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Tempe Wrongful Death Lawyer

Tempe Wrongful Death Lawyer

Losing someone because of another person’s negligent or reckless behavior can be overwhelming. No amount of money will make up for the loss. It may be difficult to consider pursuing a lawsuit in the aftermath of a fatal accident. It could be up to you or another family member, however, to contact a lawyer and initiate the claims process before Arizona’s filing deadline.

At David Shapiro Law, PLLC, we are here to help families and individuals through the wrongful death claims process in Tempe, Arizona, and the surrounding areas. We have extensive experience with these types of cases. Our lead lawyer, David Shapiro, offers personal attention to each client, starting with free initial consultations. Speak to a wrongful death lawyer about your case over the phone or in-person today. Call (480) 300-5405 to arrange a case review.

Why Hire Us?

  • We have been practicing wrongful death law in Arizona for long enough to fully comprehend the laws and statutes related to these cases.
  • We will do more than just fight for a client’s financial recovery. We will also seek ways to address each client’s emotional needs.
  • We represent wrongful death claimants in Tempe on a contingency fee basis, with $0 in legal fees charged unless we secure the client’s financial compensation.

What Will a Wrongful Death Attorney Do?

The role of a wrongful death attorney in Tempe will be multifaceted. First, the job of an attorney is to ensure that the family is properly cared for during this entire process. An attorney will be available to answer any questions and discuss any concerns that a family may have about their particular case.

Once a wrongful death lawyer gets involved, they will immediately begin to gather all the evidence needed to prove liability. As we will discuss further down the page, there are four elements of negligence it must be proven in order for a wrongful death claim to be successful. Some of the evidence needed in these cases include the following (the evidence needed will vary depending on the specific type of case):

  • Video surveillance of the incident
  • Photographs taken at the scene of the incident
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Vehicle “black box” data
  • Mobile device data
  • Company safety records
  • Property inspection and maintenance records

Additionally, an attorney will work with trusted economic and financial experts to adequately calculate the family’s total expected losses. After gathering all of the information necessary to prove liability and show the family’s damages, an attorney will negotiate with every party involved in an attempt to reach a fair out-of-court settlement. However, if the insurance carriers or at-fault party refuse to offer a fair settlement, an attorney will fully prepare to take the case to trial.

Wrongful Death Laws in Arizona

Each state has unique wrongful death civil laws. Arizona’s official definition of the civil tort of wrongful death is to kill another person through an act of neglect, default, or wrongdoing. You will be able to file a wrongful death claim in Arizona if your loved one could have filed a personal injury claim for the same accident.

If you think your relative’s passing meets the definition of wrongful death in Arizona, the next law to know is the statute of limitations. In Arizona, you have a maximum of two years from the date of your loved one’s death to bring a claim. If you miss the state’s statute of limitations by not filing promptly, the courts may bar you from seeking financial compensation. Strict liability, product liability, dog bite laws, premises liability, and comparative negligence are other laws that could also apply to your wrongful death case. The lawyers at David Shapiro Law, PLLC can walk you through the specific statutes relevant to your claim.

What Are the Leading Causes of Wrongful Death?

At David Shapiro Law, PLLC, we understand that wrongful death claims arise in various ways in Tempe and throughout Arizona. Anytime the careless, negligent, or intentional actions of another individual or entity cause the death of somebody else, the at-fault party must be held accountable for their actions.

Our Tempe wrongful death lawyers regularly help family members who have lost a loved one due to the following:

  • Birth injuries
  • Brain injuries
  • Burn injuries
  • Car accidents
  • Catastrophic injuries
  • Construction accidents
  • Defective tire accidents
  • Dog bite injuries
  • Medical malpractice
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Premises liability
  • Product liability
  • Rideshare accidents
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Surgical errors
  • Truck accidents

This is certainly not an all-inclusive list of the ways that wrongful death claims arise in and around Tempe. If you have any questions about your particular case, please reach out to one of our wrongful death lawyers for a free consultation as soon as possible. We will help guide you towards the best path forward for your particular claim.

Elements of Negligence for a Wrongful Death Claim

In order for a wrongful death claim to be successful in Arizona, there are various elements that need to be present. In particular, a skilled Arizona wrongful death attorney will be looking to prove the following:

  • Duty. In general, it needs to be shown that there was a duty of care established between the deceased and the alleged negligent party in the case. The duty of care for a wrongful death claim will look different depending on the type of relationship between the parties involved. For example, doctors owe a certain type of duty of care to their patients after a doctor-patient relationship has been established. However, the duty of care will look different for a person who gets behind the wheel of a vehicle. In these situations, any driver owes a duty of care to others around them to operate safely. Establishing a duty of care will be the role of an attorney, and this will be done by conducting a thorough investigation into the incident.
  • Breach of duty. After a duty of care has been established. It needs to be shown that the alleged negligent party breached their duty to the deceased. In general, this will include showing that the alleged negligent party acted (or failed to act) in a way that led to the deceased person sustaining an injury that ultimately caused the death. For a motor vehicle accident, this will include showing that the negligent driver failed to follow the rules of the roadway. For medical malpractice cases, this will mean showing that the negligent medical provider failed to uphold an adequate standard of medical care.
  • Causation. If it can be shown that the negligent party breached the duty of care that they owed the deceased, then it needs to be shown that the breach of duty directly caused the injuries that led to the death.
  • Damages. Finally, it needs to be established that the actions of the defendant lead to quantifiable damages. As we will discuss more in-depth below, these damages can include hospitalization, funeral and burial costs, loss of future income, pain and suffering losses, and more.

Who’s Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

There are various parties who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in the state of Arizona. The law in this state says that wrongful death claims can be filed in civil court if the deceased person could have filed a personal injury lawsuit on their own behalf for the conduct that caused their death. In other words, state law sees wrongful death claims as personal injury cases that are taken up by the deceased’s family members on their behalf.

Arizona law says that all of the following people are allowed to file wrongful death lawsuits in state court:

  • The surviving spouse of the deceased
  • Any surviving children of the deceased
  • A surviving parent or guardian of the deceased
  • The personal representative of the deceased’s estate (sometimes called the executor) on behalf of the surviving spouse, children, or parents

If the deceased person is a child, then that child’s parent or legal guardian will be allowed to file a wrongful death claim on their behalf.

Frequently Asked Questions

One of our main goals when we take on a wrongful death client, is to ease his or her concerns by answering questions openly and honestly. We know this is a difficult and confusing time for your family. Our lawyers are here to listen to your story, calm your fears, and provide tailored legal advice about what to expect. Ask any questions you have during a free consultation in Tempe. In the meantime, use a few frequently asked questions for general information.

  • What are the most common causes of wrongful death? Car and truck accidents, falls, medical malpractice, defective products and drugs, work accidents, and dangerous premises often cause fatal injuries in Arizona.
  • Who can file a wrongful death claim? The law in Arizona restricts this right to the deceased person’s surviving spouse, child, parent, guardian, or personal representative. The filing party can seek damages on behalf of all surviving family members, to be divided according to the family’s wishes.
  • How much is the average case worth? No accurate average case value exists for Arizona wrongful death claims. Settlements and verdicts are highly variable. The value of your claim will depend on factors such as your loved one’s age and income, the circumstances of the fatal accident, and the actions of the defendant.
  • When do you need to hire an attorney? Most wrongful death cases benefit from legal representation. A lawyer in Tempe can help you file your claim, prove the defendant’s fault using evidence, and fight for fair results.
  • How much does a lawyer cost? At David Shapiro Law, PLLC, you do not need to pay your lawyer out of pocket, win or lose. We charge nothing for unsuccessful cases and use a percentage-fee approach on cases we win. We will take a percentage of the settlement or judgment won as our attorney’s fees.

You are not alone in the search for justice and financial relief after the unexpected passing of a loved one. At David Shapiro Law, PLLC, we can guide you through every step of the legal process. From providing detailed legal advice to taking the time to update you on the status of your claim, we will go above and beyond to make you feel taken care of.

What Damages Are Available?

If your wrongful death attorney can prove your loved one’s death was preventable, an insurance company may offer a settlement that adequately makes up for your financial burdens. If not, your lawyer can pursue a jury verdict during a wrongful death trial in Maricopa County. A successful lawsuit for the death of your loved one could end in payment for both economic and noneconomic losses.

  • Your loved one’s final medical bills.
  • Reasonable funeral and burial expenses.
  • Lost wages, earnings, benefits, and inheritance.
  • The costs of damaged property repair or replacement.
  • Loss of household services.
  • Loss of consortium, company, love, and parental guidance.
  • The deceased person’s pain and suffering leading up to death.
  • Your mental anguish due to the unexpected loss.

Wrongful death is the most serious outcome of someone else’s negligence. It is a tragedy your family should not accept without a fight. Bringing a civil claim against one or multiple defendants for causing your loved one’s death could shed light on negligent, careless, or criminal practices by a member of your community. It could give your deceased loved one a voice in the civil justice system. Finally, it could provide financial stability for you and your family during a tough time.

What Is the Time Limitation for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Tempe?

It is crucial for family members in these cases to be aware that they have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit. The wrongful death statute of limitations in Arizona is two years from the date an injury occurs. If family members or the personal representative of the deceased’s state fail to file a lawsuit within this two-year time frame, they will likely lose the ability to recover any compensation for their losses.

There are some exceptions to this statute of limitations. For example, if the wrongful death involves a medical malpractice case where a doctor moves out of state, the timeline may be expanded. Additionally, if a family member or personal representative of the deceased’s estate was not aware of the incident until well after the death, there may also be an exception to the time frame.

Even though two years may seem like a long time, we need to stress how important it is not to wait long at all before speaking to an attorney about these cases. The truth is that two years is not much time when it comes to filing a wrongful death lawsuit. An attorney needs to get involved as soon as possible so they can begin gathering evidence and working with any insurance carriers that may be involved in the case. Insurance carriers and at-fault parties have a way of stalling for as long as possible in an effort to get past the statute of limitations so they do not have to pay out any money at all. Any delay in filing these cases could result in the family members accidentally letting the timeline slip past.

Affording a Tempe Wrongful Death Attorney

Many family members worry about how they will afford an attorney in the aftermath of a wrongful death occurring in Arizona. At David Shapiro Law, PLLC, we take these cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that family members will not have to pay any upfront or out-of-pocket costs related to their case. Families will only have to pay legal fees after our team successfully secures the compensation they are entitled to. We believe that this contingency fee arrangement allows families to hold negligent parties accountable for the loss of their loved one.

Contact a Wrongful Death Lawyer in Tempe, Arizona Today

Start your wrongful death claim in Tempe, Arizona today by requesting a free consultation at David Shapiro Law, PLLC. We are highly experienced and compassionate wrongful death lawyers. Call (480) 300-5405 24/7 for a free meeting with one of our attorneys.

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