SCOTTSDALE, AZ, February 19, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/
-- An Arizona highway patrolman was sitting in his vehicle, writing a report of an accident scene in May 2013, when the unthinkable happened. A fuel tanker barreling down Interstate 8 slammed into the patrolman's vehicle and several others at the site, killing the patrolman. Investigators believe that the truck was traveling at 65 mph with the cruise control on when it slammed into the vehicles at the accident site. The driver is accused of using his cellphone behind the wheel and covering the camera in the dash of the truck to hide his actions.
The truck driver in this accident was charged with second-degree murder and other crimes. In addition to justice from the criminal court system, the civil court system can provide families with relief. About six months after the accident, the deceased patrolman's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit
against the driver and the company that employed him.
Wrongful death lawsuits are frequently filed after high-profile accidents like this one. Often, though, wrongful death claims are initiated after preventable fatal injuries and accidents that quietly devastate families without dominating the news. Whether a wrongful death claim follows a fiery motor vehicle accident, a fatal medical error or some other preventable injury, several common elements must be present.
What Kinds Of Accidents Can Result In Wrongful Death Claims?
Nearly any kind accident can result in a wrongful death claim, so long as the victim's death is caused by the negligence or carelessness of another. The at-fault party could be:
- A drunk driver
- A company that manufactured a dangerous product
- A doctor who failed to diagnose
a heart attack
- Another party whose actions caused or contributed to a preventable death
In addition to accidents caused by negligence, wrongful death claims can be filed for deaths that result from another person's intent to cause harm.
Cases may have more than one potential liable party. In the trooper's case, for example, his family is suing both the driver and the trucking company he drove for.
Surviving family members may have suffered monetary or other losses as a result of the victim's death. Under Arizona law, only certain family members may bring a wrongful death claim: a husband or wife, child, parent or guardian, or the representative of the deceased person's estate. That means, for example, that siblings or longtime companions may not have a wrongful death claim for damages they suffered as a result of a loved one's death due to negligence.
A successful wrongful death lawsuit could result in damages such as funeral and burial expenses, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering as well as loss of companionship and household services.
Contact An Attorney
Wrongful death claims will not bring back lost family members or erase the grief, but they can help survivors regain their financial security and hold negligent parties accountable. The law involving wrongful death claims can be complex. An experienced lawyer will be able to thoroughly investigate an accident to identify potential parties and gather evidence and can guide you through each stage of the case.
Knapp & Roberts provides experienced representation for people in Phoenix and throughout Arizona who have lost loved ones due to the negligence of others. Call (480) 991-7677 or visit www.krattorneys.com
for more information.