Who is Eligible to File a Wrongful Death Claim in Arizona?

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The passing of a loved one is never an easy thing. It’s more difficult when death results from someone else’s careless actions. There’s nothing anyone can do to bring the person back. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t or can’t do anything about the situation. If you’ve lost a loved one due to negligence from the defendant, you should involve a lawyer. The process of filing a wrongful death lawsuit depends on your state. Here’s what you need to know about this if you’re in Arizona.

Understanding a Wrongful Death Claim

Wrongful death claims are civil lawsuits. Such a claim is valid if the deceased would have been able to file a personal injury claim had they survived. Usually, a surviving loved one will involve an attorney to help file such a claim. The goal is to get financial compensation for the wrongdoing that led to the passing of a loved one. With this compensation, the survivors of the deceased can cover things like:

  • Medical and funeral expenses
  • Economic loss
  • Punitive damages 

There is a stipulated window of time during which one can file such a claim. In the state of Arizona, the allocated statute of limitation is two years. After this time elapses, filing such a claim may not be possible. But it all depends on the situation at hand. In some circumstances, the statute of limitations may be shorter or longer. If you lack legal knowledge, you might miss out on your compensation. You’ll have to talk to a wrongful death lawyer to ensure you get compensated. Hiring a lawyer also helps you know whether you have a valid claim on your hands.

Persons Allowed to File a Wrongful Death Claim

You need to know who can file a claim to avoid wasting time or money. In the state of Arizona, the following people can file such a claim as stipulated by the law:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Surviving parent or guardian
  • Surviving children
  • Personal representative

If none of the above is available, the representative may act on behalf of the deceased’s estate. The law allows a personal representative to act on behalf of the spouse, parent, or children. Doing this gives the surviving relatives time to grieve in peace.

Who Can’t File Wrongful Death Claims

Don’t believe the false information online claiming that siblings and aunts or uncles can file such claims. Not everyone related to the deceased can file such a suit. The Arizona law is clear about parties that cannot file such a claim, and they include the following:

  • Life partners 
  • Common law spouses
  • Same-sex spouses or partners
  • Siblings

Arizona state doesn’t recognize same-sex or common-law marriages. As such parties can’t legally file the claim.

Wrapping Up: Work with an Expert

During grief, you shouldn’t have to deal with pursuing a wrongful death claim on your own. The emotional distress and legal complexity during this time can get overwhelming. A specialized lawyer will help you get the compensation you deserve without the hassle.

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