How to Seek Legal Help in Phoenix if You Have Lost a Loved One in an Accident?

How to Seek Legal Help in Phoenix if You Have Lost a Loved One in an Accident?

Written by Alison Lurie, In Law, Updated On
July 10th, 2024

Losing a loved one is one of the most challenging experiences anyone can face, and it can be even more overwhelming if their death is due to an accident. The grief and emotional turmoil can be compounded by the legal complexities that often follow such a tragic event. In Phoenix, Arizona, if you have lost a loved one in an accident, seeking legal help is crucial to ensure that your rights are protected and to help you navigate the difficult journey ahead. In this blog, let’s learn more about how to seek legal help in Phoenix if you have lost a loved one in an accident.

Understanding Wrongful Death Claims in Arizona

Before diving into the steps of seeking legal help, it’s essential to understand what constitutes a wrongful death claim in Arizona. A wrongful death claim arises when an individual dies due to the negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions of another person or entity. Common causes of wrongful death include car accidents, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, and defective products.

In Arizona, wrongful death claims are governed by the Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 12-611. The law allows certain family members to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for their loss. These family members typically include the surviving spouse, children, parents, and sometimes other dependents or beneficiaries.

Also Read -   Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

Steps to Seek Legal Help


1. Understand Your Rights and Eligibility

The first step is to understand your legal rights and determine if you are eligible to file a wrongful death claim. As mentioned, Arizona law permits specific family members to file a claim. It’s essential to identify if you fall within this category. Additionally, Arizona imposes a statute of limitations on wrongful death claims, generally requiring you to file a lawsuit within two years from the date of your loved one’s death.

2. Gather Relevant Information and Documentation

Before consulting with an attorney, gather all relevant information and documentation related to the accident and your loved one’s death. This may include:

  • Accident reports: Police reports, incident reports, or official documentation detailing the accident.
  • Medical records: Any medical records related to treating your loved one following the accident.
  • Witness statements: Contact information and statements from witnesses who were present at the scene of the accident.
  • Financial records: Document any financial losses incurred due to your loved one’s death, such as funeral expenses, lost wages, and medical bills.
  • Insurance information: Details of any insurance policies that may be relevant to the case.

3. Research and Choose a Qualified Wrongful Death Attorney

Choosing the right attorney is crucial to the success of your wrongful death claim. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a wrongful death attorney in Phoenix:

  • Experience and Expertise: Look for an attorney who specializes in wrongful death cases and has a proven track record of handling similar cases successfully.
  • Reputation: Research the attorney’s reputation by reading reviews and testimonials and checking their standing with the State Bar of Arizona.
  • Consultation: Many attorneys offer free initial consultations. Use this opportunity to discuss your case, ask questions, and gauge the attorney’s expertise and compatibility.
  • Fee Structure: Understand the attorney’s fee structure. Most wrongful death attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you win your case.
Also Read -   How Long Is Alimony Paid?

4. Schedule a Consultation

Once you have chosen an attorney, schedule a consultation to discuss your case in detail. During the consultation, be prepared to provide all the information and documentation you have gathered. The attorney will evaluate your case, explain your legal options, and outline the next steps.

5. Initiate the Legal Process

If you decide to proceed with the attorney, they will initiate the legal process by thoroughly investigating the accident. This may involve:

  • Collecting Evidence: Additional evidence, such as expert testimony, accident reconstruction, and forensic analysis.
  • I am filing the Claim: Drafting and filing the wrongful death lawsuit with the appropriate court.
  • Negotiations: Negotiate with the responsible parties and insurance companies to seek a fair settlement.
  • Litigation: If a settlement cannot be reached, the attorney will represent you and present your case to a judge and jury.

6. Understanding the Compensation You Are Entitled To

In a wrongful death claim, you may be entitled to various forms of compensation, including:

  • Non-Economic Damages: These cover intangible losses such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship, emotional distress, and loss of consortium.
  • Punitive Damages: In some cases, the court may award punitive damages to punish the responsible party for particularly egregious conduct.

7. Stay Informed and Involved

Throughout the legal process, stay informed and involved in your case. Maintain open communication with your attorney, ask for regular updates, and be responsive to any requests for information or documentation. Your involvement can significantly impact the outcome of your case.

Additional Considerations

Support Systems

Seek support from family, friends, and professional counsellors to help you cope with grief and emotional challenges. Many communities in Phoenix offer support groups for individuals who have experienced similar losses.

Also Read -   Unpacking the Legalities of South Africa's Online Gambling Laws

Community Resources

Phoenix has various community resources that can assist you during this difficult time. Organizations such as the Arizona Coalition for Victim Services and local non-profits provide support, counselling, and resources for families affected by accidents and wrongful deaths.

Legal Aid Services

If you cannot afford an attorney, consider seeking help from legal aid services in Phoenix. Community Legal Services offers eligible individuals free or low-cost legal assistance.


Seeking legal help after losing a loved one in an accident in Phoenix can be a complex and emotionally challenging process. By understanding your rights, gathering the necessary documentation, choosing a qualified attorney, and staying informed, you can navigate the legal landscape and seek justice for your loved one. Remember to seek support from your community and professional counsellors to help you through this difficult time. While no amount of compensation can replace your loss, a successful wrongful death claim can provide financial relief and a sense of closure as you move forward.

Related articles
Join the discussion!