Accidents claim the lives of thousands of people each year in Arizona. CLS Law is dedicated to helping surviving family members left behind navigate the legal system to protect their rights. In Arizona, a wrongful death claim is a specialized type of personal injury case. It seeks financial compensation for surviving family members who have lost a beloved family member in either an accident or an intentional, violent crime. You can force the person responsible to pay you financial compensation.

Reach out to our firm at the earliest possible time. We know that this is a difficult time, but you must meet critical deadlines, otherwise you cannot hold the defendant accountable.

Arizona’s Wrongful Death Law

The main wrongful death law is found at Arizona Revised Statutes § 12-611, which states that a wrongful death is any caused by the default, neglect, or wrongful act of a defendant which leads to the death. This can also include intentional acts.

A.R.S. § 12-612  gives the following people the right to file the lawsuit:

  • Personal representative of the estate
  • Surviving spouse
  • Surviving children
  • Surviving parent or guardian

The compensation will go to the surviving spouse, children, or parents—or, if none of them survive, then to the estate.

Why CLS Law?

You have come to the right place. Our firm is well-positioned to provide the legal services you need in this difficult moment. We understand it’s hard to think about a possible lawsuit while grieving the loss of a family member. That’s why we handle cases from start to finish, granting you the space to grieve with your family.

We can:

  • Analyze whether you have a legitimate wrongful death case, based on what you know about what happened;
  • Find additional evidence to prove fault for your loved one’s death;
  • Fill out forms, handle phone calls, and coordinate with insurance companies involved in the case;
  • Demand compensation for your losses;
  • Negotiate with the defendant and possibly participate in mediation to bring a case to resolution;
  • File a legal complaint in court based on the wrongful death.

We approach these cases with empathy but also honesty. We only accept a case if we believe you can win, and we will be upfront about any weaknesses in your case.

Examples of Wrongful Death Cases

Wrongful deaths happen in a variety of contexts. But they all share something in common: the defendant is at fault for the death because of their wrongful act.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

Many fatal accidents are the fault of a negligent or reckless driver who engaged in:

  • Driving while distracted
  • Falling asleep behind the wheel
  • Driving aggressively
  • Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
  • Passing illegally
  • Traveling too closely
  • Driving while intoxicated or high

We can bring a wrongful death case for a car, truck, motorcycle, or pedestrian accident. We usually sue the driver who struck your loved one. But in other situations, we might sue a mechanic for making substandard repairs or the city for failing to set up a construction zone properly. Contact CLS Law quickly to begin finding evidence for use.

Slip and Falls

A person can die when they crack their head on the ground or fall into a pool and cannot swim. A wrongful death case in these circumstances will depend on your loved one’s reasons for being on the property. If they were invited as a business customer or guest, then the defendant owes heightened duties of care.

By contrast, it’s harder to bring a wrongful death claim when your loved one was trespassing at the time they fell. An exception exists for children who enter property without permission. Let our Gilbert wrongful death attorney review the facts.

Product Liability Cases

Dangerous products flood the marketplace each year. Many of them are defective in design or manufacture. Some of these products will fail to work as expected, resulting in fatal injuries.

Examples include:

  • Unstable furniture that tips over and lands on a child, including bookcases and chests of drawers;
  • Clothing that catches on fire because it doesn’t conform to federal fire standards;
  • Dangerous appliances that explode or electrocute consumers;
  • Batteries which catch on fire, burning a user or even burning down a house;
  • Dangerous toys with small pieces of plastic that a child can swallow.

In Arizona, we can sue the manufacturer for releasing a dangerous product. Remember to keep the product so we can inspect it. Typically, we need to point to a defect that made the product dangerous, so we might coordinate with product engineers or designers.

Intentional Acts

Wrongful death cases also encompass certain violent, intentional acts. Assault, aggravated assault, and homicide can also form the basis of a wrongful death claim.

In addition to suing the perpetrator, we might also sue a business for negligent security. Imagine your spouse is killed in a hotel room because the window didn’t have locks. That death is attributable to the assailant, of course, but the hotel is also potentially liable.

What Compensation Can You Receive?

A wrongful death claim provides financial compensation to surviving family members for their losses. The law recognizes certain economic losses related to a loved one’s death, including:

  • Property damage sustained in the accident, like car damage;
  • Medical care to treat your loved one;
  • The value of the wages and benefits the deceased would have earned had they survived the accident.

For example, the death of a family breadwinner could devastate a family’s finances. You could lose out on decades of income, so we can make a claim for those financial losses. The amount will depend on how much your loved one made, as well as their education and age.

A wrongful death case also provides compensation for non-economic losses. These are tricker to calculate:

  • Your pain and suffering as a survivor;
  • The loss of your loved one’s companionship, love, and guidance.

Can you really put a price tag on the grief you feel? We’ll use our experience to determine how much to request for these non-economic losses. Helpfully, Arizona does not cap wrongful death damages, which means we will seek the maximum amount justified by the facts.

Wrongful Death Claims

CLS Law can also file a survival action at the same time as the wrongful death claim. A survival action is like a wrongful death claim, but it compensates the estate for losses the deceased suffered from the moment of the accident to their death. Not everyone dies immediately.

A survival action can seek financial compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses
  • Lost income
  • Funeral and burial expenses

Any proceeds obtained in the survival action go to the estate, which ultimately will go to heirs.

Arizona’s Statute of Limitations

Arizona’s statute of limitations is only two years from the day of death. That time can pass quickly. Should you fail to file a lawsuit under the deadline, the defendant can avoid having to pay you. It’s a tough pill to swallow.

Some accidents could have even shorter deadlines. For example, you get 180 days to provide notice to the government if a government employee is responsible for the death. Contact CLS Law to start your case today. We always keep an eye on deadlines.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Firm

The death of a family member in an accident or criminal incident is shocking. Many of our clients are not sure of what steps to take. Some might struggle to go out in public for months. We understand how hard it is to pick up the phone. We make things easy for our clients. We can meet anywhere convenient for a free consultation.