Losing a loved one in an accidental death is always difficult, but it can seem especially unfair when the accident resulted from the careless or negligent actions of another person. Just as the law holds negligent parties accountable for serious injury they cause to another person, it also holds them accountable for causing an accidental death. In these cases, surviving family members have the right to bring a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party for specific types of damages.
Every state has its own rules for wrongful death claims. In Arizona, those eligible to file a claim include only close relatives of the deceased:
Siblings, other family members who live in Arizona are also barred, but individuals from another state in which their relationship is legally recognized may have a right to file a wrongful death claim. Common-law or same-sex partners may not file wrongful death claims.
The surviving relative also must initiate the suit within a certain period, legally known as the statute of limitations. In Arizona, the statute of limitations for wrongful death is two years from the date of death. Although two years may seem like a long window, people who are coping with the grief of losing a loved one are often overwhelmed. It is important, therefore, to have an experienced, compassionate attorney guiding you through the process.