When a person is killed in an Arizona car accident, the victim’s family has many things that they must handle immediately. From planning the funeral to managing the life insurance policy, the last thing on their mind may be filing a lawsuit. However, when the accident is the result of another person’s carelessness, families should consider filing a wrongful death lawsuit. In Arizona, a wrongful death lawsuit is a claim against a person who can be held liable for the person’s death. Although this cannot bring their loved one back, a wrongful death lawsuit can help the family financially recover as they go through such a difficult time.
Recently, a teen was killed by an intoxicated driver who ran through a red light. According to a local news report, the 18-year-old was instantly killed when a pickup truck failed to stop at a red light and slammed into his SUV. The driver of the pickup truck showed signs of impairment and is being charged with second-degree murder.
Although criminal charges are normally filed when a person’s death results from an intoxicated driver, the family will often still struggle to make ends meet and recover after the loss of a loved one. In many instances, a wrongful death lawsuit can help families seek justice and financial compensation through a civil action. In Arizona law, a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought when the death of a person is caused by the wrongful act of another person and the death would not have occurred but for this action. Another requirement is that the deceased must have been able to bring suit against the responsible party, if they had survived. However, as the deceased is no longer able to bring suit, the lawsuit can be filed by the deceased’s spouse, child, parent, or the deceased’s estate, if he does not have any living relatives. The lawsuit must be brought within two years of the deceased’s passing, otherwise the family loses their right to file the claim.
The jury determines how much financial compensation, if any, should be awarded to the plaintiff. In these cases, the jury is instructed to award damages they deem fair and just, normally awarding damages for funeral expenses, lost wages, and the family’s pain and suffering. Additionally, juries must consider other circumstances, such as the deceased’s own behavior or if the defendant was intoxicated at the time of the accident, which may either raise or lower their final determination. Because of this, each evaluation of damages and the ultimate outcome is unique depending on the deceased and the circumstances surrounding the wrongful death. Due to the strict requirements when filing a wrongful death lawsuit, such as the timing of the suit, potential plaintiffs should consult an experienced wrongful death attorney.
Contact an Arizona Wrongful Death Attorney
If you have a loved one who has been killed in an Arizona automobile accident, contact the dedicated attorneys at Abel & Annes, P.C. With years of experience handling personal injury and wrongful death cases, our lawyers will do everything they can to hold all at-fault parties accountable. We understand how emotional it can be after the death of a loved one, and take every step to make the process as stress-free as possible. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 855-749-5299.