Wrongful death is when someone dies due to the wrongful acts or omissions (negligence) of another. Arizona has passed legislation that specifically addresses wrongful death claims. Most accidental death or wrongful death claims can involve large amounts of money so they are vigorously defended by insurance companies. Insurance companies typically utilize their most experienced attorneys in wrongful death claims. In order to get the compensation you deserve from a wrongful death claim it is critical to seek the most experienced attorneys to present your claim. Gary Phillips has personally been involved in handling hundreds of wrongful death claims during his career. In addition, our team of professionals has more than 180 years of combined experience. Mr. Henry Hester of Gary Phillips Accident Law Professionals is certified by the Arizona Supreme Court through the State Bar of Arizona as a specialist in serious injury and wrongful death. Our experience and the personal attention given to every client equals proven results and quality settlements for our clients.
The actual wrongful death law of Arizona is governed by:
ARS §12-612 – Parties plaintiff; recovery; distribution; disqualification
A. An action for wrongful death shall be brought by and in the name of the surviving husband or wife, child, parent or guardian, or personal representative of the deceased person for and on behalf of the surviving husband or wife, children or parents, or if none of these survive, on behalf of the decedent’s estate.
B. Either parent may maintain the action for the death of a child, and the guardian may maintain the action for the death of the guardian’s ward.
C. The amount recovered in an action for wrongful death shall be distributed to the parties provided for in subsection A of this section in proportion to their damages, and if recovery is on behalf of the decedent’s estate the amount shall be an asset of the estate.
D. If any party listed in subsection A of this section is found guilty of or guilty except insane for, or pled guilty or no contest to, a violation of section 13-3623 involving the death of the child decedent or a violation of section 13-1103, 13-1104 or 13-1105 involving the death of the decedent, the party is deemed to have predeceased the decedent and is disqualified from recovering wrongful death benefits. This subsection applies to a person who is found guilty of or guilty except insane for, or pled guilty or no contest to, an offense committed in another jurisdiction that has the same elements of an offense listed in this subsection and that if committed in this state would be a violation of any of the offenses listed in this subsection.
E. For the purposes of subsection A of this section, “personal representative” includes any person to whom letters testamentary or of administration are granted by competent authority under the laws of this or any other state. The personal representative may maintain the action for wrongful death without the issuance of further letters or any other requirement or authorization of law.
If you read the wrongful death law only certain survivors, called statutory beneficiaries can bring an action. Statutory beneficiaries include spouses, parents, or children of the deceased. Regardless of who brings that action it is on behalf of all possible statutory beneficiaries. If there are no statutory beneficiaries the claim can be brought by the estate. A commonly asked question is what percentage of the settlement monies goes to each survivor. Every case is different and every survivor’s relationship is different to the deceased so there is no magic formula to compute this.
The loss of a loved one is a terrible. Gary Phillips understands the grief that family members endure but he also knows that it is critical to investigate the facts and circumstances as close in time to the accident as possible. The preservation of evidence is critical and many cases are won or lost based on that initial investigation. Hiring an experienced attorney who also has compassion, understanding and sensitivity is critical.
At Gary Phillips Accident Law Professionals, Gary will personally take the time to discuss with the family how the loss affected their lives. At Gary Phillips Accident Law Professionals, Gary and his team of experienced professionals will see that the survivors are compensated for their emotional trauma and financial hardship both present and future.
Dealing with insurance companies regarding an accidental death or wrongful death can be extremely difficult during a highly emotional time and we do NOT recommend you do so on your own. Contact Gary and his team at Gary Phillips Accident Law Professionals and let us use our experience to protect your rights and make sure you get the compensation that you and your family deserve.