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Scottsdale Wrongful Death Lawyer

Scottsdale, AZ Wrongful Death Lawyer

Scottsdale, AZ Wrongful Death Lawyer

A Scottsdale, AZ wrongful death lawyer knows that as tragic as losing a loved one is, it can be even more devastating when their death is caused by the negligence of another party. Family members are not only left to deal with the pain of sorrow and grief, but they are also often left with great financial burdens caused by the victim’s death. Not only are there expenses incurred from the accident and death of the victim, but their family is often left with great financial strain because of the loss of the victim’s income and benefits. Fortunately, under Arizona law, survivors can file a wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible for their loved one’s death. A Scottsdale, AZ wrongful death lawyer can help.

The law says that wrongful death is one that is caused by the wrongful act, negligence, or default of another party. Any party that acted or behaved in such a way that resulted in the victim’s death, regardless of whether those actions were intentional or not, can be held liable for the victim’s death. A negligent party can be an individual, company, or organization.

Any damages that are recovered by a wrongful death lawyer in Scottsdale, Arizona on behalf of the survivors is for the exclusive benefit of those survivors. A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed in the name of the surviving husband or wife, child, parent or guardian, or personal representative of the victim for and on behalf of the surviving husband or wife, children, or parents. In Arizona, a wrongful death case must be filed within two years of the date the victim died.

Scottsdale, AZ Wrongful Death Lawyer

Steps in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A Scottsdale, AZ wrongful death lawyer understands that many people, especially those who have not interacted much with the legal system before, find wrongful death lawsuits to be confusing or complicated. This can make it more difficult for them to participate as an active member of their own legal team, especially when there is often a lot of emotional difficulties associated with the legal action.  Fortunately, even though no two lawsuits are alike, many personal injury suits follow a similar pattern.

First, there are the opening filings with the court that lay out both parties’ initial positions. Second, there is the discovery phase, in which both parties gather the information they need. Finally, if the case has not been settled beforehand, there is a trial where the lawyers make their arguments and the judge or jury decides the case.

Filing the Complaint

A wrongful death lawsuit starts when a party files it with the court. In most instances, this happens when the family of the victim, the plaintiff, files a complaint. The complaint is a legal document where the plaintiff lays out the facts of the situation and what sort of legal claim they are bringing.

Serving the Complaint

Once the complaint is filed, it must be “served” on the defendant, which means that the defendant receives a copy of the complaint and another document, the summons, telling them to appear in court. The defendant also gets to file an answer to the complaint. The answer will tell the court and the other side what facts in the complaint they are disputing, as well as any other legal defenses that they are going to raise.

Discovery

After those filings are complete, the lawsuit moves into discovery. In discovery, both sides get to seek information from the other to help build their case. This can be done in three different ways: document requests, interrogatories, and depositions. Document requests are what they sound like. Your Scottsdale wrongful death lawyer and the defendant’s lawyer ask the other side to provide them with documents relevant to the case. Interrogatories are lists of written questions prepared by one side that the other side has to answer. Depositions are the most intensive type of discovery and will likely be one of the places where the client is most involved. Depositions are interviews conducted by the lawyer, who asks questions of the other party and the other party’s witnesses.

Discovery is often a key point in the lawsuit because as more information comes to light, parties learn more about their cases and their chances of success. This can often lead the parties to reach a settlement. In fact, according to a survey by the U.S. Department of Justice, as many as 97 percent of cases settle before the trial.

The Trial

If the case does not settle, then it moves on to the trial phase. Here, the lawyers choose their jury, make their opening statements, and then begin introducing evidence. Both sides present their evidence, trying to tell the most convincing story of the case through their documents and their witnesses. Eventually, the trial ends with each lawyer making a closing argument that sums up their case, and the jury deliberates until a verdict is reached.

Scottsdale Wrongful Death Law Infographic

Steps in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Infographic

What Damages Are Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

There are several types of damages that can be pursued in a wrongful death case. These include:

    • Medical expenses that were incurred trying to save the victim’s life.
    • Funeral and burial expenses.
  • The loss of financial support the victim provided for the family, including work benefits.
  • The loss of services the victim provided for the family, such as childcare, taking care of the house, landscaping, etc., that the family must now hire and pay someone to take care of.
  • The loss of society, which may also be referred to as loss of consortium. These damages are for the losses a family suffers because they no longer have the love, support, guidance, and companionship of the victim
  • The emotional anguish the family is going through, including grief and sorrow, over the death of their loved one.

Proving That Wrongful Death Occurred

When you are dealing with the aftermath of your loved one’s death, one of the most complicated parts can be gathering the evidence you need to prove that wrongful death occurred. The biggest thing your attorney will have to prove during this time is that your loved one’s death was caused because someone else was acting negligently. It is important to note that when you bring this kind of suit forward it is a civil lawsuit and not a criminal lawsuit, so you will not be fighting to get someone put in prison. While you may be looking for compensation from the person responsible, the point of a civil lawsuit is no to award any kind of criminal punishment.

Determining Who Is Responsible For The Death In the Case of a Slip and Fall

One of the first things you will speak with your attorney about is who you believe is responsible for your loved one’s death. You (the plaintiff), will work with your attorney to show that the person responsible (the defendant) did not show your loved one a duty of care. This is one of the elements in a wrongful death lawsuit. 

  • Showing a duty of care. This is simple. When we go about our daily lives in public, we owe each other a duty of care to be safe and not harm others. You must show that the defendant, in this case, owed your loved one a certain obligation. 
  • Showing a breach of this duty of care. If the defendant did not harm your loved one, there would be no grounds for a case. However, if they breached this duty, then you have the second element of your wrongful death lawsuit. For example, if your loved one died by slipping and falling at a store, you may be suing the store manager because they had the duty to maintain their store and keep it safe, but they breached this duty by having wet floors. Because of the wet floors, your loved one slipped. 
  • Showing causation. Finally, you need to bring everything together by showing that not only was your loved one injured by the defendant (in the example above, by slipping and falling), but they died as a result of their injuries.

We strongly believe that having an attorney throughout this process will yield better results because the burden of proof will be on the plaintiff to show that the elements of negligence occurred.  

Contact a Wrongful Death Law Firm

If a party or parties’ negligence led to the death of your loved one, your family deserves financial justice. At Yearin Law Office, we understand no amount of money will ever bring your loved one back or make up for their loss, but we can work hard to get your family the compensation that will help with the financial burdens and emotional distress that has been done to your family. Call our office to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a Scottsdale, Arizona wrongful death lawyer.

As a family member of a deceased individual who died as a result of another person or entity’s negligent actions, you may ask a Scottsdale, AZ wrongful death lawyer from Yearin Law Office if you are allowed to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. There is an order to who can file, so it may benefit you to understand the process and the order.

The Deceased Was Married

If the deceased individual was married at the time of death, the spouse would typically be the person to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If the couple had children and the spouse was either incompetent or already dead, the children could file the lawsuit. If the children are minors at the time of death, they would have to wait until they turn 18 to bring the lawsuit.

The Deceased Was Unmarried

As a Scottsdale wrongful death lawyer may tell you, if the deceased individual was not married and had children, the children would be responsible for filing the lawsuit. If the children are minors or if the individual did not have children, the parents of the deceased can file the lawsuit.

Siblings or Grandparents Are the Closest Relatives

If the deceased was unmarried, did not have children, and had no living parents, more distant relatives could file a wrongful death lawsuit. This includes brothers, sisters, or grandparents. Sometimes the individual is living with a grandparent or sibling at the time of death because of an estranged immediate family situation, and a court would have to play a role in determining who would be legally able to file a lawsuit.

The Deceased Had a Domestic Partner

Each state varies on its stance pertaining to domestic partners and wrongful death. In some states, domestic and life partners have no rights to a wrongful death lawsuit, and in other states they do. Speak with your attorney if you are a domestic partner of someone who recently died so you can learn whether you can file a case or not.

Financial Dependants Exist

There are those other than immediate and distant family members who could rely on the deceased for financial assistance. If those individuals are going to suffer financially because of the victim’s death, they could file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Understanding Your Rights

To further understand your rights regarding your loved one’s death, and to figure out whether you are able to file a wrongful death lawsuit, it could benefit you to contact a lawyer. Give an AZ wrongful death lawyer a call today to see how he or she could help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Scottsdale, AZ Wrongful Death Lawyer

We can imagine that the loss of a loved one is truly a tragic event. When that loss occurs too soon and possibly could have been prevented, it can be downright devastating. Wrongful death occurs when an individual dies as a result of another individual’s actions, or lack of action. Perhaps most commonly, this type of lawsuit happens in response to fatal car accidents. Such an untimely death can leave loved ones reeling from the pain of the loss. In seeking compensation, that loss is sometimes lessened. The following information explores the process of pursuing a wrongful death claim.

Scottsdale Wrongful Death Law FAQs

What constitutes negligence in a wrongful death case?

The process of pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit is similar to proving a personal injury claim. One must be able to show that the individual was negligent. In order to prove negligence with help from an Arizona wrongful death lawyer at Yearin Law Office, the following three elements must be proven:

  1. Duty of care: it must be shown that there was a duty of care owed to the deceased individual. In the case of a car accident, this can include general rules of the road and driver safety.
  2. Breach of duty of care: just as it sounds, it must be proven that the negligent driver breached the aforementioned duty of care.
  3. Link to injuries: lastly, the wrongful death claim must be able to show that the fatal injuries were a direct result of the breach of duty of care.

What is wrongful death in relation to automobile accidents?

When an individual dies due to injuries sustained from a car accident, there may be cause for a wrongful death lawsuit. It will be necessary to prove that the other driver was at fault and that he or she acted negligently. In addition, it should be shown that negligence directly led to the death of the individual. Put simply, wrongful death in car accident cases means that the other driver was at fault. For example, he or she ran a stop sign or red light, was speeding, or driving in a reckless manner.

What is compensation in a wrongful death case?

Although the extent of possible compensation varies by circumstance and state laws, most wrongful death claims include compensation for emotional impact and financial loss. The emotional impact can refer to any suffering the injured individual experienced prior to death, as well as that of the loved ones after death. The potential financial compensation may include medical expenses prior to the victim’s death, loss of income (present and future), and funeral and burial expenses.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Attorney

You and your family are likely to be overwhelmed following a loss of a loved one due to another person’s negligence. When this occurs, the thought of “shopping” around for attorneys can be another added stress. However, it’s vital to choose the correct attorney for your case. We’ll explore some considerations to make before choosing a wrongful death attorney.

Do They Have the Right Amount of Experience? 

You want to choose an attorney with plenty of experience dealing with wrongful death cases. While wrongful death cases can overlap with areas like personal injuries, choosing an attorney who has specific experience dealing with cases similar to yours is always a good call. Be sure to ask direct questions like if their experience dealing with wrongful death cases.

Do They Have a Proven Track Record? 

You want to hire an attorney with a good track record and who wins cases. Winning a wrongful death case can take on many forms. For example, while we often picture attorneys in a courtroom with briefcases yelling, “Objection!” at each other, the truth is that attornies prefer settling out of court if they’re able to. The courtroom can be extremely unpredictable. You can go in expecting a win only to lose to the plaintiff or to receive a settlement much lower than what you were anticipating. While your lawyer shouldn’t be afraid to go to court, they should also provide you with different options. Ask them if they have any references.

Do They Have Enough Time? 

You may have your sights set on who many consider the best attorney in town. However, if they don’t have enough time to devote to your case, then their skills and experience won’t matter much. While you can’t expect an attorney or firm to drop all of their cases to work on yours, you should expect a certain level of commitment. Plainly ask an attorney how much time they can devote to your case and see if this works for you.

Are You Able to Easily Communicate With Them? 

Overall skills and experience are crucial; however, attorneys also should possess “soft” skills that don’t necessarily pertain directly to the law. One of these skills is being able to communicate with their clients appropriately. When interviewing potential attorneys, you’ll want to see how they communicate and whether they feel like the right fit for you. If something feels “off” there’s no shame in interviewing other attorneys. Something feeling off doesn’t necessarily have to mean that there’s a problem with the attorney—it may simply mean you don’t feel as comfortable as you should with them and their communication style.

Are They Objective With You? 

An attorney’s role is to legally advise clients and help them remain as objective as possible. When working with an attorney, they’ll ask you about your specific goals while explaining what’s realistic and not. After a wrongful death, it’s very common for tensions and emotions to be high. While an attorney won’t ignore your feelings, they will try to help you remain as objective as possible. With your attorney handling the legal necessities, victims’ families can better grieve their loss on their own time.

Yearin Law Office Scottsdale Wrongful Death Lawyer

8961 E. Bell Road, Suite 201 A, Scottsdale, AZ 85260


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Consult with a Scottsdale, AZ Wrongful Death Lawyer

There are many complicated features in wrongful death cases. Not only do different states have different legal guidelines, establishing negligence can be a time consuming and frustrating process. It is imperative that one seeks the guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer who understands the complexities of such cases.

Since the sudden death of a loved one is a tragic and often devastating event, it is important to seek direction from a trusted Scottsdale, Arizona wrongful death lawyer, like the team at the Yearin Law Office — so call today to set up your consultation.