Wrongful Death Lawyer Phoenix, AZ
How do you prove fault in a wrongful death case?
A Wrongful Death Lawyer in Phoenix, AZ at Kamper & Estrada, PLLC can empathize with the pure devastation and anguish that family members may face after their loved one passes away. The grieving process may intensify greatly when they find out that the death was caused because of another person’s wrongdoing or carelessness. Surviving family members may have the right to pursue damages from the party responsible. If you are one of those surviving family members, then we encourage you to meet with a member of our legal team right away for support.
Why Wrongful Deaths Happen
In legal terms, a wrongful death occurs when a person has died as a result of another’s misconduct or negligence. Dependents or beneficiaries of the person who passed may be eligible to collect financial damages. While every state across America has passed their own wrongful death statutes, there may be slight differences. That is why it is important to meet with a member of our legal team before taking action, so you understand the laws based on where you live.
Here are just a few of the most common incidents of wrongful death that our team has likely seen in the past:
- Car Accidents: the driver who caused the accident and death, owed a duty to others on the road to drive safely, and had broken that obligation.
- Medical Malpractice: hospital workers like doctors, nurses, and surgeons did not offer a standard level of care, which led to a patient’s death.
- Anesthesia/Surgery: a doctor or other medical personnel had not practiced diligence when reviewed a patient’s medical record and had failed to identify a potential complication while under surgery, or did not regular anesthesia in the correct manner which led to death.
- Workplace Accidents: an employee passed away either due to a workplace accident or from succumbing to injuries.
Pursuing Compensation for Wrongful Death
When a family member is pursuing damages for their loved one’s wrongful death, there are factors of the incident that must be true in order to have a chance at winning the case. An AZ Wrongful Death Lawyer in Phoenix may talk with you in further detail about the four vital elements of wrongful death cases:
- Negligence: must prove that the family member’s death was at least partially due to the negligence, recklessness, or thoughtlessness of another party.
- Breach of Duty: showing that the at-fault person had an obligation to the family member who passed away, and had breached this duty of care.
- Causation: must show evidence as to how the at-fault party breached his/her duty of care to the deceased person and how this led to the death.
- Damages: compensation for the surviving family to pay for funeral expenses, medical bills, loss of companionship, loss of earnings, along with financial restitution if the family member suffered prior to death.
How do you prove fault in a wrongful death case?
If your loved one was killed because of someone else’s carelessness, you may want to consult with a member of our team from Kamper & Estrada, PLLC. If a person’s death is caused by another person’s negligence, the deceased person’s family has a right to file a wrongful death claim. Whether a person died during a car accident or on an operating table, a wrongful death claim can help the surviving family members recover their financial losses.
However, in order to win your lawsuit, your AZ wrongful death lawyer must be able to prove fault in your case. This means you have to prove that the defendant owed the victim a duty of care, breached that duty and that the breach of duty was the direct cause of death.
A person can only be labeled negligent if he or she owed the deceased person a duty of care. Owing someone a duty of care means avoiding doing something that may cause him or her physical harm. For example, drivers owe all people on the road a basic duty of care to drive responsibly and follow the rules of the road.
Breach of Duty
The next thing we must do is prove that the defendant breached the duty of care. In a car accident case, a lawyer might show that the driver was speeding or talking on the phone while behind the wheel, and that this negligence was a breach of the driver’s duty of care. These actions are considered careless because they may pose a danger to other people on the road.
To win a wrongful death case, it also has to be proven that the defendant’s breach of duty was the direct cause of the victim’s death. For a car accident, it must be proven that the defendant did actually crash into the victim’s vehicle and that this crash directly caused the victim’s fatal injuries. If the victim’s injuries were not a result of the crash, this case might not be viable in court.
Proving fault in a wrongful death isn’t easy, so it may be in your family’s best interest to hire a Wrongful Death Lawyer from Arizona as soon as possible. We can begin building your case immediately so that you are one step closer to obtaining the compensation you deserve. During your initial consultation, it is important to bring any evidence you have with you, such as your family member’s medical records and witness statements.
Many wrongful death lawyers work on a contingency basis, so you do not have to worry about owing money upfront. After your case is over, your lawyer would take a percentage of your winnings. If you happen to lose your case, you won’t owe your lawyer any money.
Many Fatal Car Accidents Involve Unlicensed Drivers
An alarming report revealed that one out of every five fatal vehicle accidents that occur in this country involves an unlicensed driver. The research for the report was conducted by researchers from Texas A&M University and released by issued by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Researchers used data that was provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).
The data found that each year, 8,400 victims die in car crashes that involve a driver who did not have a valid license. Almost 30 percent of the unlicensed drivers had received three or more license suspensions or revocations within the prior three years leading up to the fatal crash. One researcher described the system as a being like a revolving door with drivers having their driving privileges taken away again and again, yet still continue to drive. Many of the lawsuits we have filed include a driver who did not have a valid license.
The study took place over a five-year span, examining almost 184,000 fatal accidents, involving approximately 280,000 drivers. Just under 40,000 of the drivers – about 15 percent – didn’t have a valid license at the time of the crash. Licenses had either been canceled, denied, expired, suspended, or revoked. There were even drivers who had no record of ever having a valid driver’s license.
There were certain factors that the unlicensed drivers appeared to have in common, including:
- Most of the drivers were male.
- Thirty-three percent of the drivers were 19 years old or younger.
- Fatal accidents which involved unlicensed drivers were more frequent in the late night or early morning hours.
- In fatal crashes involving a hit and run driver, the fleeing driver was five times more likely to not have a valid license than to have a valid license.
- rivers who were operating on suspended licenses were three times more likely to be driving under the influence when the crash happened.
- Drivers who had revoked licenses at the time of the crash were four times more likely to be driving under the influence when the crash happened.
Arizona made the list for areas with the most number of fatal unlicensed fatal car accidents. A Phoenix Wrongful Death Lawyer in AZ can attest to that statistic, given the number of families who come to us after losing their loved ones in car crashes. Other states on the top of the list were New Mexico, Washington D.C., California, and Hawaii.
One of the reasons cited by law enforcement for the high number of drivers who operate without valid licenses is because of the slap on the wrist drivers receive if they are caught. Most states only charge a fine for anyone who is caught operating without a valid license. In most cases, the driver’s vehicles are not even impounded.
Contact Kamper & Estrada, PLLC for Help
If you have lost a loved one in a crash caused by another driver – licensed or not – contact us to find out what legal recourse your family may have. Our law firm understands that no amount of money will ever make up for the loss of your loved one, but we also understand that the emotional and financial toll can be overwhelming. Do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation. We understand that you may be feeling so devastated that you cannot imagine putting energy towards a lawsuit. We can do the paperwork aspect for you, so you can continue your grieving process.
Call Kamper & Estrada, PLLC to set up a free and confidential consultation with an Arizona Wrongful Death Lawyer, and find out how we can help your family get the financial compensation your family deserves.
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