and benefits the deceased person would have earned if he or she had lived
- The cost to repair or replace any property that was damaged relating to the event that caused the wrongful death
- Pain and suffering endured by the deceased person before the wrongful death
Compensatory damages paid typically include:
- The loss of love, affection, companionship, care, protection, and guidance since the death and in the future
- The pain, grief, sorrow, anguish, stress, shock, and mental suffering already experienced, and reasonably probable to be experienced in the future
How Is Compensation Calculated In a Wrongful Death Claim In Arizona
Calculating the compensation to which a beneficiary is entitled in a wrongful death case can be a very complex process. Factors that are considered include:
- How dependent the beneficiary was on the deceased person and the nature of their relationship
- The expected lifespan, earnings, and benefits of the deceased person
- Whether or not the deceased person was comparatively at fault for his/her own death
Free Case Evaluation—Call Your Accident Lawyer Nathaniel B. Preston Today
Nathaniel B. Preston (“Nate”) 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 Phoenix, Glendale, Mesa, and Scottsdale, please contact Nate today to set up your free initial case evaluation by filling out the online form or by calling 602-600-6427.