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We have had the unfortunate experience of handling more wrongful death/fatality cases than we wish.  You need a law firm with attorneys who have experience with these difficult cases, but also understands the emotions you are dealing with. There is no more difficult case for a client’s family or an attorney than that of a lost loved one. Wrongful death cases are can actually be two different types of cases (An estate claim and/or a Survivor’s claim). In Arizona, wrongful deaths are governed by Arizona Revised Statutes Section 12-611 to 12-613. These three sections explain the basics of wrongful death: when a lawsuit can occur, who can file suit and what damages may be awarded.

An estate claim is when a claim is presented on behalf of the deceased party’s estate. These claims include all the medical bills, loss of earning, and other claims governed by the estate. Often times these claims are presented by the personal representative of the Estate. The personal representative often times is appointed via the probate process and may even require a formal hearing. It is often advisable to consider hiring separate probate counsel on these matters if dealing with a large estate or the probate of a will/trust. We can provide some guidance with these matters and even offer a referral to a Probate attorney. In addition to the Estate considerations there may be lien issues that need to be resolved before settling this type of cases. The liens can be presented from multiple different parties, including but not limited to Hospitals, Doctors, Medicare, Tricare, or Health Insurance companies.

A Survivor’s’ claim is dictated by the statute, ARS 12-612 * limits who can or can’t make a claim for the loss of a loved one. These claims are very complicated and require tack in dealing with all potential family members who are allowed to make a claim against the party responsible for the death. We have experience in obtaining waivers from parties with a legal claim, but with little or less emotional/financial claim to the party who has passed away. Reaching an amicable agreement with all parties can save time, attorney fees, and feelings.

ARS 12-612