Wrongful Dealth

When a person dies or is killed due to the negligence or misconduct of another, including murder, the surviving members of the victim's family may sue for wrongful death.  

In Arizona, an action for wrongful death can only be brought by specific survivors, such as a spouse, child, parent or guardian or a legal representative of the above.  If none of the above apply, the estate of the deceased could bring a wrongful death claim. 

There is only one named plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit.  This is true even if multiple survivors are able to file the action. A singular plaintiff represents the collective group of eligible survivors and compensation, if any, is allocated according to the survivors in proportion to their individual personal damages.  If the estate of the deceased receives the compensation, it will be considered an asset of the estate.

The jury must award damages that are fair and just.  A jury may award an amount to compensate a plaintiff and the decedent's beneficiaries for the following:

  1. The loss of love, affection, companionship, care, protection, and guidance since the death [of the decedent] and in the future.

  2. The pain, grief, sorrow, anguish, stress, shock, and mental suffering already experienced, and reasonably probable to be experienced in the future.

  3. The income and services that have already been lost as a result of the death, and that are reasonably probable to be lost in the future.

  4. The reasonable expenses of funeral and burial.

  5. The reasonable expenses of necessary medical care and services for the injuries that resulted in the death.

Wrongful death cases arise when someone dies due to the misconduct of another.  Typical wrongful death cases involve auto, motorcycle and semi-truck collisions, pedestrian and bicycle accidents, medical malpractice, defective products and workplace injury.