The loss of a loved one is the most difficult experience a person goes through during their lifetime. When the loss is sudden, the experience is all the more difficult. Of course, your thoughts are where they should be – with your loved one and your family – and not on practical matters, one of which being the decision to pursue a claim of wrongful death. This is where The Law Office of Arnold N. Hirsch can provide comfort and expertise.
In Arizona, only certain individuals are entitled to recover for the loss of a loved one. Generally, when the deceased person is an adult, his or her spouse, children or parents have the right to seek a legal recovery when a loved one has died due to negligence. Any settlement funds will apportioned among the eligible family members. A spouse, any children, and parents each have the right to make a wrongful death claim. When the death of a minor is involved, the right to recover belongs to the child’s parents. In the event a person is not survived by a spouse, child or parent, then the right to pursue a wrongful death action belongs to the deceased person’s estate.
Under Arizona law, individuals have the right to recover the full value of the life of the decedent without deducting for any of the necessary or personal expenses of the decedent had he lived. The “full value” is not limited to those items having proven monetary value, such as lost earnings, but include the loss of intangible items whose value cannot be precisely quantified. In addition to making a “wrongful death” claim for the full value of an individuals’ life, the person’s estate also has the right to seek recovery for pain and suffering and, as appropriate, for economic losses such as medical and funeral expenses. Punitive damages may also be included depending on the circumstance.
Determining the appropriate value of the claims is complicated as it involves:
- The nature and extent of the injury leading to the death
- The economic losses that are recoverable
- The liability issues related to the situation
- The location of the trial
- The person’s health issues
Because insurance companies have vast experience in personal injury claims, they also seek the lowest possible settlement, making it vital for you to have expert guidance during the process.
We are sorry for the loss that you have suffered and that this situation brings you to The Law Office of Arnold N. Hirsch. Do know that we are here to help. If we can be of any assistance, please call (480) 832-3000 or click here to further discuss this issue.