The death of a loved one is a tragic event that can affect a family years after the fact. However, an unexpected death can be even more devastating. In these situations, the surviving family members face seemingly insurmountable mental, emotional, and financial challenges.
A compassionate Tucson wrongful death attorney from Zinda Law Group understands the immense pain and loss that surviving family members experience. In such difficult times, seeking legal support can be crucial for obtaining justice and financial security.
If you have experienced the death of a loved one and are interested in filing a claim or learning more about wrongful death lawsuits, call our Tucson personal injury lawyers for a 100% free evaluation.
Understanding the Basics of Wrongful Death
Grounds for a wrongful death claim may arise when someone 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 monetary damages to the party who filed the lawsuit.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer serving Tucson, call 800-863-5312
Common Wrongful 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. In addition, some wrongful death claims may arise from intentional acts. Below are some of the most common events leading to wrongful death claims.
Car accidents are among the most common causes of wrongful death cases. These incidents can result in profound emotional and financial consequences for the families left behind.
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 drunk driver runs into another vehicle. Grounds for legal action may also exist in single-car crashes where, for instance, a defective steering wheel leads to a crash and subsequent death.
Medical professionals are legally obligated to provide patients with safe and responsible care. Plaintiffs may file a wrongful death claim when this duty is breached.
Examples of medical malpractice events that may give rise to a wrongful death claim include:
- Prescription errors
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Medical equipment malfunctions
Wrongful death claims based on aviation accidents typically involve tragic incidents with airplanes or helicopters. Parties that may be held liable for damages include the:
- Airline or helicopter company
- Manufacturer of the airplane or helicopter equipment
- Pilot or other pilots
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 a product manufacturer, designer, seller, or distributor fails to follow its duty to provide the consumer with a safe experience.
For instance, if a person is involved in a fatal accident with a defective power tool, the company that sold or manufactured the product may be liable.
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 incident.
Unlawful actions that result in death may also provide adequate grounds for a wrongful death claim. For instance, a fatal bar fight between two individuals may be a sufficient basis for a wrongful death case. A criminal conviction is not a prerequisite for bringing a claim against the at-fault party.
Who May File a Wrongful Death Claim?
To file a wrongful death lawsuit, a party must 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
- The personal representative of the decedent
Our skilled wrongful death lawyers in Tucson, AZ, can guide families through this intricate process and help identify the parties eligible for damages.
Wrongful Death in Tucson lawyers near me 800-863-5312
Wrongful Death Claim Process
Wrongful death claims are legal proceedings initiated by the family members or heirs of a person who died due to the negligence or misconduct of another person or entity.
The claim process can be complex and time-consuming, requiring the assistance of an experienced attorney who can guide you through the legal system and help you obtain justice for your loved one.
Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney
Parties eligible to file a wrongful death claim should consider contacting a Tucson wrongful death attorney before taking legal action. Filing a claim requires detailed knowledge of the law as well as experience with the court system.
A wrongful death attorney may analyze the facts of your case and provide valuable legal advice regarding your options moving forward. Then, if necessary, they may file a wrongful death claim on your behalf and handle the process from start to finish, ensuring that your legal rights are protected.
After an initial consultation, the wrongful death attorney may thoroughly investigate the case and collect evidence to strengthen your claim.
For example, they may conduct witness interviews and other parties with knowledge of the situation. Your lawyer may also review relevant medical records and account for each form of damages incurred due to the wrongful death.
Negotiating a Fair Settlement
A settlement is an agreement between the parties involved in a lawsuit where they reach a mutually acceptable resolution outside of court. Filing a lawsuit is typically used as a last resort when all other options have been exhausted.
Suppose the at-fault party offers a settlement agreement. In that case, the attorney may act on your behalf by reviewing and negotiating the settlement terms with the other party or their insurance company. If it’s not in your best interests to accept the offer, your case may go to trial.
Recoverable Compensation in a Tucson Wrongful Death Case
The types of monetary damages involved in wrongful cases can be separated into three categories: economic, non-economic, and punitive.
Economic damages typically refer to the value of the financial contributions the decedent would have made to their surviving family members had the death not occurred. Such damages include:
- Medical expenses related to the death
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of expected earnings
- Loss of benefits (e.g., pension plans and medical coverage)
- Loss of inheritance
- The value of goods and services that the decedent would have provided
In wrongful death cases, non-economic damages are intangible losses evaluated by the jury. Given their personal nature, these are more difficult to quantify. However, your attorney can help prove the full extent of your losses.
Types of non-economic damages in your 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 when the judge or jury finds that the wrongdoer’s actions were reckless or intentional. To be eligible for punitive damages in Arizona, the conduct leading to your loved one’s death must have been guided by an “evil mind.”
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Seek Legal Action Within the Arizona Legal Time Limits
Arizona has 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, 2021, a wrongful death suit must be filed before November 1, 2023, or else the claimant may be barred from having the case litigated in court.
In 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 critical in any wrongful death case, consider contacting a wrongful death attorney. An attorney can provide advise on the status of your claim.
Why Hire a Tucson Wrongful Death Attorney
Losing a loved one due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another can be a devastating experience. However, a wrongful death attorney in Tucson, AZ, can help you seek justice and compensation for your loss.
By hiring an attorney from Zinda Law Group, you can focus on grieving and healing while we handle the legal aspects of your case. We can also help ensure that those responsible for your loved one’s death are held accountable and that you receive fair compensation.
Knowledge of the Law
Wrongful death causes of action require a thorough understanding of many aspects of the law. An attorney with experience navigating wrongful death claims from start to finish may file a claim on your behalf, explain important topics, and ensure your rights are protected.
Utilization of Resources
Hiring a wrongful death attorney may provide your claim access to valuable resources that are typically unavailable to the general public. For instance, a lawyer 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.
Insurance agents often prey on the claimant’s inexperience in handling a 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 advocating for your position, an attorney may also be a source of support. Some clients feel a sense of comfort knowing that a legal professional is handling their case.
Hiring a wrongful death attorney may thus provide you with the comfort and knowledge that your case is being handled efficiently and professionally.
Zinda Law Group’s Tucson Wrongful Death Lawyers 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 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.
If you would like to discuss the details of your case with an experienced Tucson wrongful death lawyer, call our law office to receive your free case evaluation.