Mingus Mountain Law Group Represents Victims of Wrongful Death
Here at Mingus Mountain Law Group, we understand that no amount of money can ever compensate you for the premature death of a family member. However, when a family member needlessly dies because of the recklessness or negligence of another, the family may have questions. We are here to answer all of them.
We understand the complexities a wrongful death may create, and educate our clients on how to move forward, legally. We will examine all the evidence necessary to determine what caused the death of your family member.
What is a Wrongful Death?
A wrongful death occurs when a person is killed as a result of the negligence or misconduct of another individual, company or entity. Every state has a statute defining wrongful death. In Arizona, we have the following statute. Specifically, A.R.S. § 12-611 states:
When death of a person is caused by wrongful act, neglect or default, and the act, neglect or default is such as would, if death had not ensued, have entitled the party injured to maintain an action to recover damages in respect thereof, then, and in every such case, the person who or the corporation which would have been liable if death had not ensued shall be liable to an action for damages, notwithstanding the death of the person injured, and although the death was caused under such circumstances as amount in law to murder in the first or second degree or manslaughter.
The following are just some ways a wrongful death may occur:
Car and truck accidents caused by reckless drivers, defective automobiles, improperly maintained tractor-trailers, and negligent trucking companies;
Dangerous products that were defectively designed or manufactured and still sold to consumers;
Medical malpractice caused by careless and incompetent doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other healthcare providers;
Industrial equipment that causes burns, electrocutions, or other serious injuries;
Accidents on property that has been negligently maintained; and
Intentional acts by a criminal.
Who May Bring a Wrongful Death Claim?
A.R.S. § 12-612 defines who may bring forward a wrongful death cause of action:
An action for wrongful death shall be brought by and in the name of the surviving husband or wife, child, parent or guardian, or personal representative of the deceased person for and on behalf of the surviving husband or wife, children or parents, or if none of these survive, on behalf of the decedent’s estate.
Either parent may maintain the action for the death of a child, and the guardian may maintain the action for the death of the guardian’s ward.
The amount recovered in an action for wrongful death shall be distributed to the parties provided for in subsection A in proportion to their damages, and if recovery is on behalf of the decedent’s estate the amount shall be an asset of the estate.
For the purposes of subsection A, “personal representative” includes any person to whom letters testamentary or of administration are granted by competent authority under the laws of this or any other state. The personal representative may maintain the action for wrongful death without the issuance of further letters or any other requirement or authorization of law.
Wrongful Death Damages
Monetary damages attempt to provide some level of justice in a wrongful death claim. Damages may include any earnings you depended on from the deceased, as well as loss of love, affection, comfort, guidance, and companionship. Also, punitive damages are available in Arizona and are enforced to punish the defendant for his gross or malicious conduct and to deter the defendant from engaging in the conduct again.
Wrongful death lawsuits are not always necessary. In fact, some claims settle before a lawsuit is necessary. We understand your family has probably already suffered enough, and a trial would not be desirable as your family simply wants to move on. Therefore, we work hard to illustrate to the defendant the negligent conduct by the defendant, that the negligent conduct caused the death, and that we will prevail at trial. This strategy promotes early settlement, thereby allowing the hurting family to move forward with their lives.
Contact Mingus Mountain Law Group Today to Learn Your Wrongful Death Rights
You have two years from the date of the death to bring a lawsuit. Everyday that goes by results in the evidence getting older. You are only a phone call away from learning your rights and options available in a potential wrongful death claim. Call us today for a better tomorrow.