Your world can be flipped upside down in an instant following the accidental or wrongful death of a loved one. Although the loss of a loved one is never easy, when you lack time to prepare for a loss that occurred to another’s negligence, the emotional, financial, and psychological trauma can seem unbearable. As a result of such a devastating loss, surviving family members are often left feeling disoriented and struggle to move forward or take action.
Pursuant to A.R.S. § 12 -612, standing to bring a survivorship or wrongful death action is limited to the following: the decedent’s estate, the surviving spouse; child; parent or guardian; and/or legal representative of the decedent. Unlike other jurisdictions, Arizona excludes recovery for siblings or other relatives; same-sex partners; and common law spouses. Though money can never replace your lost spouse, sibling, child, etc., the law recognizes that the responsible party’s liability extends much farther than the victim’s death. Monetary compensation may serve to ease the financial stresses left in the wake of your loved one’s passing.
By searching “wrongful death attorney near me,” you should be directed to Pincus & Lespron. Winning 98% of cases, our highly skilled and experienced legal team only does personal injury law. Following your loved one’s death, taking legal action may not be top of mind or even seem feasible. However, filing a wrongful death lawsuit may be able to help you acquire justice for the death of your loved one.
We know that your case is unique. So, our caring and attentive attorneys will provide you with the support and careful representation necessary to get your case ready for trial. With the working relationships and resources to best evaluate the accident’s cause, we’ll put in the work to hold the at-fault parties accountable for their negligence.
When a death results from a wrongful act, neglect, or misconduct, a wrongful death lawsuit may be brought to civil court by the decedent’s estate, the surviving spouse; child; parent or guardian; and/or legal representative of the decedent. Arizona Revised Statute 12-611 puts forth that a wrongful death suit may be brought to court if the deceased would have been able to file a personal injury case on the grounds of negligent or wrongful conduct had the accident not resulted in their death. And a wrongful death claim is much like a personal injury case in which the injured victim cannot bring the case to court for themselves. By pursuing a wrongful death claim, specific entitled parties can seek justice and damages for their loved ones’ accidental death.
Nonetheless, for a wrongful death lawsuit to be successful, those seeking justice must establish that the defendant behaved negligently, serving as the proximate cause of the decedent’s death. To put this simply, the family member or legal representative must do what they can to indicate that the victim’s injury — fatality, in this case — was correlated enough to the accident, allowing the courts to determine that the injury resulted from the accident.
Criminal trials tend to precede many wrongful death trials. Similar evidence may be used in both criminal trials and wrongful death lawsuits, but their respective standards of proof are distinct. And if convicted of wrongful death, a wrongdoer may also be convicted of a crime related to that death.
The wrongdoer’s guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecution in a criminal trial. And so, all the facts presented in the case must be wholly proven, establishing the wrongdoer’s guilt. Moreover, if found guilty in criminal court, a defendant will serve a prison sentence.
Alternatively, the wrongdoer’s fault must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence by the victim’s family members or legal representative in a civil trial. The evidence presented by the family must illustrate that it was more probable than not that the decedent’s death resulted from the wrongdoer’s negligence. Additionally, if found guilty in civil court, a defendant will be required to pay monetary damages.
Typically, the defendant’s insurance company will be responsible for paying the damages outlined by a settlement or awarded by a jury in a wrongful death lawsuit. However, in the event that the decedent’s death resulted from an accident with another motorist, the insurance company of the driver responsible will need to pay for any recoverable damages up to the limit of the policy. For this reason, the recovery limit is often set to the available policy limits of the insurance policy. In cases where there is insufficient coverage to pay the awarded damages, going after the defendant’s assets may be a viable option. Additionally, if a defective product caused your loved one’s death, the manufacturer, designer, or others involved in that product’s production may be responsible for paying you damages.
When the outcome was unintentional or unpremeditated, a wrongful death lawsuit can still be filed. Arizona Revised Statute 12-611 allows a wrongful death claim to be filed when the fatality of an individual’s loved one results from a wrongful act, neglect, or default. And in the majority of cases, harm was not the intention of the negligent or wrongful act that caused your family member’s death. For this reason, an individual who ran a stop sign while texting and driving would be responsible under the law for your loved one’s death, even though it wasn’t intentional. Their dangerous and inattentive behavior gambled with another’s life, and for that, there are consequences.
If fatality results from a person’s or company’s dangerous behavior, they will be deemed at-fault for that death. Some cases also exist in which the liability for the design, manufacture, or sale of an unreasonably dangerous product, such as Fen-Phen, SUVs that roll over, or tires that lose their tread, strictly falls on the defendant.
In the state of Arizona, under Arizona Revised Statute 12-612, the surviving spouse, parents, children, or personal representative of the deceased’s estate are the only individuals who can legally bring a wrongful death action.
To successfully bring a wrongful death claim in Arizona, the following components must exist:
And damages for wrongful death claims often include:
The damages award to entitled family members in a wrongful death case will be monetary, as this is a civil suit. If you believe you might have a wrongful death claim, you should consult with an attentive, compassionate, and experienced Pincus Tucson wrongful death attorney. At Pincus & Lespron, your case will receive the personal service and attention it deserves as our team works to acquire the damages you’re entitled to.
Wrongful death actions can follow several different types of situations or events. And numerous kinds of preventable cases can potentially lead to wrongful death actions and claims in Tucson. At Pincus & Lespron, our personal injury attorneys have experience handling a wide array of wrongful death cases, including:
If the negligent acts, omissions, or intentional conduct of another party resulted in the death of your loved one, you might be entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The highly skilled and knowledgeable wrongful death attorneys at Pincus & Lespron know the best route to acquiring your fair compensation and can help you determine if a legal basis exists for your suit.
There are limitation periods in which actions must be filed that apply to each state. These limitation periods function as time limits for pursuing legal action. If a lawsuit is filed outside of the statutory period, you will no longer be able to file a claim for financial compensation.
A unique statute of limitations regarding wrongful death claims is also applied to each state. Although often similar to personal injury lawsuits, there are a couple of exceptions to wrongful death suits as they involve negligence. For instance, because the victim’s injuries were fatal, the court process and damages a plaintiff is eligible to claim can differ in wrongful death cases.
Arizona Revised Statute 12-542 states that a civil lawsuit must be filed for a loved one’s death within two years from when the death occurred. Nevertheless, the statute of limitations that applies to wrongful death suits can vary significantly. Although some cases can undoubtedly be filed within two years, the statute of limitations for cases involving dog bites or workers’ compensation is reduced to one year. Additionally, there is a six-month claim notice and a one-year statute of limitations for lawsuits in which the defendant is a government entity. And so, there are cases in which your right to bring a claim to court can completely vanish in as little as 180 days.
It is crucial to note that several courts believe that if the cause of action would be destroyed prior to being discovered due to the applicable statute of limitations, the discovery rule should apply. According to the discovery rule, the limitations period relevant to a wrongful death action commences when the cause of the victim’s death is or reasonably should have been discovered by the party bringing the lawsuit.
And while the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for a loved one’s death is two years, speaking with an attorney as soon possible will allow evidence to be collected and preserved that might otherwise become lost as time elapses. Moreover, promptly consulting with a Pincus lawyer will allow for an in-depth investigation to be conducted, providing you with the most substantial claim possible. And suppose you believe another party was at fault for your loved one’s death. In that case, it is essential to start the legal process before the statute of limitations applicable to your case elapses, as you can eventually be prohibited from collecting the damages to which you’re entitled.
Many individuals do not understand why it’s in their best interest to file a civil lawsuit against a defendant at-fault for their loved one’s death if there is a criminal case is already pending against that defendant. There are multiple reasons why filing a civil action is essential. The most important is that financial damages can provide the victim’s estate with an opportunity for good not attainable by punishing a defendant in criminal court. The compensation awarded to the deceased’s family members can support the family, create a charitable foundation, or even pay for a college education.
Furthermore, because criminal cases have a much higher burden of proof, defendants must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by prosecutors. However, plaintiffs must prove that it was more probable than not that a defendant committed an offense in civil cases. Thus, a civil claim makes it possible to triumph against the party responsible for the death of your loved one, even if they are not found guilty in criminal court.
This is highlighted exceptionally well by the notorious O.J. Simpson case. In the 1995 criminal case, Simpson was acquitted of all murder charges of both Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, as reasonable doubt persisted. But when the Goldman family brought a civil wrongful death case to court in this matter, Simpson was found liable for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman and was demanded to pay the families a sum of $33.5 million in damages.
You may be able to hold the defendant accountable for their misconduct, neglect, or dangerous actions that resulted in your loved one’s death by filing a civil lawsuit. And a simple search of “wrongful death lawyer Tucson,” “wrongful death law firm Tucson,” or “wrongful death lawyer near me” should direct you to Pincus & Lespron. One of our Tucson-based personal injury attorneys will devote significant time and resources to your case to establish negligence in your wrongful death lawsuit. We know that losing a loved one to another’s negligence is never easy. Our team offers the skill and experience to best assist you in acquiring financial compensation to ease the burden left in the wake of your loved one’s passing. By consulting with leading experts and reconstructing accident scenes, your Pincus Tucson wrongful death attorney will collect the evidence needed to best back up your claim and establish negligence.
Compassionate, attentive, and sympathetic to just how difficult pursuing legal action may be in the aftermath of your loved one’s death, the legal team at Pincus & Lespron only does personal injury law. Our team of Tucson personal injury lawyers performs comprehensive and thorough investigations for wrongful death cases in Arizona. Although filing a wrongful death claim can often be very complicated and involved, our team will be by your side to evaluate the situation, establish what occurred, who is at fault, and how the accident could have been avoided with reasonable care.
Compiling substantial evidence and preparing a robust case, we’ll help you navigate any legal challenges that may arise during the claims process or trial. Before agreeing to any terms with a third party or insurance company, it is essential to consult with an experienced and skilled attorney who will protect rights and your best interests.
To pursue financial compensation, you’ll need to consult with a wrongful death attorney within the statute of limitations applicable to your case. By doing so, the most substantial amount of evidence may be appropriately collected, bolstering your claim. Search “wrongful death attorney Tucson” today and visit our website to request a free consultation and begin discussing your case with a Pincus & Lespron lawyer. We pride ourselves on offering skilled, professional, and caring assistance, easing the stresses and anxieties of the legal process, and assisting you in acquiring the damages to which you’re entitled. And we only take cases on a contingency basis, so we’ll only be paid if you win!
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