PHOENIX WRONGFUL DEATH ATTORNEY PERSONALIZED ATTENTION & CARE
When you’ve lost a loved one due to an accident, your world turns upside-down in an instant. You’re forced to deal with mounting bills, support other loved ones, and keep your household together, while also carrying the burden of your own grief. You know that what happened was wrong, but you may wonder where to start looking for help. At Folger Law Firm, our wrongful death lawyer in Phoenix has helped many people obtain compensation through a wrongful death claim.
We recognize how difficult this time is for our clients, and we strive to help you understand what happened and reclaim both the dignity and the support you deserve. Contact us today to begin with a free initial consultation
HOW DOES ARIZONA DEFINE WRONGFUL DEATH?
Arizona’s Revised Statutes contain three sections on wrongful death claims. The first, Section 12-611, defines wrongful death as a death caused by a “wrongful act, neglect, or default” of the kind that would have supported a personal injury claim if the person had lived.
What does this mean? Simply put, a wrongful death claim is a type of personal injury claim, in which the plaintiff’s injuries proved fatal. Wrongful death cases thus have several elements in common with personal injury claims. For instance, the party who brings the claim must prove that the defendant was negligent and that the defendant’s negligence caused the death.
Because the injured person is no longer able to bring his or her own claim to court, certain other parties must file the claim instead. These parties are also listed in Arizona’s statutes.
WHO MAY FILE A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM IN ARIZONA?
Arizona allows only certain people to file a wrongful death claim, and Section 12-612 of the Revised Statutes lists these individuals.
The spouse of the deceased person
The child of the deceased person
A parent or guardian of the deceased person
When considering how to pursue a Phoenix wrongful death case, it’s helpful to understand the difference between a wrongful death case and a criminal charge for homicide. Wrongful death claims are civil lawsuits. This means that the spouse, child, parent/guardian, or personal representative must file the case in court directly (or through an attorney). It also means that if the claim succeeds, the defendant will be expected to pay money damages.
In a criminal case, by contrast, charges are filed by the prosecuting attorney, and if the defendant is found guilty, he or she may be required to serve a jail or prison term, pay restitution, and meet other requirements.
Some wrongful death situations give rise to both a civil and a criminal case. While you can file a wrongful death claim while criminal investigations or charges are pending on the same matter, it’s wise to work closely with an experienced Phoenix wrongful death attorney, since the two cases can complicate one another in certain ways. Your lawyer will know how to anticipate any challenges and act to minimize or avoid them.
WHAT DAMAGES MIGHT I RECEIVE IF I WIN A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM?
Arizona law is less specific about the type and amount of damages available in a wrongful death claim. Section 12-613 of the Revised Statutes requires a jury in a wrongful death claim to “give such damages as it deems fair and just” after considering the fatal injury and any “mitigating or aggravating circumstances” surrounding the act that caused that injury.
Because Arizona doesn’t restrict wrongful death damages to certain types by statute, juries typically have leeway to consider a wide range of evidence regarding the loss a family or a deceased person’s estate has suffered as a result of the untimely death.
Losses suffered by the estate.
Losses experienced by the family.
To learn more, contact Folger Law Firm today. Your initial consultation is free and confidential, and we often work on a contingency basis, which allows our clients to pay fees only if we succeed. Call us at (602) 774-0033 or fill out our online contact form – whichever is more convenient for you.