What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
Finding a wrongful death lawyer Phoenix, AZ trusts and recommends can be quite overwhelming. What is wrongful death? How do I know if I have a wrongful death case? When you lose a loved one, it can be a highly emotional time and there can be a lot of unanswered questions. If your loved one has died due to another person’s negligence or intentional act, read on to see if you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim.
What is Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit that can be filed against a person or entity who wrongfully caused someone’s death. “Wrongfully” in this context usually means recklessly, or negligently, but it can also include intentional criminal acts such as murder. A wrongful death lawyer Phoenix, AZ can count on should know the many causes that can lead to a wrongful death, including the following:
- Automobile and Motorcycle Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
- Faulty Manufacturing
- Criminal Acts
- Elder Abuse
The deceased cannot bring forth the lawsuit themselves, so it is often filed on their behalf by their estate, or by immediate family members who have been directly impacted by the wrongful death. Who can and can’t bring forth a wrongful death claim differs from state to state, but the burden of proof is usually similar.
What Must Be Proven?
If you think you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim, meet with a top wrongful death claim lawyer Phoenix, AZ recommends. There are a lot of details that go into filing a wrongful death claim, including deadlines, fees, and negotiations. You could file the claim on your own but are more likely to have success if you hire an experienced lawyer to represent you.
At Kamper & Estrada, PLLC, our lawyers know that in a wrongful death case, the party who files the claim must prove the 4 main elements of negligence.
- Duty of Care. The Plaintiff must prove the Defendant had a duty of care to the deceased person. For example, every driver on the road as a duty to all the other drivers to follow the rules of the road and drive responsibly.
- Breach of Duty of Care. The Plaintiff must prove the Defendant breached that duty of care as evidenced by their actions, or lack of actions.
- Causation. The Plaintiff must prove the Defendant’s breach of duty directly or proportionately caused the wrongful death.
- Damages. The Plaintiff must prove the wrongful death caused the damages that the estate or family members are now seeking to be compensated for.
What Kind of Damages Can Be Recovered?
There are several types of damages a Plaintiff may be awarded in a wrongful death claim.
- Medical Bills
- Funeral Expenses
- Property Damage
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Income
- Loss of Love and Companionship
- Punitive Damages
A wrongful death lawyer Phoenix, AZ relies on should know that a wrongful death claim can be difficult on those who just lost a loved one. It can also be extremely complicated and confusing. Sometimes it may even necessitate opening a probate case, which is a whole other area of law. Also, keep in mind that many states place statutes of limitation on wrongful death lawsuits, which means you may only have a certain window of time to file. When looking for a lawyer to represent you in a wrongful death claim, look for an experienced lawyer who has your rights and well-being in mind.