Sometimes, we lose someone we love due to someone else’s carelessness or reckless behavior. Wrongful Death – 10 most common questionsIn those situations, it’s important to know a few things about filling a wrongful death lawsuit. There are a lot of questions about this and the process might not be simple. So we decided to share with you the 10 most common questions about wrongful death lawsuits to help you better understand the process.

What’s exactly a wrongful death claim?

Personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death claims are very closely related. They both allow you to seek compensations when someone is injured due to someone else’s negligence.

With a personal injury lawsuit, the law allows the injured victim to file a claim and seek compensation from the responsible party. This compensation is to cover the injured person’s losses.

But with a wrongful death claim, the injured person is not alive anymore so he/she cannot file a claim. So in this instance, another person steps into the place of the injured person and files a claim in his/her name to seek compensation.

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

This question depends on a specific state and its legal system. In general, most states allow the personal representative to file a wrongful death claim and this mostly refers to a close family member. In Arizona, wrongful death claims can be filed by:

  • The spouse of the deceased person
  • Children of the deceased person
  • Parent or legal guardian of the deceased person
  • Personal representative of the deceased person’s estate

Wrongful death claim – Do I have a case?

Determining if someone has a wrongful death case or not isn’t so easy to determine. Each case has a unique set of circumstances and facts. So in order to determine if you have a case, you will definitely need to speak to a lawyer. A personal injury or wrongful death lawyer should be able to help you.

How to file a wrongful death claim?

As before, this also depends on the state you wish to file a lawsuit. Usually, you first need to determine if you’re eligible to file such lawsuit. Then you need to work closely with your wrongful death or personal injury lawyer so you could file the claim before statute of limitation expires.

How to prove wrongful death?

Each US state has its own set of laws when proving wrongful death, but in general, the plaintiff must prove:

  • The defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased
  • The defendant breached said duty
  • Breaching duty of care resulted the death of the deceased and
  • Damages that resulted

How long do you have to file the claim?

The time you have to file a wrongful death claim (or any type of claim basically) is called the statute of limitations. This is not the same for all states, so you should definitely check with your personal injury lawyer. For example, in Arizona, the statute of limitation for a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of death. Same applies for New York, California, Florida, New Jersey and many other states.

How much can you sue for in a wrongful death claim?

Usually, wrongful death claims allow you to seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. These compensatory damages should compensate the party for loses and the usually include

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages for the time the deceased was in the hospital
  • Future wages
  • Pain and suffering of the deceased before death
  • Burial and funeral expenses and
  • Loss of companionship

Average settlement for wrongful death

Since every wrongful death case is unique, with its own unique facts, it’s really difficult to determine what’s the average settlement. But when you consult your personal injury lawyer or wrongful death lawyer, he will be able to give you a rough estimate of the settlement.

Attorney fees

When hiring a personal injury or wrongful death attorney, you can discuss that he takes your case on a contingency fee basis. This means that he/she will only be paid if you will the lawsuit and you get compensated.

Is a lawyer really necessary?

Since wrongful death cases can be pretty complicated, we highly recommend that you hire a wrongful death lawyer. He/she will advocate for your best interest and if you have additional questions you can always ask him/her.

It’s important to know more about filing a wrongful death lawsuit after someone you love dies because of another’s careless or reckless behavior. These are the 10 most common questions and answers from those who lost someone and are considering filing and wrongful death lawsuit.

  1. What is a wrongful death claim?

Personal injury and wrongful death are very closely related. They both allow someone to demand compensation when someone else is negligent or omit results in another person’s injury.

When it comes to personal injury law, the law allows the injured victim to ask for compensation for his or her losses. The compensation is demanded by the responsible party.  However, with wrongful death lawsuits, the victim who would normally file a personal injury claim is no longer alive. So accordingly, the wrongful death law, allows someone else to step into the deceased victim’s place, in order to seek compensation.

  1. Am I eligible to file a wrongful death claim?

The answer to these questions depends on the specific law of the state. In most cases, in order to file a claim, you must be a personal representative to the deceased. This is usually the spouse, children or parent.

  1. Do I have a wrongful death claim?

This all depends. Since the facts for each case are not identical, it’s hard to draw a line of what case is a wrongful death claim and what isn’t. That’s why it’s important to speak to a lawyer because he/she can evaluate your case and tell you whether you have a wrongful death claim or not.

  1. How can I file a wrongful death lawsuit?

Filing a wrongful death claim usually begins by determining if you’re eligible for a claim. In the event that you are eligible, you should start working with a wrongful death lawyer. There’s only a limited time in which you can file a wrongful death lawsuit set by the state’s statute of limitations. And because a skilled wrongful death lawyer should know the process inside and out, he will help you finalize and submit the claim within a given time frame.

  1. How can I prove wrongful death?

  • The plaintiff generally has to prove the following:
  • That the defendant wed a duty of care to the deceased
  • That the defendant breached the same duty of care
  • That the death occurred as a result of breaching the duty of care
  • Resulted damages.
  1. What’s the time frame on filing a wrongful death claim?

As mentioned before, every state has its own definition of wrongful death law, and by such, every state determines the time frame within which you have to file a wrongful death claim. Like in many other states, Arizona Wrongful Death law has a statute of limitations of two years. This means that you have two years (from the moment the deceased has died) to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

  1. For how much can I sue for in a wrongful death suit?

As a plaintiff, you can seek compensatory damages. These can include non-economic and economic damages. These damages have the goal to compensate the party for losses and are usually comprised of:

  • Medical bills prior to the death of the deceased
  • Lost wages during hospitalization
  • Potential future wages
  • Compensation for the deceased pain and suffering before death occurred
  • Expenses that covered the funeral and burial
  • Loss of companionship for the loved ones.

Seeking punitive images is not an uncommon practice. The aim of all these compensations is to compensate the party for all possible losses.

  1. Is there an average in wrongful death settlements?

There are not two identical wrongful death lawsuits. And since every case has a unique set of factors and parameters, calculating the average amount of a wrongful death claim is impossible. But if you hire a skilled and experienced wrongful death lawyer, upon looking at the file and all the facts, he/she should be able to give you a rough estimate on how of the damages are you eligible for.

  1. How high are the wrongful death attorney’s fees?

Every lawyer has his/her own set of rules and fees. However, with a wrongful death attorney, you can discuss to have your case on a contingency basis. This way, the lawyer only gets paid if they recover money for your lawsuit, either through a settlement or via jury verdict.

  1. Do I need a wrongful death attorney?

Wrongful death lawsuits can be very complicated. At Schenk Podolsky recommend that you hire a skilled lawyer, who already did a number of wrongful death lawsuits and knows the system and the process inside and out.

For additional questions about wrongful death lawsuits or personal injury claims, make sure to contact us.

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.

The problem with filing any legal action, especially wrongful death, will be to determine who is primarily at fault. The wildfires have been blamed on everything from climate change to bad forest management, which allowed flammable dead trees and wood debris to remain scattered about, tinder waiting for ignition. Even the practice of building homes too close to forested areas are cited as a cause. Wrongful death actions by bereaved relatives will be of particular interest.

When lives are disastrously changed because of a death caused by the negligence of another party, regaining of damages can’t sufficiently reimburse the loved ones left behind. If you are searching for the very best attorneys, you have found the right law firm. We have the compassion and forceful advocacy to win, which are the foundations of our representation.

Wrongful death cases allow victims to seek compensation from the neglectful party. Family members who are entitled to a wrongful death lawsuit include a spouse and surviving children.

Who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit under Arizona law?

Wrongful death actions are brought by a family member such as the deceased’s spouse or the deceased’s children. If there is neither a surviving spouse nor any surviving children, other next of kin that is entitled to bring a wrongful death suit include parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews. If the deceased was a child, parents and siblings are entitled to bring a wrongful death suit. If there is neither a surviving spouse nor any next of kin, the deceased’s estate itself can bring a wrongful death action.

What types of compensation are available?

Wrongful death damages include:

  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of services
  • Loss of future income
  • Loss of consortium

Damages include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Past lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Physical disability
  • Property damage

How are damages awarded if there is more than one person entitled to recover?

After damages are awarded by either a jury or judge, the judge will determine what amount will be received by each entitled family member. This determination is based primarily on the closeness and quality of the relationship with the deceased family member.

Although no money in the world can bring back your loved one killed in a wildfire, you’re entitled to financial compensation for your emotional trauma, grief, funeral expenses and other losses and damages associated with the death. Wildfire claims involve complex litigation, and a wrongful death lawsuit is the last thing any company would want, which is why negligent parties and their insurance companies may attempt to meddle with the investigation to avail themselves of the liability and/or minimize the compensation. With the help of an experienced wrongful death attorney, you can ensure that your case is being properly handled to get you significant compensation for your losses and damages.

If you lose someone, your life is on hold, and unexpectedly it is devastating, and any process that involves attorney is probably the last thing on your mind. However, if the death of your loved one was the result of another’s negligence, you deserve to be compensated. Hiring a wrongful death lawyer is necessary.

You need to realize that any law firm is going to tell you that hiring an attorney is in your best interest. Try to take a moment and consider the following tips shortly. If you’re asking yourself, when is the right time for Wrongful Death Attorney, some situations outlined below will help you find experienced Personal Injury Lawyer:

Motor Vehicle Accidents

If you lose someone you love due to a motor vehicle collision; whether it is a truck, motorcycle or a car, you will need the help of a wrongful death attorney when filing a lawsuit. A vehicle accident caused by drunk, reckless, or negligent drivers is one of the leading causes of wrongful death across the Arizona and United States.

Medical Malpractice

Some cases point out that misdiagnosis, surgery error, failure to diagnose or treatment can occur due to medical malpractice. It is impossible to file a lawsuit against the medical professional or organization that caused wrongful death, if you don’t have the legal help and experienced attorney.

Pharmaceutical Drug Error

If a drug company fails to disclose or cover up any potentially harmful side effects that are associated with their drug a wrongful death can occur. Example- Widowed spouse of Chris Cornell is suing the doctor who prescribes him Ativan as she describes can lead to irrational thoughts. Ativan is a brand name for Lorazepam, a type of benzodiazepine which is used to cure anxiety and panic disorder symptoms.

Defective Products

A crib could have bars that are too far apart and pose a treat to an infant. Countless products are defectively designed, or even market and can lead to wrongful death.

Compensation and Damages

If the case works out in your favor, you can expect to receive some financial compensation and reimbursement for injuries that you and your loved ones have suffered.

One way to calculate the proper compensation is to determine the value of future income of the lost person, and the amount of that person’s companionship to you regarding money. Of course, no financial payment can compensate for harm or death.  But compensation and damages can make up for some financial losses and factors such as pain and suffering, and it sends a message to all that people’s lives have value and deserve protection.

Some people out there who are injured or killed through no fault of their own- each is a terrible loss. Unfortunately, wrongdoers are often not willing to admit their error. Insurance companies are in the business of making money by paying as little as they can to get away with – not by automatically paying the victim the full amount of damages owed under the law.