When a loved one passes away in a tragic accident, the last thing on many family’s minds is bringing a lawsuit. However, when the situation could have been avoided—like accidents due to intoxicated drivers or defective machinery—it is often in the best interest of the loved ones to initiate a lawsuit to financially and emotionally recuperate during such a traumatic time. In Arizona, loved ones can sue the responsible party when the death was caused by a wrongful act or neglect. There are specific requirements in order to bring an Arizona wrongful death lawsuit, along with how plaintiffs can financially recuperate.
For example, according to a recent news source, a person died and others were seriously injured after a tour bus crashed on its way to the Grand Canyon. The tour bus—carrying 48 people, including the driver—rolled and landed on its side, killing one person on the bus. Two others were in critical condition, and seven others were taken to the hospital with less serious injuries.
After such a traumatic accident, the deceased passenger’s loved ones may think about bringing a lawsuit. Depending on the facts surrounding the accident—like if the driver was intoxicated or there was a mechanical issue with the bus—the deceased’s loved ones may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. In Arizona, in order to hold an individual or company liable for a person’s death, the death must be caused by the wrongful act. Additionally, if death had not ensued from the accident, the individual would have been able to file a lawsuit for the injuries he sustained.
Because the individual harmed by the accident is no longer around to bring the lawsuit themselves, a wrongful death lawsuit must be brought by the surviving spouse, child, parent, or personal representative of the deceased person. The personal representative may also be the individual’s estate, if there is no loved one to bring the suit. Any money recovered through the lawsuit is then distributed to the victim’s family. When determining compensation, the jury is told to award damages as they deem fair and just when considering: the facts surrounding the death, the individuals who would recover the damages, and any mitigating and aggravating circumstances surrounding the act. Because this is an extremely broad set of instructions—as indicated under A.R.S. section 12-613—damages widely vary in the state. The amount recovered in a wrongful death lawsuit is not subject to the deceased’s debts or liabilities, unless the lawsuit is brought on behalf of the individual’s estate.
Because wrongful death lawsuits can often bring up sad feelings during what already is a sorrowful time, individuals thinking about bringing a wrongful death lawsuit should contact an experienced wrongful death attorney.
Contact an Arizona Personal Injury Attorney
If you have lost a loved one in a tragic accident and want to hold the responsible party accountable, contact the Arizona motor vehicle accident attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. With years of experience handling personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, our attorneys will handle the case so you can focus on recovering. To schedule a free consultation and to talk to one of our attorneys, call us today at 855-749-5299.