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Wrongful Death

The sudden death of a loved one is never easy, and nothing can adequately prepare you for such a tragic event to take place in your life. When the death of a loved one occurs because of another person’s recklessness, carelessness, or negligence, it is even more difficult to process. The weeks and months following a loved one’s death can be a confusing and challenging time for the grieving family members who are left behind. Our dedicated and compassionate team of personal injury lawyers will help you as you grieve with compassion and care as we work diligently to seek justice and hold the responsible party or parties accountable for their actions.

There is nothing quite as painful or as devastating as losing someone you love, especially if you feel that the circumstances surrounding their death could have been avoided. The responsible party needs to be held accountable for the actions that caused your family members life to be taken. Although a lawsuit will never erase the anguish that is experienced by the surviving family members, it can certainly help remove some of the financial burdens that you will face. It is essential to speak with a skilled Arizona wrongful death lawyer as soon as possible following the death of your loved one. Our experienced and dedicated legal team at Torgenson Law will help guide you through every step of the complicated wrongful death lawsuit process and make sure that you fully understand all of your options. It is vital that you seek the help of a professional Phoenix wrongful death attorney who has the experience and resources needed to guide you through this devastating time. Our lawyers at Torgenson Law want you to know that you are not alone at this difficult time.

When a family member or loved one sustains injuries or damages as a result of another person’s negligence, the victim or their family members can file a personal injury lawsuit to get the compensation that they are entitled to for those losses and damages. If this negligence results in the loss of life of an individual, the family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit to obtain a settlement for these damages.

No amount of money will ever replace the life that was lost or the memories of a cherished loved one, but our Phoenix personal injury attorneys have a belief that financial security is essential after a wrongful death. A settlement can help provide the surviving family members with the security necessary to rebuild their lives after a tragedy to restore some sense of normalcy to their lives. It is essential to know that you have the support of others in this challenging time, and the lawyers at Torgenson Law want to offer our support and condolences for your loss.

What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Arizona?

In the blink of an eye, your world can be flipped upside down with the loss of a family member, or spouse. Suffering after the death of a spouse, child or other family member is beyond devastating. When some loses their life because of a wrongful act, misconduct, or neglect at the hands of another person, surviving family members are often at a total loss on how to move on with their lives. If the loss was because of the negligent acts of another person, business, or governmental agency, the Tort laws in Arizona allows the surviving family members of the deceased to seek justice for the death of their loved one, as well as, financial compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased. Arizona laws recognize that the negligent party’s liability extends beyond the death of the accident victim. No amount of money will be able to replace the loss of the deceased but will undoubtedly help ease the burden on the surviving members of the family. The lawyers at Torgensen Law have more than twenty years of experience assisting Arizona injury victims and their families get the fair compensation that they are entitled to for their claims and we can help you too.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim

Under Arizona law, A.R.S. section 12-612(A), an action for wrongful death shall be brought by and in the name of the following:

  • Surviving Husband or Wife
  • Surviving Children – Natural born children and adopted children
  • Surviving Parents or Guardians – Natural Parents, Adoptive Parents, Guardians
  • Personal Representative of the deceased person for or on behalf of the surviving spouse, children, parents, or on behalf of the deceased estate.

There is a statute of limitations regarding a wrongful death claim in Arizona. The state requires that a claim must be filed within two years of the date of death, and only the spouse, children, or parents of the deceased individual can file a wrongful death claim. A personal representative of the deceased’s estate is also allowed to file a claim in the absence of other family members who are willing or able to do so. This also applies to personal representatives of a deceased child, parent, or spouse of the deceased in the wrongful death claim. If the person who lost their life is a child, either parent or the child’s legal guardian can file a wrongful death claim.

Primary Causes Of Wrongful Death

There are many primary causes of wrongful death accidents. It is essential to understand what scenarios can lead to accidental deaths to understand your rights when filing a wrongful death claim. Some primary reasons include:

  • Car accidents – accidents involving vehicle collisions are responsible for thousands of injuries and deaths in the United States every year. Many times, these accidents are due to the negligence of one or both drivers. When this is the case, the at-fault driver should expect some legal response from the victim’s family.
  • Intentional violence – If someone knowing kills another individual with the intent to do so, he or she will assuredly face criminal charges due to their actions. However, criminal prosecution does very little to compensate the victim’s family for financial damages resulting from the attack. The surviving family members should file a wrongful death claim in combination with the criminal charges from the state to collect restitution due to the incident.
  • Workplace accidents – Certain working environments are more dangerous by nature than others. Unfortunately, accidental workplace deaths are common in given industries. These include construction, oil and gas, mining, and deep-sea fishing, where workers are tasked with doing potentially dangerous activities daily, resulting in the risk of fatality in the workplace.
  • Medical malpractice – Medicine is a naturally uncertain field due to unpredictable circumstances that can occur without notice. Ultimately, doctors and other medical personnel have a legal and ethical obligation to treat patients through the use of acceptable and sound treatments methods. If a physician or other medical practitioner operates outside of the bounds of acceptable treatment methods, he or she is committing medical malpractice.

All claims of wrongful death can lead to a lengthy and stressful trial or negotiation process. This is especially true without adequate legal representation. It is crucial that the family of the victim acts quickly in the event of a wrongful death to file a claim and not delay. The experienced Phoenix wrongful death attorneys at Torgenson Law are here to help guide you through the complicated and complex legal process that comes with filing a wrongful death claim.

Wrongful Death Claims Involving Car Accidents

In the case of a wrongful death resulting from a vehicle accident, the plaintiff is required to prove that the defendant is responsible for the accident and the resulting death. If the state is also prosecuting the defendant due a criminal charge, the evidence provided in that case is also applicable to the civil claim from the family members of the victim. Evidence can include eyewitness statements, recordings from traffic cameras, and cell phone videos or recordings. All of these can ultimately contribute to the success of the plaintiff’s claim. The most crucial aspect of succeeding in a claim of wrongful death is to provide proof of the defendant’s carelessness. In hiring a Phoenix wrongful death attorney at Torgenson Law, you will significantly improve your chances of successfully producing the relevant evidence of negligence on the part of the defendant.

Proving Negligence in a Wrongful Death Case

You must provide four elements of negligence in a legal setting to be successful in a wrongful death case for individual negligence. It is essential to understand these elements when you file your claim so you can ensure a successful outcome in your settlement. These four elements are as follows:

  • Duty – The plaintiff must provide evidence that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff if led to the accident. An example could be that all drivers have a duty of care to other motorists and pedestrians on the road to follow the traffic laws in the area and obey posted signals and signs. A failure to do so would be seen as a failure to acknowledge this duty.
  • Breach – The plaintiff must also provide evidence that the defendant breached this duty of care. This involves showing that the defendant committed a specific action during the situation which led to wrongful death. An example could be speeding or texting while driving. Another example could be inaction on the part of the defendant, such as a failure to take appropriate action to ensure the safety of the plaintiff.
  • Damage – The plaintiff must provide evidence that the negligence of the defendant caused some visible injury or tangible loss. Often, in wrongful death claims, this is documented previously and readily apparent to the court.
  • Causation – Lastly, the plaintiff is required to show the connection between the defendant’s breach of duty and the death of the victim. This often requires providing evidence that the defendant’s actions directly resulted in the death of the victim. It could also involve providing proof that the death would not have happened without the efforts of the defendant.

It has to be said that certain types of claims involve various elements of negligence. The character of the defendant is essential as well. These are especially true regarding claims of medical malpractice.

There are different rules when filing civil actions against individuals than filing lawsuits against government bodies. When suing a federal or state government agency, the plaintiff is required to meet stringent filing deadlines with the court. They must also deal with caps for specific types of damages. The legal professionals at Torgenson Law can help make the best decision concerning your particular case to ensure that you have the evidence needed to file a claim successfully.

You Need Reliable Wrongful Death Legal Counsel

It can often be difficult navigating the wrongful death claims process in Arizona. This is especially true after experiencing something as traumatic as the unexpected death of a loved one. The legal professionals at Torgenson Law have been helping Arizona residents who have lost loved ones in an accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence for decades by successfully filing personal injury and wrongful death claims on their behalves. We want to put our more than twenty years of Arizona personal injury law experience and knowledge to use for you and your case. We understand that this is a confusing and challenging time for you and your family. We will use all of the resources at our disposal to help work on your case because we care about your claim and want to get you the best settlement possible.

Statistics show that wrongful death is prevalent within the country. Every year, 32,000 driving-related fatalities happen in the United States, and around 98,000 people die from preventable medical errors, such as misdiagnosis or surgical error. If you or a loved one lost their life due to a wrongful death, please contact Phoenix wrongful death attorneys at Torgenson Law today at (602) 833-2774. We are here to help you in your time of need and help you hold the at-fault party accountable for their role in your loved one’s loss of life.

2018 Torgenson Law