Tucson Wrongful Death Lawyers
CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH A TUCSON WRONGFUL DEATH ATTORNEY TODAY
The death of a loved one is a tragic event that can affect a family years after the fact. An unexpected death is can be even more devastating. In these situations, the surviving family members are faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges, mentally, emotionally, and financially. A wrongful death cause of action may allow certain surviving family members to recover compensation on behalf of the deceased.
If you have experienced the death of a loved one and are interested in filing a claim, or to learn more about wrongful death lawsuits, call Zinda Law Group’s Tuscon attorneys at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free case evaluation.
WRONGFUL DEATH BASICS
Grounds for a wrongful death claim may arise in situations where a person dies due to someone else’s negligent, reckless, or intentional conduct. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil—i.e., not criminal— claim brought by the surviving family members of a deceased individual against the person or entity that caused the death. If successful, a wrongful death claim may provide financial compensation in the form of money damages to the party who filed the lawsuit.
COMMON WRONG DEATH CLAIMS
Many wrongful death cases involve an accident of some sort. For instance, a car crash may provide adequate grounds for a wrongful death claim. Some wrongful death claims may arise from intentional acts. Listed below are some of the most common events giving rise to wrongful death claims.
Car accidents are among the most common causes of wrongful death cases. Data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that approximately 40,000 people in the United States die of automobile accidents every year. Grounds for a wrongful death claim may exist in multi-car collisions, such as when a distracted driver runs into another vehicle. Grounds for a wrongful death claim may also exist in single-car crashes where, for instance, a defective steering wheel leads to a crash and subsequent death.
Medical professionals are charged with a legal duty to provide patients with safe and responsible care. Grounds for a wrongful death claim may arise when this duty is breached. Examples of medical malpractice events that may give rise to a wrongful death claim include prescriptions errors, misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, surgical errors, anesthesia errors, nursing home abuse, or medical equipment malfunctions.
Wrongful death claims based on aviation accidents typically involve tragic accidents involving airplanes or helicopters. Parties that may be held liable for aviation wrongful death claims include the airline or helicopter company, the manufacturer of the airplane or helicopter equipment, or the pilot.
State law imposes a duty on manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and product designers to put safe products into the stream of commerce. As a result, a wrongful death cause of action for a product liability case may exist if the manufacturer, designer, seller, or distributor of a product placed into the stream of commerce failed to follow its duty to provide the consumer with a safe product. For instance, if a person is involved in a fatal accident with a defective power tool, and the company that sold or manufactured the product may be subject to liability.
Examples of fatal workplace accidents include explosions, falls, and exposure to hazardous chemicals or other dangerous substances. The party that may be held liable for a work-related death depends on the circumstances giving rise to the accident.
Unlawful actions that result in death may also provide adequate grounds for a wrongful death claim. For instance, if a fatal bar fight between two individuals may be a sufficient basis for a wrongful death cause of action. A criminal conviction is not a prerequisite for bringing a wrongful death claim.
WHO MAY FILE A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM?
To have standing to file a wrongful death lawsuit, a party must first be authorized by the state’s wrongful death statute. In Arizona, wrongful death claims may be filed by certain members of the decedent’s family, including:
- The surviving spouse;
- A child;
- A parent or guardian; or
- The personal representative of the decedent
WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM PROCESS
1. Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney
Parties eligible to file a wrongful death claim should consider contacting a Tucson wrongful death attorney before taking any legal action. A wrongful death claim requires a thorough experience of the law as well as experience with the court system. A wrongful death attorney may be able to gather the facts of your case and provide valuable legal advice regarding your options moving forward. If necessary, a wrongful death attorney may file a wrongful death claim on your behalf and handle the claim from start to finish, ensuring that your legal rights are protected.
After an initial consultation, the wrongful death attorney may conduct a thorough investigation into the case to collect evidence to strengthen your wrongful death claim. For example, the attorney may interview witnesses and other parties with knowledge of the situation. The attorney may also review relevant medical records and account for each form of damages that have been incurred as a result of the wrongful death.
3. Settlement and Lawsuit
If, after conducting a thorough investigation, your claim is found to be strong, your attorney may file a lawsuit. If the at-fault party offers a settlement agreement, the attorney may act on your behalf by reviewing and negotiating the terms of the settlement with the other party or their insurance company. If it is not in your best interests to accept a settlement offer, your case may proceed to trial.
The types of monetary damages involved in wrongful cases can be separated into three categories: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
Economic damages typically refer to the value of the financial contributions the decedent would have made to his or her surviving family members had the death not occurred. Such damages may include:
- Medical expenses related to the death
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of expected earnings
- Loss of benefits (e.g., pension plans and/or medical coverage)
- Loss of inheritance
- The value of goods and services that the decedent would have provided
In personal injury cases, non-economic damages are subjectively evaluated by the jury, taking into consideration many important factors. Types of non-economic damages in a wrongful death case may include:
- Damage for the survivors’ mental anguish or pain and suffering
- Loss of care and protection from the deceased
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
Punitive damages may be awarded on the rare occasion where the judge or jury finds that the wrongdoer’s actions were particularly reckless or intentional. In Arizona, to be eligible for punitive damages, the conduct leading to your loved one’s death must have been guided by an “evil mind.”
LEGAL TIME LIMITS
In Arizona, there is a two-year statute of limitations for wrongful death claims. This means that a wrongful death lawsuit must be filed within two years of the date of the death of the decedent. For instance, if a person was killed in an automobile accident on November 1, 2020, a wrongful death suit must be filed before November 1, 2022, or else the claimant may be barred from having the case litigated in court.
In certain, rare situations, the two-year statute of limitations may be paused or “tolled.” However, it is important to remember that tolling is an exception and not the norm. Because the statute of limitations is a critical factor in any wrongful death case, consider contacting a wrongful death attorney. An attorney may be able to provide legal advice regarding the status and viability of your claim.
WHY HIRE A WRONGFUL DEATH ATTORNEY
Knowledge of the Law
Wrongful death causes of action require a thorough understanding of many aspects of the law. A wrongful death attorney with experience navigating wrongful death claims from start to finish may file a claim on your behalf, explain important topics, and ensure that your rights are protected.
Utilization of Resources
Hiring a wrongful death attorney may provide your claim with access to valuable resources that typically are not available to the general public. For instance, an attorney may track down witnesses, conduct interviews, and obtain access to surveillance footage, traffic cameras, or safety logs.
A major aspect of filing a lawsuit is negotiation. Wrongful death claimants are often contacted by insurance companies who refuse to pay out the full value of a claim. These companies often prey on the claimant’s inexperience in handling a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death attorney may act on your behalf by negotiating with these insurance companies to make sure that your interests are best represented.
In addition to acting as an advocate for your position, an attorney may also be a source of support. Some clients feel a sense of comfort knowing that their case is being handled by a professional. Hiring a wrongful death attorney may thus provide you with the comfort and knowledge that your case is being handled in an efficient and professional manner.
ZINDA LAW GROUP’S TUCSON ATTORNEYS MAY HELP
Zinda Law Group’s team of Tucson attorneys may provide quality legal representation following a wrongful death case. In addition to years of experience handling wrongful death claims from start to finish, our team has access to resources to strengthen the value of your claim.
Our firm also believes that an injury victim should never have to worry about being able to afford excellent legal representation. That is why we offer 100% free consultations, and why you pay nothing unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys are by appointment only.