Tempe Wrongful Death Attorneys
Helping families who have lost loved ones to negligence
It’s the worst news you can get, that a loved one was killed in car accident, because of a fall, or for any other reason. A wrongful death causes overwhelming emotional suffering and the stark reality that the loved one will no longer provide emotional support or economic support to his/her family.
At Plattner Verderame, P.C. our Tempe wrongful death lawyers understand that families have a difficult time focusing on filing a legal claim when someone has died. The reality though is that delay can hurt your claim. Our experienced lawyers balance your need to mourn for the loss of your relative with the need to move aggressively to help investigate the cause of the death and prepare your case for trial. Three of our partners have been Certified by the State Bar of Arizona as Specialists in Wrongful Death Litigation. Contact us today to learn how we can help.
What is the basis for filing a wrongful death claim?
A wrongful death claim doesn’t require wrongful intent. Pursuant to A.R.S. 12-611, a person with the right to file a wrongful death claim can do so if the death of their loved one “is caused by wrongful act, neglect or default.” In most cases, the cause of death was accidental: a driver is distracted by a phone, a doctor misreads a chart, a worksite supervisor fails to double-check the placement of a ladder or scaffold. In the end, though, they are accountable if their negligence caused your loved one to die.
In some cases, such as those involving distracted drivers, the liability is the result of negligence; in others, the defendant is strictly liable. An example might be a defective product, like an e-cigarette with an exploding battery, or the manufacturer of a defective gear shifter.
What are the key factors in filing and pursuing a wrongful death claim in Tempe?
Under Arizona law, a spouse, parents, children, or a personal representative has the right to file the wrongful claim. Damages in wrongful death cases include:
- The reasonable funeral and burial costs
- The reasonable expenses for any medical care provided before the loved one died
- The loss of the love, affection, care, protection, guidance, and companionship the loved one would have provided had he/she survived
- The pain, sorrow, stress, mental suffering, and grief of those entitled to damages
- The value of the income and services (past and future) the decedent would have provided
The wrongful death claim is brought in one case on behalf of all the statutory beneficiaries. One law firm can represent the person filing the claim. All statutory beneficiaries must agree in order for there to be a settlement. Otherwise, the case will need to be tried – and the jury will decide what proportion each beneficiary should get.
What types of cases can result in a Tempe wrongful death claim?
Some of the wrongful death claims that the Tempe wrongful death claim lawyers at Plattner Verderame, P.C. have handled include deaths due to:
- Vehicle accidents
- Birth injuries
- Construction accidents
- Defective products
- Common carrier claims
- Nursing home abuse and neglect
- Government contractors
What is the time limitation for filing a wrongful death claim in Tempe?
There are strict deadlines that must be met for every type of personal injury claim. This deadline is called a statute of limitations (SOL). If the claim is not filed within the time limit, the claim is forever barred. In Arizona, the SOL for wrongful death claims can vary, but the general SOL for wrongful death claim is two years. In some, there are shorter time limits. The best thing you can do is speak with an attorney as soon as you can, to ensure you are not time-barred from filing a claim.
What’s the relationship between the criminal case and the civil case?
The criminal case is brought to hold the wrongdoer accountable for any criminal wrongs. A criminal wrong is not required to file a civil wrongful death case.
The aim of the wrongful death claim is to place a monetary value on the wrongful death. While no financial sum can ever bring a loved one back, civil damages do help the statutory beneficiaries move forward with their lives. The financial damage award in a wrongful death can help pay bills and help the family members achieve the goals in their life that would make their deceased relative proud.
Speak with an experienced Tempe wrongful death lawyer to obtain the justice your loved one deserves
It’s important to investigate how a wrongful death occurred as quickly as possible. Whether death was due to a car accident, a defective product or drug, or a fall; the success of the wrongful death claim depends on examining the evidence and speaking with witness promptly. At Plattner Verderame, P.C., our Tempe wrongful death lawyers have the experience and resources to help families get justice for the tragic loss of a loved one. For help now, call us at 602.266.2002 or contact us to schedule a free appointment.