chat text
Understanding Wrongful Death Claims in Arizona

Understanding Wrongful Death Claims in Arizona

Shapiro Law Team September 13, 2023 Personal injury,Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one is devastating. It’s even more devastating when their death was caused by someone else’s negligence. We understand the pain, the confusion, and the heartbreak. A wrongful death claim is often the only chance a surviving family member has to seek justice. By Arizona law, you have the right to hold the other party accountable.

If your loved one was killed due to a negligent or wrongful act as a result of the other party’s actions, then you need Shapiro Law Team. Contact an experienced lawyer to learn more about how you can get the compensation you deserve.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim in Arizona?

A wrongful death claim is a legal action taken by the surviving family members or beneficiaries of the victim. Since a wrongful death victim can’t seek compensation for themselves, the next of kin or beneficiary is allowed to take legal action on their behalf. This includes the victim’s kids, parents, legal guardians, or surviving partner. Wrongful death claims are not the same as criminal charges, so keep that in mind when filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Elements of an Arizona Wrongful Death Claim

To hold another individual responsible for a wrongful death claim, evidence must be provided showcasing that the other party either unintentionally or intentionally caused the death. This could be due to negligence or carelessness on the other party’s end. According to A.R.S. Sec. 12-611, if the victim could have pursued a lawsuit had they survived, the selected individuals can pursue it on their behalf.

To file a wrongful death claim and achieve compensation, you must provide the following elements:

  • The at-fault party was legally obligated to uphold a duty of care.
  • Breached said duty of care.
  • Showed negligence, directly culminating in the fatality of the victim.
  • Resulted in tangible damages as a direct consequence of their actions.

Wrongful Death Claims Arising from Vehicle Accidents

Unfortunately, car crashes are among the most common causes of wrongful deaths in the United States. Distracted, reckless, and impaired driving can cause a fatal accident, which may prompt a surviving family member or beneficiary to seek justice and compensation in the form of a wrongful death claim.

If your loved one was involved in a fatal accident, please reach out to Shapiro Law Team. Our experienced personal injury lawyers are well-versed in handling wrongful death claims with care and expertise. Wrongful death claims can be tough, which is why we highly advise you not to continue with legal proceedings on your own. Contact a lawyer from Shapiro Law Team for a free, confidential consultation.

Why Do States Impose a Cap on Wrongful Death Cases?

Many states impose a cap on wrongful death cases. States do this to reduce the number of unnecessary lawsuits, to prevent the financial burden of excessive damages, and to keep the legal system uniform. Fortunately, Arizona does not impose a cap on wrongful death cases. This means there is no limit on how much you can be awarded as a plaintiff.


What Restrictions Does Arizona Impose on Wrongful Death Cases?

Just because there’s no cap doesn’t mean Arizona doesn’t have wrongful death claim restrictions. In Arizona, restrictions refer to the type of damages one can receive. These damages include pecuniary damages such as funeral and burial costs and, in rare cases, punitive damages.

The maximum amount of compensation one can receive for punitive damages must either be three times greater than the pecuniary damages or must not exceed $2 million. For more information, contact Shapiro Law Team to speak with an experienced wrongful death attorney.

What Is the Burden of Proof in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Because a wrongful death claim is a civil case, the burden of proof will differ from that of a criminal case. Negligence is the number one factor that must be proven in a wrongful death case. To prove negligence, the following elements must be present:

  • Duty — The plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim.
  • Breach —It must be proven that the defendant breached their duty of care through negligence or wrongful actions, which resulted in the death of the victim.
  • Causation —The plaintiff must establish a connection between the wrongful death and the individual’s negligence.
  • Damages — Surviving family members or beneficiaries must prove damages as a result of the death, such as financial losses.

What Are Eligible Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Determining fair compensation following a wrongful death is a difficult process that should be handled by an experienced personal injury attorney. There are several categories of damages the surviving family member or beneficiary may be eligible to receive. These damages include pecuniary and punitive damages.

1. Pecuniary Damages (Estate & Survivor)

Losses to the estate are paid according to what’s provided in the victim’s will. Estate damages include lost wages, medical bills, funeral costs, property damage, and pain and suffering. Survivor damages also include lost wages and emotional stress.

2. Punitive Damages

Even though punitive damages are rare, they can still be awarded in certain circumstances. Punitive damages are a way of punishing the defendant and the court will decide if punitive damages are applicable. These types of damages are typically awarded in cases involving drunk drivers.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Surviving family members, also known as the next of kin, can file a wrongful death claim. Some examples of individuals allowed to file a wrongful death claim include:

  • The victim’s children
  • The victim’s surviving spouse
  • The victim’s parents or legal guardians
  • The victim’s nominated executor

Veterans’ agencies, creditors of the deceased, and public fiduciaries may also file a wrongful death claim in the state of Arizona. If you are unsure about whether you can file a wrongful death claim, please don’t hesitate to call Shapiro Law Team. Our consultations are always free and confidential.

Who May Not File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Arizona?

According to ARS § 14-3203, anyone who is not a part of the above list may not file a wrongful death lawsuit. Please contact us with any questions or concerns you have regarding eligibility to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Arizona.


Is There a Time Limit for Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Arizona?

Those eligible for a wrongful death lawsuit must file within two years from the date of their loved one’s death. If you miss this statute of limitations, your case may be dismissed. We urge you to file as soon as you can for the best chance of receiving justice and compensation.

Reach Out to Shapiro Law Team for Your Free Consultation

Life is never the same following the unexpected death of a loved one. If your family member was involved in a fatal accident, you’re entitled to seek damages. Shapiro Law Team is Arizona’s trusted personal injury law firm dedicated to helping you during life’s most devastating moments.

Whether you’re a surviving partner, child, or the parent of the deceased, we’ll support you every step of the way. Contact us to speak with a professional lawyer. Call now for your free consultation.

Free Consultation

  • All fields required *
  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.