25+ YEARS EXPERIENCE • 99% SUCCESS RATE • $100+ MILLION RECOVERED
Arizona Wrongful Death Attorney
The weeks, months, and years after a loved one dies can be a devastating time for you and your family. This tragic time can be more difficult when you know someone else was responsible for your family member’s death.
The wrongful death attorneys at Gerber Injury Law are here to help you process a wrongful death claim for your loved one or family member. Allow us to manage the legal side of your wrongful death case and focus on regaining compensation for the death of your loved one.
As a firm with over two decades of experience and over $100 million recovered for our clients, Gerber Injury Law is proud to serve Maricopa County and other Arizona communities. We investigate all claims from every angle to ensure you receive the representation you deserve.
Why Gerber Injury Law, And Why Now?
At Gerber Injury Law, we treat you like you are family. We’ll be here to work with you through the otherwise difficult logistics of filing a wrongful death claim.
Other reasons to choose Gerber Injury Law are:
- We’ve made it our business to focus on personal injury law, so you know you’re in good hands
- We have experience with all types of wrongful death cases, including medical malpractice
- We work for you, and we won’t accept payment until we’ve settled or won a case
- We’re a small enough firm that we know you as individuals, not just cases, but we’re also strong enough to take your case to court if needed
Contact Gerber Injury Law as soon as you think you have a wrongful death case on your hands. If you need more clarification about your situation, call us at 623-486-8300 so we can talk to you about the specifics of your case. You’ll want to contact us as soon as possible; you want to move quickly when filing a wrongful death claim because there is a statute of limitations on personal injury cases.
Statute of Limitations: What is it, and When Do I File a Wrongful Death Claim?
A statute of limitations defines the latest time to file a wrongful death claim. For Arizona, the latest you can file a wrongful death claim is two years after the death of your loved one. After that, you may not be able to file a claim for the wrongful death of your family member. There are some circumstances where a court may allow for a filing after the two-year limit, but those circumstances are rare.
The two-year statute of limitations means you only have 24 months to gather information and evidence of wrongful death and submit your claim. While this seems like a lot of time, many of the specifics around the case can get lost if you decide to wait. We understand that you and your family are dealing with a lot right now.
The legal team at Gerber Injury Law recommends filing your wrongful death claim as soon as possible, and we’re here to help you do that and guide you through the process.
First Things First: What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death happens in any situation where a person or a company is responsible for a person’s death through negligence or intentional behavior. The claim could be against an individual or a corporation that was negligent or could have prevented or directly caused the victim’s death. If you believe this applies to you, contact Gerber Injury Law’s wrongful death lawyers in Arizona.
Accident vs. Wrongful Death: What’s the Difference?
A wrongful death is where someone is responsible for the death in some way, unintentional or not. An accident is usually ruled where no one is at fault. The person against whom the wrongful death claim is filed must have been responsible for the other person’s injuries and resulting death.
Can I File A Wrongful Death Claim?
A limited number of people can file a wrongful death claim. Only direct family members, such as children, spouses, and parents, may file a wrongful death claim. Siblings, cousins, long-term partners, or relatives cannot file a wrongful death suit. An estate representative for the victim may also file a claim, with the settlement returning to the estate or the remaining family members. If you’re a close family member or a representative, you can select a wrongful death attorney in Arizona to help you with your case.
Wrongful Death Claim vs. Survival Claim: What You Need to Know
Wrongful death and survival claims serve two different purposes and are separate claims over the same incident.
- A wrongful death claim is brought for the family or those that remain behind who were financially dependent on the deceased after the loved one has died. It is often to compensate for the loss of income and companionship that they will be missing from their life.
- A survival claim is filed for the victim who died. This claim brings charges against the person or company who caused the victim’s accident that the victim would or could have brought had they not died.
Both a wrongful death claim and a survival claim may be filed simultaneously. Your Arizona personal injury attorney will be able to answer further questions about survival claims.
Why Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Like the professionals at Gerber Injury Law, an Arizona personal injury attorney is skilled at navigating the difficulties of wrongful death cases. There are a lot of factors that go into a personal injury case that a lawyer will know how to deal with.
For example, sometimes insurance companies will try to settle for a low amount simply to make the case go away. Before accepting an insurance settlement, you should take it to your legal council at Gerber Injury Law. We can assess whether or not the compensation number should be higher. Your Arizona wrongful defense attorney is here to make sure that all the compensation that falls under a wrongful death claim is considered and can appropriately negotiate with insurance companies.
What Do I Need to Know About Filing a Wrongful Death Case?
Wrongful death claims can be difficult because they may be difficult to prove. The claim must present a clear case that the opposition acted negligently and had a duty to take action to avoid your family member’s death and that they did not. The line between accident and wrongful death might be fine, but Gerber Injury Law will work hard to see that your loved one’s claim is filed correctly. We might help you gather the following:
- Medical reports of injuries your loved one sustained
- Police report about the accident
- Photographs or video of the accident
- Witness testimony
- Any other evidence to support your case
You can contact the Gerber Injury Law wrongful death attorneys in Arizona if you have questions about wrongful death cases or think your family member may have been the wrongful death victim.
What Sorts of Damages Can I Recover from a Wrongful Death Claim in Arizona?
The specifics of the settlement are related to the wrongful death, how it occurred, and what injuries happened. Two categories will be considered in a wrongful death suit: non-economic and economic damages.
Economic damages that you can claim in wrongful death include:
- Medical expenses, including hospital stays, surgeries or procedures, treatments, and other medical care
- The cost of funeral expenses
- Cost of current and future wages that would have supported the beneficiaries of the deceased
Non-economic damages include:
- Mental and emotional suffering or trauma over the loss of a loved one
- Loss of love and companionship from the loss of a loved one
While some states place caps on non-economic damages, there is no cap on the amount of non-economic damages you can claim in Arizona. Reach out to Gerber Injury Law to discuss your case’s specifics.
How Can Gerber Injury Law Help Me With a Wrongful Death Claim?
Gerber Injury Law provides its clients with decades of experience and a professional, courteous team on all their cases.
- You are a whole person to us, not just a case. We know your name, the details about your loved one, and the case. We’re beside you every step of the way.
- We have over 20 years of experience and are a strong firm. This means that although we will do our best to settle out of court, we will take your case to court if a settlement is not reached to make sure that it is heard.
- We thoroughly investigate your case; you are our priority.
Leading Causes of Wrongful Death in Arizona
Wrongful death can take many forms. The main issue that courts are looking at is if the person or company involved played a part in causing an accident that resulted in the wrongful death. Any accident resulting in severe and life-threatening injuries may result in wrongful death.
Car accidents where the driver was not paying attention at the wheel, was under the influence of mood-altering substances or was driving recklessly can be grounds for a lawful death suit. Examples of negligence while driving may include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or over-the-counter medication
- Driving aggressively or recklessly
- Not paying attention to weather conditions
- Driving while drowsy
- Ignoring stop lights or other road signs
Trucking Accidents or Commercial Vehicle Accidents
Truck accidents where the driver was inattentive to the road, driving without caution, improperly loading or securing loads, or lacking truck maintenance may produce a suit against the driver themselves or the company they work for. Truck accidents that result in a wrongful death suit may occur when:
- Improper signals were used during the operation of the truck
- The truck or parts of the truck were malfunctioning or not well-maintained
- The driver was driving recklessly with aggression
- The driver was not paying attention to road signs or right-of-ways
- The driver was not paying attention to where the other cars and vehicles on the road were
- The driver was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (whether prescription or not)
- The load on the truck was not properly secured or was otherwise unstable
Trucking accidents have a high rate of injuries, and because of the massive size of trucks, they can cause a lot of damage that results in death. In 2020, trucking accidents were involved in over 4,400 fatal crashes across the United States. For trucking accidents, Gerber Injury Law might file a claim against the trucking company the driver works for or even the maintenance company responsible for taking care of the rig.
Construction is a job that includes many dangers. A high rate of workplace accidents that result in injury and death occur on and around construction sites. Some of the accidents that can be deadly include:
- Electrical malfunctions that result in electrocution
- Unplanned explosions
- Demolitions that do not go as planned
- Falls from heights
- Machinery malfunctions
It is up to the managers and company to see that proper precautions are being followed on construction sites so that injuries and fatal accidents do not occur.
Other Workplace Accidents
If companies do not take care of their employees and follow safety standards, workplace accidents that result in injury or death may occur. Companies must make sure their safety equipment and protocols are up to regulations, or they may open themselves to a lawsuit.
Electrical Accidents or Fires
Electrical work is supposed to be held to a certain standard, meaning that the electricians who work on the electrical wiring for a home or elsewhere must follow specific rules. If they do not, and their work results in an electrical injury or a fire that results in death, then they or their companies could be held liable.
Nursing Home or Elder Abuse
We owe a lot to our elders, which is why we want them to have the best care as they reach their golden years. Nursing home abuse or negligence is an unfortunately common case of wrongful death.
If staff members at a nursing home purposefully ill-treat their patients or fail to give them the proper and necessary care that they need, and that mistreatment results in death, we may file a wrongful death claim. This negligence includes:
- Ignoring or forgetting to give their patients medication
- Giving their patients the wrong dosage or kind of medication
- Leaving patients in isolation or not allowing them to see or contact their family
- Physical abuse of their patients
- Refusing to look after their patient’s basic needs, including feeding, bathing, dressing, and using the bathroom
- Refusing to give their patients the medical treatments that their doctors prescribed
- Not noticing or not reporting medical conditions as they arise
- Not taking care of bed sores or infections
Elder abuse can also extend to home care workers or the companies they work for. It’s important to check in on your elderly family members’ care to ensure they are being looked after appropriately.
Boating accidents can be a cause of deadly injuries. Boating accidents that result in fatal accidents might include:
- The driver operating the boat while drinking or under the influence of other drugs
- The driver of the boat speeding or going too fast for the conditions on the water
- The driver of the boat ran aground or hit land
- The driver operated the boat in a reckless manner that endangered the lives of others, including unnecessarily fast turns or driving too close to another boat
Boating accidents can cause fatal injuries that happen in or because of a collision, but there’s also an added layer of danger with accidents on the water. A higher rate of hypothermia can happen when immersed in water, which may lead to death if not dealt with.
Pedestrian accidents can have a high morbidity rate due to the types and range of injuries that can occur. Pedestrian accidents happen when:
- Cars and other vehicles do not abide by pedestrian right-of-way
- Drivers of vehicles do not notice pedestrians in the crosswalks
- Drivers do not abide by stop signs or stop lights
Even when wearing a helmet, bicycling accidents can be deadly. Bike accidents can happen when cars, trucks, and other vehicles are unaware of their surroundings. The vehicles that cause fatal accidents may make poor judgment calls, like:
- Pulling out in front of a bike
- Not noticing a bike on the road
- Driving in the bike lane
- Driving while sleepy or under the influence of medications drugs
Deadly chemicals released through a spill or other accident can cause severe repercussions. Suppose these chemicals were not adequately maintained or stored or spilled during transport. In that case, it’s possible to try to settle a wrongful death suit with the company responsible for storing or transporting these items.
If your loved one died due to a fight, even if the other person’s intention during that fight was not to kill your loved one, you may still be able to bring charges against them for the resulting death.
Motorcycle accidents can be especially deadly. The injuries sustained from a motorcycle accident may be grounds for a wrongful death claim. Motorcycle accidents that result in wrongful death occur when cars or other motor vehicles:
- Make turns without signaling
- Are not aware of motorcycles
- Are driving distracted, drunk, or drowsy
- Are you going too fast for road conditions
- Are ignoring posted road signs, including stop signs or stop lights
All doctors should care for their patients; they’re under oath to protect them, and they must do everything in their power to make sure they act with integrity. Medical malpractice can look like:
- Encouraging surgery for a patient who doesn’t need it
- Performing surgery on the wrong part of the patient (removing the wrong leg, for example)
- Improper care for a mother or child during a birth
- Performing the wrong surgery on the wrong patient
- Prescribing the wrong dosage or type of medication for a patient
- Incorrectly interpreting a patient’s diagnosis or labs
- Refusing to thoroughly investigate a patient’s case in a timely fashion or not asking questions of the patient to correctly determine their issues
Medical malpractice can also include birth injuries that result in death. Medical malpractice is very serious. Anyone in the medical field, from doctors and nurses to receptionists, has a duty to work in their patient’s best interests. If they don’t, they may be liable for medical malpractice.
This is not a comprehensive list of all possible wrongful death cases. Contact the Arizona wrongful death attorneys at Gerber Injury Law today if you think your loved one was killed through negligence. We will help you determine if your case meets the provisions for a wrongful death claim and what your next steps are.
When is a Company or Landlord Responsible for a Wrongful Death?
At times, you can bring a claim against employers or companies for the wrongful death of your loved ones for various reasons.
Unsafe Working Conditions
If the employer has provided an unsafe working area for their employees, and your loved one died on the job, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Dangerous job conditions include:
- Not fixing or replacing broken equipment and tools
- Not repairing or maintaining necessary machinery
- Not providing correct training for their employees
- Allowing untrained workers to work on the job site
- Not providing enough safety equipment for all workers
- Not providing the correct safety equipment for all workers
- Not maintaining a job site to OSHA standards
- Not fixing safety hazards once made aware of them
If a landlord or property owner of a place doesn’t keep their property, building, or equipment safe, they can be liable for accidents or death that occur on their property. This includes:
- Not providing maintenance for escalators or elevators on the property
- Not properly posting signage for hazards
- Not maintaining the general premises, including the outside of their properties and sidewalks
Defective or Dangerous Products
Products that are unsuitable for use or consumption can still find their way to market and be bought by unwary consumers. These products should have been thoroughly tested, so the manufacturers can be held accountable if using them results in the death of one or more customers. Examples of defective or dangerous products include:
- Foodstuffs that have been packaged improperly
- Products that do not act in the way they are intended and result in a person’s death
- Products that do not meet safety requirements and standards
The team at Gerber Injury Law is skilled at litigating companies that have been responsible for wrongful deaths. Allow a personal injury lawyer in Arizona to help you with what to expect when we take your case.
What’s My Next Step in a Wrongful Death Case?
One of the best reasons to employ a wrongful death lawyer from Arizona to help you in your case is so they can walk you through what needs to be done. Gerber Injury Law is experienced in this area and can make sure you don’t miss important steps. We’ll help you gather evidence and witness statements and work with opposing companies and insurance companies to settle out of court. If we can’t settle, we’ll make sure to take your claim to court.
Your first step, though, is to contact us. Reach out to Gerber Injury Law today to get started on your wrongful death claim.
Contact Gerber Injury Law with Your Wrongful Death Lawsuit Questions
Gerber Injury Law is thoroughly committed to your case. Our first consultation is free, and we don’t accept payment until we’ve settled or won.
Gerber Injury Law wants to help you receive justice for your family member in your wrongful death case. If you have experienced a wrongful death in your family, call us at 623-486-8300 or fill out our online form, and we’ll reach out to you. We’ll bring all our expertise to your case to tip the scales of justice in your favor.
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