In 2020 What Does a Wrongful Death Lawsuits Include In Arizona?

Losing a loved one is a trying and difficult reality that many of us will face as sometime in our lifetime. Not only is it an emotional burden but deaths, especially unexpected ones, can be financially cumbersome. If you believe that someone else is at fault for the death of family member then you may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Wrongful Death Definition

Wrongful death claims are made when a defendant has allegedly caused someone’s death either negligently or through intentional harm. Wrongful death is a civil action that allows the estate of the deceased person to file a lawsuit against the party that is liable for the death. The suit is typically filed by an attorney on behalf of the surviving family members and other affected parties.

What Kind of Deaths Do Wrongful Death Lawsuits Include?

A good way to think of when a wrongful death claim is applicable is to ask, “Would the victim have filed a personal injury claim had they survived the offending incident?” This can come in a wide variety of forms including when, The victim was intentionally killed, murder is a criminal trial, but you can still seek financial compensation for the death of a loved one despite the outcome of a criminal trial. For example, OJ Simpson was acquitted in a criminal child for the murders of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman, however he was still found liable in a civil wrongful death case. The case was based on an intentional act. These specific civil lawsuits were brought by the victims’ families and separate from the state’s criminal case.

Medical Malpractice

If a doctor fails to diagnose a condition or if a doctor is careless to the level of incompetence then they may be open to a wrongful death lawsuit. Common examples include doctors being under the influence of drugs/alcohol, and doctors dismissing patients without giving a thorough examination.

Car Accidents involving Negligence

If a victim dies as a result of a car accident injuries, a wrongful death claim may be brought to the courts. The driver might be deemed negligent if they were intoxicated, texting or simply not paying attention while behind the wheel of the car.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death claim is usually filed by a representative of the estate of the deceased victim. This is done on behalf of those who had a relationship with the victim, and it can vary depending on the state. In all states, a spouse may bring a wrongful death action on behalf of his or her deceased spouse. Also, parents of minors can also bring a action forward if one of their children is killed. Similarly, minors can collect if their parents were killed. As the extended family reaches further and further, the states begin to differ as to whether those members have the right to file these suits (think distance cousins, aunts, etc…).

In some states, marriage is not a requirement to file a wrongful death claim, as long as you can show financial dependence on the deceased. If you think you are dealing with a wrongful death claim, give our office a call. We would be happy to help you file if necessary.


Contact Your Mesa Injury Law Firm Today

4140 E. Baseline Road Suite 101
Mesa, Arizona 85206-4677

We are conveniently located off the U.S. 60 on Baseline Road between Val Vista and Greenfield in The Gateway Executive Suites.

Email Us: [email protected]

Phone: (480) 757-5000

Fax: (480) 471-5181

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car accident civil criminalHow Much Do Arizona Car Accident Lawyers Charge (Updated For 2020)

If you’ve recently been involved in a car accident whether in Phoenix or Mesa, you know how scary it can be. The noise, that feeling of being out of control, the confusion–all of these things stay with you for days and weeks after the collision. You may also have been hurt in the accident and have to deal with pain and doctors and tests. You may think that hiring a lawyer is one expense and hassle you can do without. Nothing could be further from the truth.

There are a variety of factors that come into play when figuring out how much your personal injury attorney may charge for your case. If you have other questions, feel free to contact our office and our team will help set up a meeting to go over your case in more detail.

Why a car accident lawyer is important

A good lawyer knows who to talk to and how to make things happen in the local courthouse and can often get you a settlement without your having to face a jury. He or she can also negotiate for a settlement that will be adequate to cover all of the past, current and future expenses relating to the accident. For example, it’s not fair for the person who caused the accident to simply pay for your medical bills if the accident caused you to be off work and suffer lost wages, you also deserve money to help you pay your mortgage, put food on the table for your family and make your car payment. No one wants to profit from being in a car accident, but neither should you have to face a financial hardship for something that wasn’t your fault. What you can expect to pay for a good car accident attorney it’s difficult to generalize about lawyers’ fees and charges. After all, every situation and every accident is different.

However, there are a few things you should consider when deciding whether to work with a car accident law firm.

1. Many lawyers work on a contingency basis. If you have been injured in a car accident, many lawyers will help you get the money you deserve for medical payments and emotional trauma without charging an upfront fee. You pay the lawyer’s fee out of the money you receive from your court settlement. When working on a basis, payment for the lawyer occurs when the client receives a settlement from the accident (for instance, from the at-fault driver’s insurance company) or a court judgment in his or her favor. So, the attorney’s fee is “contingent” upon a successful outcome to the case.

2. Court costs and expenses are usually additional. A typical contingency fee is around 33% of the case in most personal liability cases. Court costs, which are accessed at the conclusion of a case and expenses, which may be necessary to pursue your case, are generally charged in additional to the set percentage. These are generally billed as they happen.

3. Most car accident lawyers will evaluate your case during a free 15-30 minutes session where they will hear the details of the accident and decide if they want to handle the case.

4. Unlike most criminal cases, no retainer is required in most car accident cases. The fees are then put into place based on if a lawsuit needs to be filed, if the case settles before the trial, or if the case does end up needing to go to trial. If you have been in a serious car accident, the potential consequences of the accident are too great for you and your family to leave to the mercy of the court. Visit or call us at (480) 757-5000 today to schedule a free case evaluation.

Relevant Evidence for Different Types of Personal Injury Cases

When it comes to various types of cases, there will almost always be the evidence needed to prove the information being offered. If a person has all they need, they should be able to present a pretty clear and seamless case. However, it’s important to know the evidence needed for each type of case to be prepared, and that’s where many people falter. Personal injury cases are quite popular and have an entire list of evidence that will be relevant across most of these types of cases.

Police Reports

If at all possible, always involve the police, so there’s an official report corroborating your story. You’ll want to have an official copy of the police report since this is a strong piece of evidence giving details on the incident, who was involved, times, and other minor details.

Physical Evidence

Physical evidence will play a heavy role in personal injury cases. For example, say a business had a hole in their floor with no warning sign. Someone didn’t see the hole in time and tripped, hurting themselves. Getting the police involved to preserve the physical evidence is an option or a photo following the incident within a couple of days, at most is also a great example of physical evidence. Anything involved in the accident that could be used as physical evidence should be preserved. In other words, if you have clothes that serve as evidence, don’t wash and fold them, preserve them, and so on with any other physical evidence.


Get all the photos and videos that you can. Many times, these can be compared to security cameras or other photos taken around or at the time of the incident. Word alone doesn’t hold much weight in a personal injury case; however, photographs and physical evidence do. Prints of photos are best. Not photos you can show someone on your phone. Taking the photos with your phone is perfectly fine; however, you’ll want to have tangible copies of those photos and a hard copy stored somewhere just in case.

Record of Injury

Whether it’s hospital bills, doctor notes, photographs of the injury, etc. all of these are pertinent to a personal injury case and lend proof to the injury caused. Since the injury itself is a large part of the case, being able to see the injury or have a document from a medical professional will only solidify the case further.

Returning to the Scene

If need be, return to the scene of an incident as soon as possible and gather any evidence needed. This could be items left behind, photos of the damage caused, photos of the problem that caused the incident, etc. If this is a severe case, you’ll want to check with local law enforcement to ensure there’s no issue with you visiting the scene.

If you ever have any questions about what evidence you’ll need to gather for your personal injury case, it’s best to talk to an attorney. They’ll be able to help you with your specific circumstances.

Pedestrian Accidents

Across the United States, pedestrian accidents are becoming more commonplace. With roads constantly buzzing with distracted drivers, there’s plenty of room for incidents involving those on foot. Over 500,000 pedestrians die every year from incidents involving motor vehicles. Another 76,000 suffer injuries from the same types of accidents. Arizona’s 7th congressional district was just named the most dangerous area to walk. This covers most of Phoenix and parts of Glendale. Around five citizens per 100,000 in this district, died due to pedestrian accidents. With numbers so high, it’s important to know your rights as a pedestrian as well as a driver involved in a pedestrian accident.

Is the Driver Always at Fault?

Many people believe that because there was a vehicle involved, the fault lies with the driver. However, this isn’t always the case. Both the driver and the pedestrian have to be within the law when incidents occur. Of course, it’s always wise for those driving vehicles to be aware of those around them. However, with busy streets such as the ones you’ll find in Phoenix, it’s not always so cut and dry when avoiding pedestrians. Many times, once a pedestrian is seen, especially in an area they’re not expected to be, there’s not enough time to slow down or react to avoid an accident. Both sides will be taken into account when a pedestrian accident occurs. However, there are other factors where the driver is handed more responsibility. This often lies with the age of the pedestrian in question.

What Should I Do if I’m Involved in a Pedestrian Accident?

There is a basic code of conduct that should always be followed in accidents, including a pedestrian accident.

  1. Always call the police and an ambulance if needed. This should be your first focus.
  2. Whatever you do, don’t leave the scene, even if you think everything is under control. Get released by an officer before leaving.
  3. Don’t start talking and offering stories to other drivers, pedestrians, or random people standing around. Keep your words to yourself until you can talk to an official.
  4. The only talking that should be occurring is getting the names and numbers of witnesses that may be able to affirm what occurred.

Duty of Care

There is a certain level of care that is referred to as “duty of care” for those that could be involved in a pedestrian accident. Of course, a driver’s duty of care is to pay attention, not drive while distracted, follow traffic laws/signs, and practice extra caution in work, play, school, etc. zones. A pedestrians duty of care is not to walk where the law prohibits, follow signs, not disrupting the flow of traffic, walking out in front of moving cars, etc. In other words, common sense and following basic law go a long way when it comes to pedestrian accidents.

If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident, whether you were the pedestrian or the driver, be sure to ask an attorney about your rights and how to move forward.

Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

Seeking legal assistance is one of the most important things you think of following an accident. This is because you need to understand what your rights are especially if the accident was not your fault. Although it is possible to make a claim without involving an attorney, it is not wise to do so. Below is a rundown of reasons why it is important to hire a personal injury lawyer.

1. Insurance Companies are Wily

When you are looking for compensation for an accident, insurance companies are not on your side. Their aim is not to help you, but rather to pay as little compensation as possible. Hiring a personal injury lawyer will help seal the loopholes insurance companies may exploit to deny you the compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney will also be in a position to easily identify and uncover the shenanigans associated with insurance companies to ensure that your claim is honored.

2. Minimize Stress

Once you have been involved in an accident, the most important thing for you is a conducive environment to support your healing process. It is not the best time for you to be personally involved a battle with your insurance company. By getting a personal injury lawyer, you can rest assured that you have a person to fight for you. This will reduce your stress and give you ample time to recover from your injuries.

3. Know how Much Compensation you are Entitled

The process of making an insurance claim begins with understanding how much you are entitled to get. Although tools such as personal injury calculators can help you to get a rough estimate of your claim, they might not give you an accurate figure of the value of your settlement. It is imperative to understand that getting a high compensation involves more than just running numbers in a computer program. Indeed, it calls for a proper understanding of the subtleties of your specific case. An attorney will help you analyze your injury in addition to putting figures on your pain and suffering to get an accurate figure of how much compensation you are entitled to.

4. Personal Injury Lawyers are motivated to Win

In most cases, personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means that you will only have to pay them once your insurance claim has been settled. This is particularly important because you will have a person who has experience working against insurance companies, motivated to fight for you to get the highest possible compensation. In addition, a personal injury lawyer will also be motivated to help you get your settlement quickly because you will only pay him/her once your claim has been settled.

5. An Attorney Can Take Your Case to Trial

In most cases instances, personal injury cases don’t go to trial. That does not mean that yours may not end up in court. In the unlikely event that your personal injury case ends in court, having an attorney will help you ensure that your rights are protected. Even if your court does not end up in court, having a lawyer can go a long in demonstrating to the insurance company that you are ready for such an eventuality, which will motivate it to settle your claim without a lot of opposition.

The Takeaway

Overall, it is apparent that inasmuch as it is possible to pursue a personal injury compensation claim on your own, getting the maximum compensation is not always a walk in the park. The insurance companies will not necessarily be on your side since they aim to pay as little as possible. Getting an experienced personal injury lawyer will go a long way in ensuring that you get the compensation that you deserve.

no ticket issued phoenix car accidentA common question we see here at Schenk Podolsky is, “I was in a car accident, but no ticket was issued?” Not only is this a popular question but it’s also a very common occurrence. Here’s what typically happens. The accident occurs and the officer shows up to the scene. After making sure everyone is okay and checking if there are any witnesses he begins to interview the drivers. Each driver usually has their own story, neither being the same. The officer, the drivers and the insurance companies are all going to be wondering who was at fault. Establishing fault in a car accident is the ultimate factor in deciding who’s insurance is paying for what. While at the scene of the accident, each driver has conflicting stories and there are no witnesses the police officer cannot establish fault to decide who broke what law. Therefore it’s likely to see a car accident with no ticket issued.

When an officer doesn’t witness a car accident or isn’t able to see the position of the cars immediately after the accident they will not assign fault or write anyone a ticket without an independent witness present. The police in Phoenix are very familiar with the traffic on freeways, heavy traveling times and the intersections and streets around the valley. They are a great source for us, as attorneys they can help with additional information, testimonies and police reports. Just because a ticket wasn’t issued, it doesn’t mean no one is at fault. Make sure to collect all the necessary information and take notes after an accident. When no is at fault, this is where it becomes important to contact our firm in Mesa for a free consultation to learn more about your case and what can be done to protect yourself from damages, losses or the financial compensation for injuries. Our firm, Schenk Podolsky Attorneys at Law is committed to providing comprehensive representation for accidents throughout Phoenix, The East Valley and Maricopa County.

Reasons a Ticket Could Be Issued During a Motor Vehicle Accident

As car accident lawyers in Mesa and Phoenix, we’ve seen many different cases throughout the valley where someone has been cited with a ticket. There are some pretty clear reasons for someone to receive a ticket during an accident and others at times are not as clear. Keep some of these in mind to look out for signs that traffic laws were clearly broken, causing the other person to be at fault during the accident. Not only will this protect you and help out when speaking to the officer on the scene, it could also be useful in receiving a settlement from the others insurance company. Here are a few reasons someone might receive a ticket during a car accident:

  • Drunk Driving Car or Driving Under The Influence (pay attention to the other people involved, their behavior, speech and notice if you smell any alcohol)
  • Aggressive Driving or Speeding (take note of where your car was located during the accident and it’s position after impact)
  • Illegal U-Turns (keep an eye out and take pictures of traffic signs, and street signs)
  • Ignored Traffic Signals
  • Driving Without a License
  • Driving Without Insurance

    Police Issuing or Not Issuing Tickets During a Car Accident

    Ultimately there is no requirement for the police officer to issue a citation to anyone during a car accident, unless the law is broken. If the officer didn’t see the accident and no one was in violation of the law, there are no grounds to issue a ticket. Car Accidents happen, that’s why they are called accidents. After receiving statements from witnesses and all of the parties involved, the officer will write up and submit his or her accident report. This is in its simplest form all that is required of the officer.

    Once the police report is finished and the scene has been cleared, it’s time for the parties involved in the car crash to submit their claims to insurance. At this point it’s up to the insurance companies to reach an agreement in or out of court for a proper settlement. The insurance companies are required to provide fair compensation for the damages to property and injuries as a result of the car accident. However, this is not always the case or what the opposing insurance company deems “Fair” isn’t really a substantial settlement to cover medical costs, damages and diminished value on your vehicle.

    Contact A Car Accident Law Firm

    Keep in mind, Insurance companies are always going to look out for their own best interest. We recommend you don’t settle without talking to an attorney. Like us, many law firms throughout Phoenix and the country offer free consultations, case review or second opinions.

    If you have been injured in a car accident in Phoenix, Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler or Queen Creek contact us today to set up an appointment. We look forward to helping you understand the system and the process of dealing with a car accident.

You look at the clock in your car and it reads 7:30am. It’s about that time, but you’re used to this now and that’s why you’ve decided to leave an hour before you are due to the destination. Another day in the life of Phoenix driving. On a daily basis of getting around town most cases you will need to jump onto a freeway, if not connect from freeway to freeway. This can significantly decrease your driving time, and mostly be a positive experience. However, you probably also know the struggle of getting onto the freeway at the right times. With the Phoenix-Mesa metropolitan area offering options for work, school, and housing, you might find it is not uncommon to travel a distance from one to the other.

Phoenix High Traffic Times

   Traffic times can vary depending on which direction you are heading. Safe to say that in the morning you can experience a peak in traffic from 6am-9am and later in the day from 4pm-7pm. For some this can be a time of self reflection and clear head space. You get some time to think, listen to music, or even an audio book while driving. When the time is right, driving is quite the enjoyable task. But, if you get on during traffic times it can be stressful and all too easy to caught up in frustration. A great day can suddenly turn sour when you see the ITS (Intelligent Transportation Signs) and it reads your stop, increased delay. In some cases, if you leave just 5 minutes too early or too late it can have a 20-30 minute impact. If time is not the only factor, lets add how dangerous it can be when people are in a rush, having to switch lanes, and switch on-ramps. You hear babies crying in backseats, many conversations, music, and then the squeal and crunch of a car accident. Now you’re on the I-10 nearing the tunnel, with an accident in the middle of the road, and you know you’re out of luck.

    Now it’s not just about time, and slow speed traffic, but now what occurs will dramatically effect how long you will spend in your car on the freeway. If you have been in an car accident in phoenix before you are familiar that it doesn’t always get taken care of quickly. You take pictures, trade information with the other person and carefully take your vehicles out of the way of other drivers. Getting off of the freeway as a passerby-er will even prove difficult. You can use your blinker on for some time before you can get over, merge lanes, and try re-route. Re-routing is not always an option though and so you stay on the freeway hoping that soon the flow will pick back up and you can be on your way with reasonable speeds. So instead of getting caught in the mix and wanting to pull your hair out, find professionals who are there to help aid in the experience. There are apps you can download to assist in where the traffic delays are happening, and there are websites that narrow down where accidents are, and that can be avoided. Even just sticking to the frontage roads for a few miles when passing a congestion by can be beneficial. If you are choosing between the options of the I-17 and the 51, the 51 is the better option, at pretty much any time.

If you are able to, carpooling is very effective in lessening the amount of cars on the road and has it’s own HOV lane that is under utilized during peak hours of the day. To be a little prepared you can check live traffic online at abc 15 Arizona Luckily over time, and with the fast growing population, more routes with better updated information are becoming available.

If by poor circumstances you become the reason for stopped traffic due to an accident, make sure to give us a call to walk you through the process of ensuring your protected from any damages.