Phoenix Wrongful Death Damages Attorneys

How to Determine the Amount of Compensation in an Arizona Wrongful Death Claim

If someone else’s negligence has caused your loved one’s death, no settlement or award in any amount could ever compensate you for the loss you have suffered. However, you may be entitled to seek justice for your loved one and compensation for your family in a wrongful death claim.

Our legal system provides a means to recover for personal injury suffered because of the negligence or wrongdoing of others. When the injury sustained is loss of life itself, certain surviving family members have the right to file a claim for damages in place of the deceased.

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Compensatory Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim

Our wrongful death attorneys at Breyer Law Offices, P.C. have the knowledge and experience to assess the full extent of your damages when the tragic death of a loved one is caused by negligence of another. Compensatory damages (designed to compensate you for the losses you have suffered) fall into two separate categories:

Economic Damages

This includes any out-of-pocket expenses related to the wrongful death of a loved one and loss of future earnings denied the family of a deceased wage earner. Economic damages are the most easily calculated category in your claim.

Non-Economic Damages

These are damages for which there is no set monetary value, including:

  • Pain, grief, sorrow, stress, shock, anguish, and mental suffering survivors have already experienced and can be reasonably expected to experience in the future.
  • Loss of the deceased family member’s love, affection, guidance, protection, companionship, and care since the tragic death and into the future.

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Wrongful Death Punitive Damages

In addition to compensatory damages in certain cases, state law allows for punitive damages, designed to punish the defendant for particularly egregious conduct. Punitive damages are only allowed in cases that go beyond ordinary negligence to reckless and outrageous conduct that was likely to result in injury or death.

For punitive damages to be awarded, your lawyer must prove that the negligent party acted with an "evil mind,"- either intentionally causing the fatal accident or demonstrating a deliberate indifference in causing the accident. For example, punitive damages might be awarded when a fatal accident is caused by a driver who is speeding while intoxicated, or when wrongful death is the result of a violent crime.

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Work-Related Death Benefits

When a work-related accident or illness results in a worker’s death, certain family members may be eligible for workers’ compensation death benefits, with first priority given to surviving spouse and children. Benefit amounts are calculated based on the average monthly wage (AMW) of the deceased.

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Statute of Limitations on Wrongful Death Claims

Although it may be difficult to contemplate a lawsuit when you are mourning the loss of a loved one, it is best to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Wrongful death claims are subject to a time limit imposed by the law (statute of limitations). If you fail to file a lawsuit within the allotted time frame, your claim for compensation could be forever barred.

At Breyer Law Offices, P.C., our dedicated team of Phoenix wrongful death lawyers is here to help. Call us at (602) 267-1280 today to schedule a free consultation with no obligation. You can rely on us for compassionate, high-quality legal guidance and representation in your wrongful death case.

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The information offered by Breyer Law Offices and contained herein, regarding Arizona statutes and claimants' rights is general in scope. No attorney-client relationship with our attorneys is hereby formed nor is the legal information herein intended as formal legal advice. Please contact a lawyer regarding your specific inquiry.

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