Phoenix Wrongful Death Attorney

While no one likes to think about losing a loved one, negligence results in death in Phoenix nearly every day, leaving a family devastated emotionally and financially.

If you lost a loved one due to someone’s careless actions, a Phoenix wrongful death attorney from Hutzler Law can seek compensation for your financial and emotional losses. We can also explain the services we offer to assist you with your claim.

About Hutzler Law

Serving Phoenix and the surrounding areas, Hutzler Law is an aggressive trial-ready team that prioritizes giving clients personalized legal guidance. We aim to maximize your recovery and make sure justice is served. The Hutzler Law team treats every case it takes as if it will go to trial, backed by robust arguments, evidence, and experience.

No matter the circumstances of your injury, we’re standing by to fight for your rights in the face of an accident that left you with physical, emotional, and financial baggage.

Call us at (480) 841-9761 right now for your free case evaluation. We can talk to you 24/7.

Schedule a Free Case Consultation

If you have a loved one that you suspect has passed away due to the negligence of others, speak with wrongful death attorney Jason Hutzler today. We are here to listen.

Talk to Us

What Our Attorneys Can Do to Help You With Your Claim

An experienced Phoenix wrongful death attorney from Hutzler Law can provide several services to assist their clients, including:

  • Perform a thorough investigation of the accident to determine all sources of liability, all associated insurance resources that can compensate the family members, and evidence to prove the claim in court.
  • Develop a claim value based on a tallying of monetary expenses incurred from the death and other factors involved in the claim, such as the recklessness that caused the accident, the amount of available insurance, and the long-term financial and emotional consequences for the deceased’s family.
  • Demand the claim value from the at-fault party’s insurance provider. The insurance company can pay the claim, deny it and provide a reason, or make a fair offer to settle the claim out-of-court.
  • Negotiate with the insurance provider to increase their compensatory offer.
  • File a wrongful death lawsuit in court within the statute of limitations. Note: The lawsuit’s filing does not end settlement negotiations; it often makes those negotiations more meaningful because it pressures the insurance provider to fairly compensate you.
  • Litigating, including arranging for eyewitness or expert testimony on their client’s behalf, preparing evidence exhibits, opening and closing arguments, and more.
  • Collecting the proceeds of a negotiated settlement or court award.

The legal team at Hutzler Law understands that the most important services we can offer our wrongful death clients are the guidance and information they need. Our attorneys help clients make important decisions about their Phoenix wrongful death claim, such as whether to accept a settlement or file a lawsuit. We can explain more about the process and the services we provide through a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

wrongful death

The Definition of Wrongful Death in Arizona

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, unintentional injury is the third leading cause of death in the state, resulting in more than 4,000 deaths a year.

Wrongful death in Arizona is a death “caused by a wrongful act, neglect, or default.” While intentional injuries can also result in wrongful death claims, most wrongful death claims involve negligence.

Accidents That Can Result in a Wrongful Death Claim

About 200 fatal car accidents take place every year in the Phoenix area. Each of the city’s half a million business owners must protect customers from hazardous properties. In several amusement parks, the failure to ensure the safety of rides can easily lead to death.

Any accident that can cause an injury can also cause wrongful death.

Here is a look at some of the most common accidents that result in a wrongful death claim.

The Wrongful Death Claims Process

The wrongful death claims process is for the deceased’s loved ones to seek compensation for the financial and psychological costs of their losses. The process is similar to the personal injury claims process, which usually begins with a claim filed against the at-fault party’s insurance provider.

If the insurance provider fails to fairly compensate the claim, the claimant can file the claim as a wrongful death lawsuit and let a judge or jury determine compensation. An estimated 95-96 percent of wrongful death claims resolve before trial.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in Phoenix?

Minimal family members are entitled to seek compensation through the Arizona wrongful death claims process.

This short list includes:

  • The deceased’s surviving spouse.
  • The deceased’s children.
  • The deceased’s parents.
  • The executor of the deceased’s estate, if there are no surviving family members.

How to Prove Liability in a Wrongful Death Case

For a positive outcome to a wrongful death claim, the claimant and their attorney must prove that someone else was liable for the accident.

To prove liability, you must show:

  • The at-fault party had a duty to take reasonable actions to prevent harm to others in specific circumstances. In motor vehicle accident wrongful death claims, this duty is to operate the vehicle safely and under Arizona’s traffic laws. In premises liability wrongful death claims, this duty is to regularly inspect the property for hazards and to promptly mitigate them.
  • The at-fault party took unsafe actions that breached the duty owed to the deceased. In a car accident, unsafe actions that breach the duty of care include risky driving behaviors such as speeding, distracted driving, or alcohol impairment and negligent failures to act, such as driving on bald tires. In premises liability claims, a breach in the duty owed occurs if the property owner fails to regularly inspect their property, mitigate the hazard, or promptly warn others of an unmitigated hazard.
  • The breach of duty resulted in a fatal accident. The deceased’s family members suffered expenses and effects related to the loss.

The Type of Available Compensation

In the legal arena, damages refer to a payment made in compensation for harm. Phoenix wrongful death claimants can seek two types of compensation: economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages refer to compensation for the expenses you incurred due to the loss.

Examples of common expenses in wrongful death claims include:

  • Medical expenses related to the treatment of the deceased’s final injury.
  • The costs of a funeral and burial or cremation.
  • The loss of financial support that the deceased provided their family.
  • The loss of inheritance that the deceased’s family members would have likely obtained if the deceased had lived long enough to complete their career.
  • The repair or replacement of the deceased’s property damaged in the accident.
  • The loss of household services provided by the deceased, such as mowing the lawn, or laundry.

Non-economic damages refer to compensation for the often profound quality-of-life impacts that an individual or family experiences from the loss of a loved one, such as:

  • The loss of love, guidance, comfort, and affection the deceased provided for their family members.
  • The deceased’s survivors’ emotional pain and suffering.

Frequently Asked Questions

Evidence to prove a wrongful death claim

The evidence needed to prove a wrongful death claim includes:

  • The accident report has the investigating officer’s account of why the accident occurred. The report will contain witnesses’ names and contact information, as well as any citations issued to the at-fault party.
  • Photographs from the scene can depict the conditions in which the accident occurred.
  • Documentation from emergency responders and physicians about life-saving procedures performed.
  • Pertinent information in the case, such as a driver with a history of DUI-related charges or a business with multiple complaints regarding a hazardous property.

My loved one died in a motorcycle accident, and they weren’t wearing a helmet. Is there compensation available?

Yes, provided someone else’s negligence caused the accident. Family members of individuals over 18 killed in motorcycle accidents could receive compensation if their loved one was not wearing a helmet when the accident occurred because it is legal to ride a motorcycle without a helmet in Arizona if you are over 18.

Those whose loved ones were under 18 and helmetless when the accident occurred will likely face a reduction in compensation because motorcyclists under 18 must legally wear a helmet.

How long do I have to file a wrongful death claim in Phoenix?

The statute of limitations on wrongful death claims is two years, just as it is for most personal injury claims. This date is extremely important, as failing to file your claim in court within the statute of limitations usually results in losing your ability to use the court system. Without the threat of a lawsuit, most insurance companies will not offer a settlement because there are no legal ramifications if they don’t.

I can’t afford an attorney to help me with my wrongful death claim. What should I do?

Call for a free case evaluation with one of our experienced wrongful death attorneys, who can tell you more about the process and explain the contingent fee billing method we use. This method allows us to begin working immediately on your claim, and you do not have to pay for our services until we win your case.

My loved one did not die immediately from the accident. Can I still file a claim?

Yes, provided the accident resulted from someone else’s negligence, and you file the claim within the two-year statute of limitations. In personal injury claims, the statute of limitations clock begins ticking on the day the accident occurred. In wrongful death claims, the clock doesn’t begin to run until death.

We Can Help You

The legal team at Hutzler Law understands that no amount of compensation can bring back a loved one and the important impacts their presence had on your life. We are committed to assisting you in obtaining the compensation you need to begin moving forward after your loss. While the vast majority of wrongful death claims resolve by settlement, we ensure that the claims we represent are courtroom-ready by building the strongest case possible for our client.

Contact us at (602) 730-4530 for more information about the wrongful death claims process or to have an experienced attorney evaluate your claim for free.

Hutzler Law, PLLC – Phoenix Wrongful Death Lawyers

4323 N 12th St, Suite 101,
Phoenix, AZ 85014