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Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death Claims in Arizona

A wrongful death lawsuit has much in common with a personal injury lawsuit, except that the person who suffered a devastating injury or illness because of the defendant’s negligence is no longer around to sue for damages on his or her own behalf. One similarity between personal injury cases and wrongful death cases is the endeavor to assign a dollar value to reasonable compensation for the loss of life or health. Another similarity is that lawsuits are the appropriate remedy only after the parties or their insurance companies are unable to reach a settlement on their own. Wrongful death claims also have some aspects that make them unlike other types of legal actions. Here are some frequently asked questions about Arizona laws related to wrongful death.

Q: Who can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Arizona?

A: In Arizona, the spouse, parent, son, or daughter of the deceased person can sue for damages related to a relative’s wrongful death.

 

Q: What do the Damages Cover?

A: According to RAJI fifth edition, in a wrongful death lawsuit, the plaintiff can sue for compensation for the following:

  • Medical expenses related to the injury that resulted in the wrongful death
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Income that the deceased relative would have earned had he or she not been injured and died
  • Loss of the deceased person’s companionship
  • The surviving relatives’ emotional distress

 

Q: What Happens if the Deceased Person Had Other Ways of Providing for His or Her Surviving Relatives After Death?

A: The worst-case scenario is that a person’s wrongful death because of a defendant’s negligence leaves his or her family with no means of financial support. You can still file a wrongful death lawsuit even if the deceased relative had prepared to support the surviving relatives after his or her death. In other words, even if the deceased person left you money in his or her will, and even if he or she had a life insurance policy of which you are a beneficiary, you may still have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. The same applies if you are receiving financial support related to your relative’s death because of the relative’s previous disability, service in the Armed Forces, or employment with the government. Consider the above items for which you can seek compensation. Unless the relative was retired at the time of the injury, you are still missing out on income he or she would have earned if he or she had lived and stayed healthy longer, and you have still lost your relative’s companionship regardless of how much or how little money your relative left you.

Contact Eric Schmidt About Wrongful Death Cases

Eric Schmidt is an Arizona lawyer who works on personal injury and wrongful death cases.  Contact Eric Schmidt in Phoenix, Arizona, to see if you have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit, even if the deceased relative has left you money in a will or insurance policy.

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