Wrongful Death Lawyer Phoenix, AZ
What Damages are Recoverable in 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. Finding a wrongful death lawyer Phoenix, AZ recommends can be quite overwhelming. What is wrongful death? How do know if you have a case? And how do you know what damages you might be entitled to?
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. The first challenge is to establish that the death was wrongful. A damages for wrongful death lawyer Phoenix 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
Who Can Bring Forth the Lawsuit?
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 qualifies to bring a wrongful death suit varies in each state, but in general, wrongful death claims can be brought by:
- Immediate Family Members, including children and parents
- Distant Family Members (if there are not immediate family members), including grandparents, siblings, aunts/uncles.
- The Surviving Spouse
- Personal Representative of the deceased’s Estate
How Do You Win a Wrongful Death Case?
If you think you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim, meet with a damages for wrongful death lawyer Phoenix endorses. 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.
What Kind of Damages Can Be Recovered?
When you’ve been injured in an accident and decide to pursue a personal injury claim, what you are really seeking are “damages”. Damages is a legal term for money awarded to a party in a lawsuit. In the case of an auto accident, a party seeks compensatory damages. As you might infer from the name, compensatory damages are intended to compensate for a loss or injury. A damages for wrongful death lawyer Phoenix approves of will let you know that there are three primary categories of compensatory damages a party may seek:
Special damages compensate for a quantifiable loss of money. These damages are easy to assign a dollar amount to because they are derived from things like:
- Automobile Repair Bills
- Medical Bills
- Future Medical Bills
- Therapy bills
- Lost wages (calculated from your salary)
Special damages are pulled straight from the actual dollar amounts assigned to your bills. Things are a little less clear when future costs must be calculated, but those numbers can be assessed through expert witnesses (professionals in their field) and past evidence (previous bills for example). If you a hire a damages for wrongful death attorney Phoenix has confidence in, they will greatly assist in collecting and calculating special damages.
General damages intend to compensate a party for loss or injury that is not easily calculable. Common general damages include:
- Physical Pain and Suffering
- Mental Pain and Suffering
- Physical Disfigurement/Impairment
- Loss of Companionship
- Lower Quality of Life
The dollar amount awarded for general damages varies greatly from case to case. Every person leads a different lifestyle according to their age, sex, occupation, community, etc. It can seem a bit callous, but a dollar amount must be assigned to the general damages based on that person’s lifestyle to then be able to determine how the accident resulted in a loss of that lifestyle. As a result, the manner in which general damages are calculated is never the same.
A damages for wrongful death lawyer Phoenix trusts will tell you that punitive damages are rare and used in instances of extreme neglect. Punitive damages award extra money on top of the special and general damages and are intended to punish the party responsible for the injury and/or loss. If an injured party shows that the responsible party was so grossly negligent in causing the accident, the court may award punitive damages.
How much and what type of damages a party is awarded depends on the specific facts of each case. Wrongful death claims can be extremely complicated, confusing, and be difficult on those who just lost a loved one. 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 a damages for wrongful death lawyer Phoenix relies on and who has your rights and well-being in mind.
Contact a Lawyer
If you’ve lost a loved one to someone else’s negligent or intentional acts the best way to find out if you have a potential wrongful death case is to speak with an experienced wrongful death lawyer.
As dauting as it might seem, hiring an experienced attorney is an important action to take. There are a lot of details that go into filing a wrongful death claim, including deadlines, fees, and negotiations. A good attorney should, at a minimum:
- Investigate the accident themselves
- Prove liability
- Negotiate a settlement
- File your claim
- Maintain a calendar of important dates and deadlines
- Litigate your claim
- Instill confidence
- Provide you with the comfort of knowing a professional is helping you
You could file the claim on your own but are more likely to have success if you hire a damages for wrongful death lawyer Phoenix endorses to represent you.
At Kamper Estrada, LLP, our knowledgeable lawyers have over 40 years of experience with personal injury and wrongful death cases. Our team can help you determine if you have a case, then guide you every step of the way. Call Kamper Estrada, LLP today, and talk to a top wrongful death lawyer Phoenix, AZ has to offer.