What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death actions are defined by state law. In Arizona, wrongful death actions are civil suits for damages arising from the death of a person caused by wrongful act, neglect or default of another person or corporation. In other words, wrongful death occurs when an individual is killed because of the wrongful conduct of another person or persons. If wrongful death is suspected, the deceased person’s family members and loved ones may want to file a claim for reparations with the help of an attorney.
Instances of wrongful death vary. For example, a driver who unintentionally kills someone in an automobile accident may be held liable for negligence. A landowner whose side walk violates building codes for safety may also be held accountable for wrongful death if someone slips and falls and dies on impact, or of complications related to the fall. Any instance in which a death can be attributed to the deliberate or negligent act of another person(s) may qualify as wrongful death in the eyes of the state.
Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death?
Each individual state determines who can sue for wrongful death. In Arizona, an action for wrongful death may be brought by a surviving spouse, child, parent, guardian, or the personal representative of the deceased person. The beneficiaries of a wrongful death action are the surviving spouse, children and parents of the deceased. If there are no surviving beneficiaries, then the action may be brought on behalf of the deceased person’s estate.
If you’re thinking of suing for wrongful death, make sure that you are aware of your state’s eligibility requirements. Your lawyer will be able to determine whether you are eligible to make a claim and whether the events that led to your family member or loved one’s death is considered wrongful death in the eyes of the law. In consultation with your lawyer, you will also help to determine the amount you will sue for in accordance with state regulations. Some states limit the amount of money that can be recovered in a wrongful death suit; other states do not. Wrongful deaths suits can also be filed against the government, but there are very strict regulations and time periods in which an individual must submit their claim. Failure to adhere to these regulations will preclude the possibility of a lawsuit.
Why You Need a Wrongful Death Lawyer
Suing for wrongful death is a complicated and highly involved process. Not only does the claimant need to prove that death was caused wrongfully, but he/she needs to be aware of all the limits and regulations that may complicate or impede seeking recovery for wrongful death. Worker’s Compensation Laws, for example, place limits on the extent to which employers may be held liable. International treaties limit the amount of money that can be recovered for deaths that occur on international airlines.
If you believe that the death of a loved one constitutes wrongful death, contact me at the Law Office of William D. Nelson, P.C. located in Tucson, AZ. Even though the last thing most people want to think about is filing a law suit in the immediate wake of a loved one’s death, it’s crucial that people don’t delay so as not to miss any filing deadlines that may preclude the possibility of a lawsuit.