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Arizona Wrongful Death Lawsuit

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At Colburn Hintze Maletta, we understand the deep impact a personal injury can have on your life and the lives of your loved ones. When facing the aftermath of an injury caused by another’s negligence or a devastating wrongful death in the family, the path forward can seem uncertain and overwhelming. Our firm is dedicated to providing compassionate legal support and robust advocacy to those seeking justice and compensation in the wake of such life-altering events.

Armed with decades of combined experience and a detailed understanding of Arizona law, our attorneys are committed to guiding our clients through every step of the legal process with professionalism and personalized attention.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unintentional injuries rank as the third leading cause of death in the United States, underlining the tragic frequency of potential wrongful death cases.

Free Personal Injury Case Review The team at Colburn Hintze Maletta is ready to offer you a free, no-obligation case review. Contact us at 602-883-7371 to explore your legal options and discuss the possibility of pursuing a wrongful death claim in Arizona. Together, we can take the necessary steps towards justice and recovery during this most difficult time.

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Arizona Wrongful Death Lawsuit

When Wrongful Death Claims Apply

Wrongful death claims in Arizona can arise from a range of situations where another’s negligence or intentional act causes the death of a person.

Here are more examples to elaborate on this:

  • Motor vehicle accidents: If the death was caused due to another driver’s negligence or recklessness.
  • Medical malpractice: When healthcare providers fail to deliver the standard of care, leading to death.
  • Workplace accidents: Fatalities due to unsafe work conditions or employer negligence.
  • Product liability: Death resulting from defective or dangerous products.
  • Slip and Fall Accidents: Property owners neglect their responsibility to maintain safe conditions, resulting in a fatal slip and fall.
  • Animal Attacks: Deaths caused by animals, often due to the owner’s negligence in controlling or restraining the animal.
  • Nursing Home Abuse: Elderly individuals pass away due to negligent care or abuse within a nursing home facility.
  • Criminal Activity: Deaths that occur directly from criminal behavior, such as assault or other violent crimes.
  • Aviation Accidents: Fatalities resulting from crashes or malfunctions in private, commercial, or military aircraft.
  • Maritime Accidents: Deaths occurring at sea, often involving negligence on the part of the ship’s crew or owner.
  • Pharmaceutical Errors: Fatal consequences arising from incorrect prescription or the administering of medication.

The key element in each scenario is negligence or a wrongful act that directly contributed to the death. Arizona Revised Statutes § 12-611 states that a wrongful death claim may be brought if the death

“is caused by wrongful act, neglect or default,” making it essential for the plaintiff to establish fault on the defendant’s part.

Establishing negligence or fault often requires a thorough investigation, including collecting evidence like police reports, medical records, and witness statements. Given the complexities, it’s advisable to take legal action and consult an experienced attorney to evaluate the potential claim.

who can file a wrongful death lawsuit

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Arizona?

Under Arizona law, specific individuals may file a wrongful death lawsuit.

These include:

  • The spouse of the deceased person
  • A child of the deceased person
  • A parent or guardian
  • The personal representative of the deceased person’s estate

According to Arizona Revised Statutes § 12-612, the claim can be brought by any of these parties individually or on behalf of all parties who are eligible to file.

A wrongful death lawsuit aims to recover damages for the survivors’ loss, such as loss of companionship, and not just the financial losses resulting from the death.

Is There a Time Limit for Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Arizona?

Timing is crucial when considering a wrongful death claim in Arizona. 

Per Arizona Revised Statutes § 12-542, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of the person’s death.

Missing this deadline generally means losing the right to pursue the claim in court. However, there are exceptions, like in cases involving minors or if the cause of death wasn’t discovered immediately. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer can clarify how to proceed within these time constraints.


What Damages Are Available in an Arizona Wrongful Death Case?

Damages in wrongful death cases aim to compensate for the losses incurred by the deceased’s family and estate.

Arizona law allows for a variety of damages, including but not limited to:

  • Medical costs incurred before death
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of income and future earnings
  • Emotional distress

It’s important to understand that Arizona has no cap on the damages that can be awarded in wrongful death cases, unlike some other states.

Did you know that according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

unintentional injuries are the third leading cause of death in the United States

wrongful death question


Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. Can a Wrongful Death Case Proceed if the Defendant is Deceased?
    • Yes, a wrongful death case can typically proceed against the estate of a deceased defendant. The legal process may involve additional complexities, such as probate proceedings.
  2. How Do Lawyers Calculate Damages in Wrongful Death Cases?
    • Damages are generally calculated based on various factors, including medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of future earnings, and emotional suffering. The approach varies case by case.
  3. What is the Role of Expert Witnesses in a Wrongful Death Case?
    • Expert witnesses can provide specialized insights into medical issues, accident reconstruction, or financial calculations, strengthening the claim.
  4. Does Health Insurance Cover Medical Bills in Wrongful Death Cases?
    • Health insurance may cover some medical expenses, but any payouts could be subject to subrogation, meaning the insurer may seek reimbursement from the final settlement.
  5. Is Emotional Distress Measurable in Monetary Terms?
    • While subjective, emotional distress is often quantified in monetary terms based on legal precedents and the case’s specific circumstances.
  6. What Happens to a Wrongful Death Lawsuit if the Victim’s Family Moves Out of Arizona?
    • Moving out of state doesn’t generally affect the lawsuit’s jurisdiction, which remains in Arizona if that’s where the wrongful death occurred.
  7. How Do Courts Handle Multiple Wrongful Death Claims for the Same Incident?
    • Courts may consolidate multiple claims into a single case or manage them separately, depending on the details and parties involved.
  8. How Are Minors Represented in Wrongful Death Cases?
    • Minors are usually represented by a guardian ad litem or a parent who acts on their behalf in legal proceedings.
  9. Is Mediation an Option in Wrongful Death Cases?
    • Yes, mediation can effectively resolve disputes without going to trial, but it’s voluntary and both parties must agree to participate.
  10. What are the Tax Implications of a Wrongful Death Settlement?
    • While generally not taxable, certain components of a wrongful death settlement, like punitive damages, may be subject to tax.


Free Personal Injury Case Review

At Colburn Hintze Maletta, we understand that no amount of money can compensate for losing a loved one. However, seeking legal redress can provide some form of closure and financial support during this challenging time. We offer a free consultation where we review your case to help you understand your options and determine the best course of action when filing a wrongful death claim.

Please feel free to contact us at 602-825-2500, for a comprehensive, no-obligation consultation. We can explore your legal options and discuss how best to proceed with your wrongful death claim in Arizona.

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