What is “wrongful death”?
Wrongful death is a legal term that means a person’s death was negligently caused by someone else. For medical malpractice cases, A.R.S. Section 12-561 is what permits a family to file a lawsuit. That statute says:
“Medical malpractice action” or “cause of action for medical malpractice” means an action for injury or death against a licensed health care provider based upon such provider’s alleged negligence, misconduct, errors or omissions, or breach of contract in the rendering of health care, medical services, nursing services or other health-related services or for the rendering of such health care, medical services, nursing services or other health-related services, without express or implied consent including an action based upon the alleged negligence, misconduct, errors or omissions or breach of contract in collecting, processing or distributing whole human blood, blood components, plasma, blood fractions or blood derivatives.
Who can file a wrongful death case?
Under Arizona law, to file wrongful death lawsuit, you must be the surviving husband or wife, child, parent, guardian, or personal representative of the person who passed away. The personal representative can only sue for the estate, which limits the type of damages he or she can claim.
If a loved one has died as a result of the negligence of another person or a company in Phoenix, Arizona law permits you to file a wrongful death lawsuit to recover money damages against them within two years of their death. However, it is important to note that if the death was caused by any governmental entity or employee, you must file a notice of claim within 180 days of their death to preserve your claim.
What type of damages can I claim in a wrongful death case?
Arizona law is what determines what a person can claim in a wrongful death case. Some of these elements may not apply to every specific case. According to the Revised Arizona Jury Instructions, a plaintiff in a wrongful death case can claim:
- The loss of love, affection, companionship, care, protection, and guidance since the death of your loved one now and in the future.
- The pain, grief, sorrow, anguish, stress, shock, and mental suffering you have already experienced, and will experience in the future.
- The loss of income and services you have lost since the wrongful death and that are reasonably probable to be lost in the future.
- The reasonable expenses of funeral and burial.
- The reasonable expenses of necessary medical care and services for the injury that resulted in the death.
What type of cases can be considered wrongful death?
Any negligent act that causes death fits into a wrongful death case. That said, the most common types of cases we handle are:
Phoenix wrongful death cases Snyder & Wenner handles include:
- Medical malpractice
- Birth Injuries Causing Death
- Car Crashes
- Motorcycle Crashes
- Truck Crashes
- Commercial Vehicle Crashes
- Nursing Home Injuries Causing Death
- Product Malfunction or Product Liability
What should I do if I have a case?
If you have a case due to the loss of a family member, you should contact an attorney right away. Since no two cases are alike, you need to be sure you find a firm with the experience and skills necessary to take your case through trial. Snyder & Wenner has been handling wrongful death cases in Phoenix, Arizona for over 35 years. We have extensive trial experience. Contact us today for a free case consultation.