Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in Arizona?

Arizona law provides for the possibility for certain individuals to pursue an action to recover the damages that they have suffered because of the wrongful act or neglect that caused a person to lose his or her life. If the decedent would not have died without the defendant’s act, certain individuals have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim. So, who can sue for wrongful death in Arizona?

Statutory Survivors

Arizona law specifies the individuals who can pursue an action for wrongful death. These survivors include:

  • The decedent’s spouse
  • The decedent’s child
  • The decedent’s parent or guardian

The legal representative of any of the individuals listed above can also pursue a claim for wrongful death. If none of these individuals pursue a claim, the decedent’s estate can bring a wrongful death claim. When the estate brings the claim, the decedent’s personal representative is the named plaintiff.  Sadly, neither siblings nor non-married partners can bring a wrongful death claim.

Wrongful Death Damages

The jury considers a number of factors when determining the amount of damages to award in a wrongful death claim, such as:

  • The level of financial dependency of the survivors on the decedent
  • The earning history of the decedent and the projected earnings
  • The cost of medical expenses
  • The cost of funeral and burial expenses
  • The emotional cost to the survivors

It is important to note that if the estate is the party bringing the wrongful death claim, the award is considered an asset of the estate. As a result, creditors may have a right to recover from the estate for debts of the estate.  Debts of the decedent typically do not apply to wrongful death damage awards brought be individuals.

Contact an Arizona Wrongful Death Lawyer

It is important to have compassionate legal counsel if you have lost a loved one due to the negligent acts of another. The wrongful death lawyers at Udall Shumway PLC can ensure that you get the legal attention you need to seek justice for the loss of your loved one. After an initial consultation, we can explain if compensation may be available for your loss.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you or someone you know wishes to seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney regarding Sue for Wrongful Death in Arizona, or other personal injury matters, call Mesa AZ Personal Injury Attorney Clark R. Richter at 480-461-5321 or contact him at crr@udallshumway.com for a free consultation to discuss your rights and options. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.