An unexpected death can send shockwaves through the deceased person’s surviving relatives. Dealing with the grief of an unexpected death is never easy. However, these emotions are often complicated with the financial chaos that can follow a wrongful death as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 170,000 deaths were unintentional in 2018.
Dealing with financial matters and pursuing legal claims is usually not a top priority for many people experiencing grief. While this is understandable, it is also important for the survivors to take steps to protect their legal rights.
If your loved one died due to the negligence of another person or entity, you could be entitled to a financial award. This compensation could ease the financial burden that comes with an unexpected death. To learn more, call Ben Crump Law, PLLC at (800) 593-3443 to see if a Mesa wrongful death lawyer can help with your case.
What Is Considered a Death Wrongful
In Arizona, the term “wrongful death” is defined by Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) § 12-611. The statute defines a death as wrongful if it results from a wrongful act, neglect, or default. In practice, wrongful death claims are essentially personal injury lawsuits that the decedent could have brought had they survived.
Wrongful death cases stem from a wide variety of circumstances. Many of these circumstances mirror the most common forms of personal injury claims. For example, a large percentage of wrongful death lawsuits result from severe motor vehicle accidents. Others occur from slip and fall injuries or medical malpractice. Any negligent act or omission that causes the death of another person could lead to a viable wrongful death claim.
For a free legal consultation with a wrongful death lawyer, call (844) 638-1822
The Right to Pursue a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Mesa
An unexpected death could have far-reaching implications. Friends, family members, and acquaintances of all types could face overwhelming grief or hardship based on a person’s untimely death. However, not all of these individuals will have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit on the decedent’s behalf.
Every state approaches the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in a different way. Many states do not allow family members of the deceased person to bring a wrongful death lawsuit at all. Instead, these states empower the estate administrator to file the lawsuit on the estate’s behalf.
Other states create a hierarchy that typically starts with the surviving spouse. The right to file a wrongful death lawsuit then travels down the hierarchy until there is a person willing and able to pursue the case.
That is not how the law operates in Mesa. The right to file a wrongful death lawsuit is governed by ARS § 12-612. State law sets out a list of individuals that have equal rights to the pursuit of a wrongful death claim. These individuals include:
- The surviving spouse
- Any surviving children
- A surviving parent or guardian
- The personal representative of the estate
In cases where a child has died, the child’s parents retain the right to pursue a wrongful death action against the at-fault party.
Having a conversation about your legal rights after the death of a beloved family member is never easy. However, any delay in your legal claim could make it more difficult to hold the person responsible for your loved one’s death. The attorneys at Ben Crump Law, PLLC understand the grieving process and will treat your case with the compassion it deserves. To learn more about how a Mesa wrongful death lawyer can help, call a team member today.
Wrongful Death Lawyer Near Me (844) 638-1822
The compensation available in a Mesa wrongful death lawsuit generally falls into two categories. The first category relates to the damages the deceased person suffered at the end of their life. This type of compensation is usually paid to the estate, which is responsible for the decedent’s final expenses. This form of compensation includes:
- Funeral costs
- Burial costs
- Final medical bills for the decedent’s injury or illness
- The value of the decedent’s lost wages had they survived
- Personal property losses
- The pain and suffering experienced prior to the decedent’s death
The second type of damages involves the emotional and financial harm that has come to the surviving family members due to the death of their loved one. This type of compensation relates to the decedent’s support during the course of their life. Some examples of these damages include:
- The loss of household services provided by the decedent
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of financial support
These types of damages are available to the family of a decedent, including children and spouses. However, an administrator bringing these claims on behalf of the estate may not seek this type of compensation.
Time Limits on Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
There are strict time limits for every legal claim in Mesa, and wrongful death lawsuits are no exception. If you pursue a wrongful death claim, you must do so before the expiration of the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the legal deadline that applies to every legal claim. This deadline is different from one state to another and varies for each claim type.
In Arizona, the deadline to file a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date the death occurred. The consequences of failing to adhere to this deadline are steep. If you file a wrongful death claim after the statute expires, the court can prevent you from ever pursuing your claim.
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Protect Your Legal Rights After the Death of a Loved One
You never have to take on a wrongful death case alone. Wrongful death cases are complex, making the guidance of a skilled attorney vital to your efforts. Let the attorneys of Ben Crump Law, PLLC review your case and advise you on your chances of success. To get started with your claim, call (800) 593-3443 to schedule a free consultation with a Mesa wrongful death lawyer today.