What is a wrongful death claim?
A wrongful death claim is an action brought by the relatives or estate of a person who has been killed by the negligence or wrongful act of another person, business or public entity. The purpose of a wrongful death case is to provide compensation to the survivors of the person who has been killed. This compensation is not only for the economic losses and out-of-pocket expenses associated with the death, but also for the emotional distress, personal suffering and grief of the survivors.
In Arizona, there are statutes which govern claims for wrongful death. (Arizona Revised Statutes, §§ 12-611 to 12-613.) These statutes govern who can make a claim, when a claim must be made and what damages may be recovered in a wrongful death action.
There are numerous types of accidents or circumstances that may give rise to a wrongful death case. Common examples would include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Boating or aircraft accidents
- Construction site accidents
- Drowning accidents
- Accidents caused by defective vehicles, machinery or products
- Accidents caused by dangerous premises
- Death caused by medical negligence
- Accidents caused by government employees or public entities.