Arizona’s wrongful death law is more complicated than many other kinds of personal injury because the victim — the deceased — isn’t alive to sue. Accordingly, state law allows specific family members to file a lawsuit on the deceased’s behalf and recover certain kinds of damages.
Typically, family members sue for their own personal, economic suffering relating to the death — the loss of that person’s financial support, for example. They can also claim reimbursement for the deceased’s medical expenses related to the fatal injury, as well as the burial costs. It’s not unusual for the damages in a wrongful death case to total tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars (or even millions).
But not everyone can sue for wrongful death in Arizona. Specifically, the following relatives are ineligible:
- Brothers and sisters
- Aunts and uncles
- Domestic partners or same-sex spouses
- Partners in a common law marriage (regardless of sexual orientation)
- Nieces and nephews
- Boyfriends, girlfriends, and fiancées
So who’s left? Most successful wrongful death actions are brought by one of the following:
- Husband or wife
- Parent or legal guardian
- Son or daughter
- Designated Personal Representative for the deceased’s estate
As you can see, the list of people eligible to sue for wrongful death is pretty limited in Arizona. But the list of available damages — and thus the potential recovery — is much broader.
Move Forward with Help from a Phoenix Wrongful Death Attorney
If you’ve lost a loved one because of someone else’s negligence, a Phoenix wrongful death attorney at Kamper, Estrada & Simmons, LLP can help. Let us put our many years of experience to work for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at no charge.