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What Damages Are Available in a Wrongful Death Case?

February 21, 2021Wrongful Death

If you have lost somebody you love due to the careless, negligent, or intentional actions of another individual, then you are undoubtedly going through a very difficult period in your life. Family members and the estate of the deceased in these cases are often able to recover compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit in Arizona. Here, we want to discuss the various types of economic and non-economic compensation family members and the estate may be able to receive in these situations.

Types of Compensation Available for Arizona Wrongful Death Cases

There will be various types of compensation available if family members or the estate of the deceased are successful with their wrongful death claim. In general, the following types of damages will be available:

  • Economic damages. Economic damages in an Arizona wrongful death case will include the types of compensation that are considered calculable. This can include the following:
    • Financial support the deceased would have provided to the family over the course of their lifetime.
    • The loss of gifts or benefits that the heirs could have expected to receive from the deceased during the deceased’s lifetime.
    • The reasonable value of household services that the deceased would have provided during their lifetime.
    • Funeral and burial expenses.
  • Non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are defined as the types of compensation that revolve around more immeasurable aspects of the deceased’s life. This includes providing compensation for the loss of their:
    • Protection
    • Affection
    • Society and companionship
    • Moral support
    • Guidance and training
    • Sexual relations (for a spouse)
  • Punitive damages. Punitive damages are not awarded in every wrongful death case. These damages are limited to circumstances in which the conduct of the defendant has been deemed especially egregious. These damages are designed to punish the defendant as well as send a signal to others that the type of behavior displayed in this case is not acceptable.

Are There Caps on Wrongful Death Damages in Arizona?

Some states place limitations on the amount of compensation that families or the estate can receive in a wrongful death case. However, the Constitution of Arizona expressly prohibits limiting such damages. Therefore, family members or the estate of the deceased are able to recover any amount of compensation a wrongful death jury deems fit to award.

However, Arizona does prohibit plaintiffs from recovering punitive damages for wrongful death cases against public entities or public employees. However, this will not prevent plaintiffs from recovering other types of economic and non-economic compensation in wrongful death cases against public entities or public employees.

Who Can Recover Compensation in These Cases?

Arizona law specifically limits the parties who can file a wrongful death claim. This includes the following:

  • A surviving spouse of the deceased
  • Any surviving children of the deceased
  • A surviving parent or guardian of the deceased
  • A personal representative of the deceased’s spouse, child, parent, or guardian
  • A personal representative of the deceased’s estate

It is crucial for any person who thinks they have a wrongful death claim to work with an attorney to help them with their case. A skilled Phoenix wrongful death attorney can use their resources to fully investigate the claim, determine liability, and help obtain maximum compensation.

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