Scottsdale Wrongful Death Attorney
Losing a loved one is never easy. But when a death was caused by the wrongful, negligent, or careless act of someone else, it may be considered wrongful death. While your family is focused on grieving and trying to move on, finances may become an issue. You have to make funeral arrangements, and there may still be a stack of medical bills left over, especially if the deceased was in the hospital for some time before death.
In Scottsdale, loved ones may be able to file a wrongful death claim for compensation for these expenses and more.
Causes of Wrongful Death
- Car accidents are just one cause of wrongful death, but they are the most common. Any time there is a car accident and someone dies as a result, there is a good possibility that a wrongful death claim can be filed. In 2016, there were over 4,000 car crashes in Scottsdale alone. Of these, 16 were fatal. That doesn’t even look at the motorcycle death toll.
- Medical malpractice is another common cause of wrongful death. This occurs when a doctor fails to diagnose or properly treat fatal illnesses such as cancer, or other serious conditions. Anaesthesia errors, poor monitoring, and prescribing the wrong medication are all types of medical malpractice that can result in wrongful death.
- Defective products can also unexpectedly kill those who use them, even when they’re being used according to the instructions. This may be due to a design defect, a manufacturing defect, or a marketing defect, if the manufacturers failed to warn customers about the hazard. Whatever the specific defect, when products turn out to be lethal, the companies that made those products may be held responsible.
- Workplace accidents can result in death, especially when the working environment is a dangerous one such as a construction site or manufacturing plant. When it does happen and the death is a result of employer negligence, that employer can be held responsible through a wrongful death claim.
Proving Wrongful Death
In order to prove that a wrongful death occurred, the person(s) filing the claim must prove that:
- the defendant owed their loved one a duty of care,
- that duty of care was breached, and
- the breach resulted in the death.
For instance, if a loved one was in a car wreck that was someone else’s fault, and your loved one ended up passing away from the injuries, this would be a valid wrongful death claim. All drivers owe a duty of care to keep others on the road safe at all times. When that duty is breached because someone is speeding, texting while driving, or otherwise acting negligently, a court could find him or her responsible for the accident. Then, the defendant will have to pay compensation to the deceased’s loved ones for causing the wrongful death.
Arizona is a comparative fault state, meaning that sometimes both the defendant and the plaintiff may be found "at fault." When this is the case, the court will assign a percentage of fault to each party. If the plaintiff has any amount of fault assigned to him or her, the compensation will be deducted by the same percentage.
Who Can File?
Only family members are able to file a wrongful death claim, but this does not include all family members. Surviving spouses, children, parents or guardians, and personal representatives are able to file wrongful death claims.
Unfortunately, siblings, extended family members, friends, significant others, and those who were in a common-law marriage with the deceased are not able to file a wrongful death claim.
A Scottsdale Lawyer Can Help
Wrongful death cases can be extremely complicated, particularly when they involve medical malpractice or workplace accidents. It can be difficult for family members to prove their case, especially when they are dealing with grief at the time.
A Scottsdale wrongful death attorney can help secure records and investigate the situation to determine if a claim is valid. If it is, a Scottsdale personal injury attorney can also help prove that the defendant owed and breached their duty of care to the deceased.
If you’ve lost a loved one and you believe someone else is to blame, contact The Husband and Wife Law Team today at (480) 422-5474. We know this is a difficult time, and we are dedicated to getting you fair and just compensation while you focus on healing.