Avondale Wrongful Death Attorneys
What Is Wrongful Death?
The town of Avondale first began as one of the region’s earliest stage stations, supplying provisions to travelers on their way from Tucson to California and northern Arizona. Billy Moore, Avondale’s most famous historical figure, established a general store, stage stop, and saloon near the Agua Fria crossing.
Today, the city of Avondale offers a dense suburban feel and pleasant living for most residents. Many people own their own homes. The public schools are above average, and the city has many parks. Life in Avondale is good, but it can be tragically cut short when someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing leads to wrongful death.
Wrongful death is a legal term denoting a civil action in which survivors of a deceased person seek damages against a party for negligently or knowingly causing that person’s death. A wrongful death action can be brought against a person who is also facing criminal charges for causing the death, even if that person is not found guilty. A civil wrongful death action has a lower burden of proof than a criminal case. An example of wrongful death is when a drunk driver causes a crash that is fatal for another person.
How Is Liability Determined in a Wrongful Death Case?
For wrongful death, negligence and liability are determined in a similar way as in a personal injury claim. If a party owed the deceased a duty of care and breached that duty through an act of negligence, and if that breach of duty resulted in death, surviving family members are entitled to file a wrongful death claim. In the example above of the drunk driver who caused the death of another motorist, the driver had a duty of care to others on the roadway and breached that duty by driving under the influence. Because the drunk driver caused a car accident that took someone else’s life, he or she can be held liable for wrongful death.
What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Claim?
In a wrongful death claim, family members may seek justice for their deceased loved one, hold the responsible party accountable, and recover compensation for the family’s future. Damages in a wrongful death claim may include:
- Funeral and burial expenses for the deceased
- Medical expenses related to the final injury or illness of the deceased
- Loss of income and services the victim would have provided had he or she lived
- Loss of consortium, companionship, love, and care
- Pain and suffering associated with grief, such as mental anguish and emotional trauma
- Punitive damages in some cases, designed to punish the defendant for wrongdoing and deter similar actions in the future
Who Can Pursue Compensation for Wrongful Death?
Parties eligible to file for wrongful death are determined by state statutes. In Arizona, the following are allowed to file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court:
- Surviving spouse of the deceased person
- Surviving children of the deceased person
- Surviving parent or guardian of the deceased person
- Personal representative of the estate of the deceased, on behalf of surviving spouse, children, or parents, or, if there are none, on behalf of the estate
How Do You File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Your first step is to speak with an experienced Avondale wrongful death attorney. The Husband & Wife Law Team can review your case, conduct an in-depth investigation, collect evidence, review policies, and determine what damages you are entitled to claim. We can negotiate skillfully with the at-fault party on your behalf and take your case to court if necessary.
Call us at (623) 930-8064 to schedule a free consultation.
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During a free consultation, we will look at the important aspects of your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal rights and options clearly. All submissions are confidentially reviewed by Mark Breyer.
Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer