The loss of a loved one is never easy. Unexpected deaths are hard to process and nearly impossible to understand. When that death is at the hands of another, and could have been prevented, the feelings of loss and grief may be even worse.
There are a few things you need to understand about a wrongful death claim in Phoenix, AZ before you file.
What is a wrongful death?
When many people think of wrongful death, they think of commercials they see regarding medications or surgeries that may have resulted in a patient’s death. But wrongful death goes far beyond medical malpractice. Any death due to the negligence or misconduct of another person, including murder, is considered a wrongful death.
Is a death due to someone else the only requirement?
A death is possibly the most important requirement for a wrongful death claim, but it is not the only one. The death must also have been caused by another person’s negligence or with the intent to cause harm, and the surviving family members must be suffering monetary injury due to the person’s death. You also must appoint a personal representative for the decedent’s estate.
What is a personal representative?
The personal representative is the person appointed to handle the estate and file the wrongful death claim. Arizona state law allows the surviving spouse, parents, children, or the decedent’s estate to file the wrongful death claim. Learn more from our proven Phoenix Personal Injury Attorneys at Tobler Law how we can help you
How is the amount of the award calculated?
When a wrongful death claim is filed, it is asking for a monetary award from the person responsible for the death to the decedent’s surviving family. This award can include things such as funeral expenses, medical costs, future earnings lost, other financial support, and other punitive damages, among other things.
Many factors are included in determining such things as future earnings lost and other financial support. Some factors include the decedent’s age, their character, earning capacity, health and intelligence, and life expectancy. These factors are weighed together to determine a fair amount. Of course, no amount of money can bring back your loved one.
Generally, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death in Arizona is two years. However, evidence may be lost in that time and other deadlines may pass, making your claim more difficult. If you believe you have a wrongful death claim, it’s better to discuss your case with an attorney sooner rather than later.