What Damages Are Survivors Entitled To in Wrongful Death Cases?
It is difficult to say what damages survivors are entitled to in wrongful death cases. Oftentimes, battles occur because there are disagreements over who is entitled to what. For example, if a mother dies and leaves behind a spouse and three children, they will all see different values. They would be entitled to consortium and mental suffering damages, especially if the mother had been in the hospital for several months before passing. The children may have been dependent on the decedent due to a chronic condition or illness. If that is the case, then the child won’t be good shape after the mother passes away. The family would be entitled to the funeral expenses and medical expenses.
The determination of who is entitled to what damages will be impacted by the type of relationship each child or the spouse had with the deceased mother. If the surviving spouse was an alcoholic who left for seven years, they are still theoretically entitled to collect under the statute. Some people have fragmented families or members of the family who live far away and are distant from the other members of the family. The bulk of the recovery is going to be dependent upon the relationship between the deceased person and the statutory beneficiaries.
How Is The Amount Of Damages Determined Or Calculated?
The amount of damages is determined by grouping the funeral bills, medical bills, lost wages and emotional losses in a lump sum. For the sake of a family, hopefully there is good insurance, because there will be a limited recovery otherwise. Sometimes there is more than one person who causes the accident, which would mean that there would be other sources from which to collect.
What Is The Statute Of Limitations For Filing A Wrongful Death Claim In Arizona?
The normal statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim in Arizona is two years after the death. If a person is in a coma for two or three months and then dies, it would be two years plus whatever length of time they were in a coma. There are some rare exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations. For example, if the statutory beneficiary is 16 years old, then the statute of limitations would be stopped running until they turn 18 years old.
Should All Heirs Each Hire Their Own Separate Attorney In a Wrongful Death Case?
There are different opinions about whether or not heirs should each hire their own attorney in a wrongful death case. A peaceful and loving family will have no problem dividing the damages. If the mother and two children have lost their father and other potential beneficiaries are dead, then they might want to obtain one attorney. However, sometimes that can turn into a disaster, because money does funny things to people. For example, two sisters who had previously been very loving could get in a fight. There is always the potential battle over how much one thinks he or she is entitled to.
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