It is devastating to lose a loved one in a car crash. When you discover that the collision was the result of someone else’s negligent behavior, it can be even more difficult to process. Fortunately, our civil justice system provides a legal remedy for those who have been injured, or who have lost a loved one due to another person’s negligent actions.
Arizona traffic fatality statistics
The Arizona Crash Facts Summary, published each year by the Arizona Department of Transportation, reports that there were 895 traffic fatalities in Arizona in 2015 (most recent figures available), which is up 15% from 2014. Approximately 2.45 people were killed in a traffic crash every day in 2015, and alcohol-related crashes accounted for 32.80% of all fatal crashes.
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Arizona
The family members of the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the party responsible for their death. The Arizona Death by Wrongful Act law, A.R.S. 12-611, allows for the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit if the deceased had not died during the accident and they could have filed a personal injury lawsuit.
Time limits for bringing a wrongful death action
Arizona, just as every other state does, has a statute of limitations for the amount of time from the death that you are allowed to bring a claim. We fully understand that recovering compensation in a lawsuit will not make up for the loss of someone you cared so deeply for, but the compensation will pay for expenses such as:
- Medical expenses. In cases when the deceased did not die in the car crash, they may have incurred thousands of dollars in medical expenses in their final days in the hospital. Even if they did pass away, the estate may also bring a “Survival Action” which recoups money spent on medical expenses.
- Funeral expenses. Family members are responsible for paying funeral and burial expenses, which can be quite costly.
- Lost wages. If the deceased was the head of a household with people who depended on their income for their livelihood, their loss of income will have a significant impact on the lives of their dependents.
- Loss of companionship. A spouse who gives her partner a good-bye kiss in the morning never expects that they will never see them again. Losing a loved one in a tragic accident caused by someone else’s negligence is a loss you may never heal from.
How an Arizona wrongful death attorney can help
Dealing with the death of a family member takes an emotional toll. You will likely not be in any condition to negotiate with insurance company lawyers, and you may not know all the parties who may have some degree of liability in your loved one’s death. Working with an experienced wrongful death attorney gives you the confidence that your case is being handled by a professional, and that you will recover as much compensation as possible form those who are responsible for your loved one’s premature death.
Losing a loved one in a car crash can be a devastating experience. Our compassionate Phoenix wrongful death attorneys are here to be your advocate as you seek justice in the form of fair compensation for the loss of your loved one. We offer free consultations and you will not pay attorney fees unless we recover compensation for you. We invite you to call Plattner & Verderame, P.C. today at 602-266-2002, or contact us for a free consultation to discuss your case.
Nick is a member of the State Bar of Arizona, the Arizona Association for Justice (formerly the Arizona Trial Lawyers Association) and the American Association for Justice (AAJ). He currently serves on the AAJ’s Political Action Task Force and its Oversight Committee, and on the Board of Governors for Revitalization in Arizona.
Read more about Nick Verderame