When you lose a loved one due to someone else’s negligent or careless actions, you shouldn’t have to worry about having to pay for your loved one’s medical or funeral expenses while you grieve your loss. At the same time, you should not have to try and handle a wrongful death claim on your own. Instead, you should speak with our wrongful death lawyer in Phoenix who can handle all the legal aspects of your case and recover compensation you deserve.
For more than 20 years, Gerber Injury Law has been standing beside the injured and fighting for the financial damages they deserve, and in that time we have been able to obtain over $55 million in compensation. We make sure to fully inform our clients of their rights and options before moving forward with an injury claim. We fight hard to get what they deserve and are relentless in our pursuit of fair compensation.
As a grieving loved one, you might assume insurance companies will be compassionate about your loss and willing to help you and your family pay for expenses. Sadly, this is not the case. Insurance claims adjusters are trained to save insurance companies money by limiting clients’ payouts as much as possible. The best way to ensure a fair settlement for your loved one’s passing is with assistance from an attorney. A wrongful death attorney will not let an insurance company take advantage of you. Your Phoenix personal injury lawyer will fight for maximum compensation so your family can move forward with a fair settlement – even if that means going to trial in Arizona.
Not all fatal accidents give surviving family members the right to file civil claims. To have grounds for a wrongful death claim in Arizona, someone else must have recklessly, wantonly or negligently caused your loved one’s death. You or your attorney will need to prove based on a preponderance of the evidence that someone else owed your loved one a duty to exercise reasonable care, breached this duty, caused the fatal accident, and gave the decedent and your family compensable damages. These are the four main elements of a tort claim in Arizona.
A preponderance of the evidence means enough proof to convince a judge or jury that the defendant more likely than not caused the fatal accident. Proof during a wrongful death case could exist in the form of police reports, medical records, eyewitness statements, photographic evidence, video footage, accident reconstruction and coroner reports. The easiest way to find out if your family has a wrongful death case in Arizona is by speaking with an attorney at Gerber Injury Law. If so, your lawyer can help you gather evidence to help prove the defendant’s fault.
If you do have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit in Arizona, your lawyer will start your case by determining the cause of the fatal accident. The cause of the accident can point to the defendant, or liable party. At Gerber Injury Law, we have experience handling many types of injury claims on behalf of clients throughout Arizona. Several types of accidents most commonly cause fatal injuries in Arizona.
The person or party who contributed the most significantly to your loved one’s accident could be liable for damages. Liable parties can include employers, product manufacturers, drivers, doctors, property owners, and the city or state government. The circumstances surrounding your relative’s fatal injury will point to the identity of the defendant(s). Once we determine fault, our attorneys can help you and your family file an official claim in the correct Arizona county.
Every state has different laws in terms of who has the legal right to bring a wrongful death cause of action. In general, the law reserves this right to the people who were closest to the deceased person, as well as those who were financially dependent upon him or her. In Arizona, a wrongful death claim can be brought forward by a surviving spouse, child, parent or personal representative of the estate of the deceased. Siblings and live-in girlfriends or boyfriends, no matter how close, are not able to bring a claim. A personal representative may be someone the decedent named in a will or someone the court appoints. If you are acting as the plaintiff during your loved one’s wrongful death claim, you have the right to hire an attorney to help you through the claims process.
Many wrongful death claims reach successful settlements at the insurance stage rather than having to go to trial in Arizona. An insurance settlement could save your family time, money and stress. A lawyer from Gerber Injury Law can take over communications and negotiations with an insurance company on your family’s behalf. We can help you file the initial insurance claim against the at-fault party, list the damages you are seeking and accurately evaluate their worth. Then, we can negotiate back and forth with an insurance claims adjuster for a fair and full settlement award.
Some wrongful death claims, however, have to go to trial for reasonable results. If an insurance company is refusing to offer the amount we believe your damages are worth, we can take the defendant to trial instead. A wrongful death trial involves steps such as the discovery phase, evidence gathering, the subpoenaing of witnesses, jury selection, and a hearing before a judge and jury. A case that goes to trial could take 12 months or longer to complete. The final judgment award, however, could pay your family more than the insurance company’s highest offer. Ken Gerber and his team can guide your family through the best option for your situation.
You need to keep certain matters such as the statute of limitations in mind if you choose to pursue a wrongful death claim. If your claim has not been resolved by the time the statute expires, you will be unable to collect damages.
A statute of limitations is a time limit imposed on a plaintiff’s right to file. All states have statutes of limitations on wrongful death claims. Your specific deadline will depend on the state in which you are filing, as well as the factors of your case. In Arizona, the wrongful death claim statute of limitations is two years from the date of death.
If you fail to bring a claim within two years of your loved one’s death, you may forfeit the right to seek damages from a defendant. Some exceptions may apply, however. In the event of a death due to homicide, for example, the clock may start ticking on the date of the completion of a criminal case against the defendant rather than the death of death. Speak to our attorneys as soon as possible to learn your deadline and begin the claims procedure.
You need to speak with a dedicated wrongful death attorney if you have recently lost a loved one through negligence. Our firm’s sole purpose is to hold liable parties accountable for their actions when they harm another. We provide resilient advocacy and have the track-record to back it up.
You free case evaluation is waiting—call (623) 486-8300 to speak with our Phoenix office today.