Tempe Wrongful Death Lawyers
Representation for Family Members of Accident Victims
Losing a loved one is always hard. But when that loss has come as a result of someone else’s negligence or intentional wrongdoing, it can be even more difficult for surviving family members to move on.
At Breyer Law Offices, P.C., our Tempe personal injury lawyers understand the trauma and grief you are going through. We have experienced wrongful death ourselves, and helped many clients receive compensation after a life-changing accident. If you lost a loved one in Tempe, call us at (480) 753-4534. We’ll sit down with you and go over your legal options. If we can help you, we’ll take your case so that you and your family can focus on healing.
Defining Wrongful Death
A "wrongful death" is as a death that is the result of a wrongful act, neglect, or default. According to Arizona Revised Statutes Section 12-611, a wrongful death claim may be filed if the deceased would have been able to file a personal injury claim had he/she survived the accident.
Who’s Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Only certain parties are able to file a wrongful death claim in Arizona – usually, relatives of the deceased. A surviving spouse, surviving children, and a surviving parent or guardian of the deceased are all eligible to file a claim. If the victim’s spouse, children, guardian of children, and parents are deceased, his or her personal representatives may file a wrongful death claim. This representative is usually named in the deceased’s will.
For example, in 2016, the parents of a young man killed in Tempe by a speeding police vehicle were able to file a lawsuit against the City of Tempe. The police officer was suspended without pay, and the City Council ultimately voted to settle the case, paying $1.35 million to the parents.
Damages in Wrongful Death Claims
Wrongful death claims are civil claims filed to allow family members to claim damages, or compensation, for their loved one’s loss. They differ from criminal cases. In criminal cases, the perpetrator must pay restitution to the state if he is found guilty. He may also be sentenced to jail time as punishment. The victim’s family members or estate will not receive any compensation.
In a wrongful death claim, the defendant will not face any punishment in court other than being forced to pay the family compensation.
Damages in Arizona wrongful death claims are typically divided into two categories. The first is the compensation that is paid to the estate of the deceased. These types of damages include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Medical bills related to the accident that caused the deceased’s death
- Lost wages the deceased would have earned if he/she survived the accident
- Pain and suffering incurred by the deceased before death
Other types of damages may be awarded to the deceased’s family members to compensate them for the untimely death. These damages typically include:
- The loss of household services the deceased performed
- The loss of care, companionship, and guidance
- Pain and suffering
Due to the different types of damages, two different claims must often be filed: one by the estate, and one by the surviving family members.
Speak to a Tempe-Area Lawyer as Soon As Possible
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s careless or negligent actions, contact Breyer Law Offices, P.C., as soon as possible. In Tempe, Arizona, you generally have only two years from the date of your loved one’s death to file a claim. After those two years run out, your claim may be thrown out of court. There is no time to waste. Contact The Husband and Wife Law Team today at (480) 753-4534. You may be eligible for compensation, and we want to help you get it.