Wrongful Death Lawyer Phoenix, AZ
Challenges in Bringing a Wrongful Death Suit
When someone dies as a result of the negligence of another party, the family of that victim is able to bring a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim makes it possible to receive compensation for damages caused by the person’s death. It is not, however, a simple process. Each wrongful death case is different and presents its own set of facts and challenges. The following are some of the most common challenges faced in wrongful death cases in Phoenix, AZ.
1. Who brings the wrongful death lawsuit?
State laws vary regarding who is able to bring a wrongful death case after a person’s death. Typically in Phoenix AZ, the rights are given to the eligible people in the following order:
- The decedent’s surviving spouse; or
- If there is no surviving spouse, the decedent’s children; or
- If there is no surviving children, the decedent’s parents; or
- If there are no surviving parents, the decedent’s estate.
2. Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The statute of limitations for bringing a wrongful death case varies in each state. Some states require that a wrongful death claim is made within two years of the individual’s death. If the surviving claimant fails to meet this deadline, they will likely lose the ability to ever make a claim for the case. In cases where the decedent survived the accident but died later as a result of the accident, it might be possible to bring survival action as well as a wrongful death suit. The statute of limitations may be different for the two cases. You should become familiar with the laws in your jurisdiction to ensure that everything is done properly. A wrongful death lawyer in Phoenix, AZ can help you understand what you’ll need in your case.
3. Waiting to File the Wrongful Death Case
Even if you stay within the statute of limitations, waiting too long can harm your case. A successful case requires strong evidence. Over time, however, evidence becomes difficult to preserve. Physical evidence can be lost or destroyed. Witness accounts may become fuzzy overtime, or witnesses might actually disappear. Immediately after an incident, the family should contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer to help obtain and preserve evidence until the claim is filed.
4. Proving the Wrongful Death Case
To make a strong wrongful death claim, it must be proven that the death was wrongful and preventable. In addition, because there is are so many potential losses in a wrongful death case, the opposing attorneys and insurance companies will likely fight to avoid having to pay on a claim. To prove a wrongful death case, it must be shown that:
The death of the decedent was a direct result of the other party’s negligent, careless, or intentional action or lack of reasonable action to prevent the death.
There are surviving family members or beneficiaries who can lawfully seek and receive damages.
In wrongful death lawsuits, damages are categorized as either economic or noneconomic. Surviving family members can seek economic damages if they have experienced financial losses as a result of the decedent’s passing. This can come in the form of lost wages and other financial support that a family would have otherwise relied upon. Noneconomic damages include loss of consortium and companionship, and grief and suffering that resulted from the death of the decedent. These damages are more difficult to seek because they involve complex evidence and procedure rules.
When you’re faced with the death of a loved one, a wrongful death case can often be a stressful and emotional ordeal. You should contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer Phoenix, AZ can provide who may help with the legal work and alleviate any added stress. Because these cases can be difficult to win, it’s important to have the help of someone knowledgeable and experienced in the matter.
If your family is looking to hire a compassionate and capable wrongful death lawyer in Phoenix, AZ, contact Kamper Estrada, LLP today.