Tucson Wrongful Death Lawyers
The wrongful death of a loved one can be one of the hardest experiences any person can go through in life. The finality of the loss and the knowledge that it could have possibly been prevented can make the trauma of wrongful death harder to bear than virtually anything else. Furthermore, for many families, the unexpected loss of a loved one may mean the loss of an important source of support and income, without which it may be difficult to continue living as before.
Wrongful death can occur as the result of many different factors, but whenever someone else was at fault for causing a person’s death, the family may be entitled to seek compensation for their loss. Our Tucson wrongful death attorneys at Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C., know how devastating it is for families to lose a loved one at the hands of another person or party and, as such, are committed to helping families through this difficult experience.
An Attorney Can Help You
Handling a wrongful death claim on your own while grieving is an overwhelming feat. The amount of work that goes into proving a wrongful death case is extensive and requires experience. Contacting an attorney to handle your claim is the best and healthiest thing you can do to make sure your family’s interests are protected.
Hiring an attorney can also help you focus on the grieving process. If you represent yourself, you will likely have to sacrifice the emotional processing of losing your loved one. At this extraordinarily difficult time, it’s important to focus on emotional health and well-being, which is just not possible if you represent yourself.
Why Choose Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C.
The attorneys at Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C. will always put you first. They have deep roots in the Tucson community, having practiced here since 1956. They know how to investigate your claim, determine settlement options, file a lawsuit, conduct discovery, and successfully present your case to a judge. You need a compassionate, qualified legal team when you’re fighting such a complex and emotionally-charged case. The best thing you can do for yourself and your family at this difficult time is contact Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C. to start seeking justice and closure.
What is a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim occurs when another party’s negligence leads to the death of a loved one. Wrongful death is not a criminal claim, so you cannot seek jail time as compensation. That said, however, the damages one can seek for the wrongful death of a loved one are relatively vast. The survivors of a deceased party are eligible for various remedies and recoveries under the law, such as:
- Medical treatment incurred by the deceased immediately preceding their passing
- Loss of consortium (or companionship)
- Funeral or memorial expenses
- Loss of income while the deceased is being treated, prior to passing
- Loss of income that is speculated to have been earned had the deceased survived
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of projected retirement
- Pain and suffering – experienced by the deceased preceding death and survivors of the deceased
While it may seem awful to think about suing someone while you are grieving, there is nothing wrong with being proactive. Even just contacting an attorney to talk about your options can help afford you peace of mind. An attorney can help determine whether you have a viable claim and if you should pursue litigation now or in the future.
Common Causes of Wrongful Death
Tragically, there are a number of ways in which another person’s actions can cause an innocent person to lose his or her life. However, some of the most common ways these losses occur are:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Premises liability
- Product liability
- Nursing home negligence
Dealing with the loss of a loved one because of any of these situations can be emotionally wrenching, but legal representation in these situations can help to alleviate some of the challenges that families may be facing.
Wrongful Death Claim FAQS
If you and your family have lost a loved one because of another person’s action, you undoubtedly have many questions. Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C. is experienced in the field of wrongful death claims, and we have included some of the most frequently asked questions (and answers) that we receive from clients who have lost a loved one.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
Usually, only the surviving spouse, parents, and children of the deceased can file a claim for wrongful death. The closer and more intimate the relationship, the more standing the individual has to make a wrongful death claim.
What other recovery, if any, is possible?
While the above-referenced damages are the typical damages awarded in a wrongful death claim, there are two other awards available to claimants. They are:
- Punitive Damages: These are damages that are awarded in rare situations. These are less common, but may be worthwhile to pursue if your loved one passed away due to extremely reckless behavior. While all wrongful death claims involve negligent behavior, a claim warranting punitive damages is one where the behavior was so reckless that it almost “steps above” mere ordinary negligence. As a result, punitive damages are ordered to be a deterrent for any possible future behavior that is similarly reckless.
- Attorneys’ Fees: These damages may be requested as a way of offsetting your representation bill. While judges have discretion in awarding these fees, the fees are usually rewarded.
What is the difference between “deceased damages” and “survivors’ damages”?
“Deceased damages” relate to economic damages the deceased experienced from the incident causing their death all the way up to their death. Examples of these would be lost wages of the deceased while hospitalized, the pain and suffering of the deceased, medical bills, etc. Similarly, survivors’ damages are damages felt by the survivors. These would be the pain and suffering of the survivors, lost wages the deceased would have earned had they survived, loss of consortium, punitive damages, etc.
What constitutes and substantiates an economic damages claim versus a non-economic damages claim?
In personal injury litigation, recovery and compensation are assessed by type of injury. The type of injury is then classified into a damages category. While the result is the same regardless of categorization (financial recovery is awarded to the plaintiff(s) filing suit), some damages categories are easier to prove than others.
- Economic damages are easier to claim because they involve tangible financial losses. Evidence like medical bills, funeral bills, cremation costs, and a tally of days missed at work (from the incident date up to the date of death) usually provide adequate proof of economic damages. These are also easy to obtain and easy to have awarded, given the nature of the data.
- Noneconomic damages are less tangible damages. These are the assertions regarding pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of future wages, etc. These are also the damages and claim types that will be questioned the most by the opposing party. However, they are worth the fight because an award of such will help take care of you and your family in the present and future. Do not risk losing an award for these damages just because they are harder to prove. Hire an experienced attorney to help you identify your case’s strengths and weaknesses and stand up for what you and your family are owed.
Again, these are just a few common questions and concerns many people ask regarding wrongful death claim nuances. As it is not an exhaustive list and every case is different, contact us at (520) 529-1515 to discuss your particular situation and concerns.
Talk to a Wrongful Death Attorney in Tucson
If your loved one has passed away because of recklessness or negligence on the part of others, our legal team at Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C., believes you may be owed justice and compensation. Wrongful death claims are difficult, and they can be painful to pursue. However, they are necessary when a party has caused severe harm to you and your family and caused the death of a loved one. Seeking justice and what you are legally entitled to is your right in these situations. Speak with us today about pursuing the financial compensation and closure you need by calling our offices at (520) 529-1515.