Wrongful Death Claim FAQ
The Watkin Law Office, PC Answers Your Questions
Losing a loved one is something that is life-altering. There is nothing
that can be done to bring that person back. If a person's negligent
or reckless actions were at the root cause of their death, however, the
victim's family should surely not have to deal with the financial
aftermath on their own. The last thing that a family wants to have to
do after they have lost their family member, spouse or significant other
is to have to face all of these exorbitant bills, loss of income and other
The Watkin Law Office, PC in Scottsdale, we want to compassionately come alongside you during this
time and be of service in any way that we can. Take a look at the following
frequently asked questions and find the relevant answers below. Get in
touch with our firm office to learn more.
What if a person dies before bringing a personal injury lawsuit?
This is an area of the law that varies from state to state. In Arizona,
an injured person can bring a personal injury claim against the at-fault
party for his pain, suffering and economic losses, including medical bills,
lost earnings, etc. However, in Arizona, it the injured person dies as
a direct result of those same injuries, then any claim he may have had
for his own pain and suffering "dies with him." At that point
(the injured person's death), only two types of claims remain:
wrongful death lawsuit brought by his survivors
for their own pain, suffering and economic damages; and
- A potential claim brought on behalf of the decedent's estate, limited
to the recovery (from the defendant) of the decedent's medical and
other expenses incidental to his pre-death injuries.
In Arizona, even when the decedent experienced excruciating pain and suffering
prior to dying, the law does not permit a claim to be brought on his behalf
for any of that. Remember: if the statute of limitations has run on the
personal injury lawsuit, and the death resulted from those injuries, the
legal claim may be time-barred and no longer valid. Competent legal advice
can help you sort out your state's approach.
Can a wrongful death action be brought if the deceased never had a wage-paying job?
Yes, absolutely. Whether the decedent was a minor child, a stay at home
mom or dad, a disabled or special needs person or anybody else, so long
as he or she is survived by a child, spouse or parent, that survivor may
bring a wrongful death claim. In any of these situations (and others),
chances are good that the survivor is suffering from the loss of the decedent,
and that is the only requirement.
Can a plaintiff sue for the pain and suffering of the decedent in a wrongful
No. As mentioned above, although Arizona awards pain and suffering damages
the person who experienced the pain and suffering, if that same individual
dies from his injuries, no pain and suffering he experienced prior to
death may be recovered by his survivors. Instead, while the injured person
who dies "loses" his claim for pain and suffering, his survivors
"gain" a new legal claim against the party at fault –
a claim for their own pain and suffering resulting from the loss of the decedent.
Have more questions? Call our Scottsdale injury lawyer!
40 years of experience working in the field of
personal injury law and representing wrongful death claims,
Attorney Clark Watkin is highly knowledgeable regarding the information needed to walk away
with a successful case result. While he does not promise anything, having
a reliable Scottsdale wrongful death lawyer by your side throughout the
duration of your case can only help your claim.
Never using a cookie-cutter approach, Attorney Watkin is well aware that
your case is unique. That being said, he investigates each and every case
on an individual basis, looking for evidence or witnesses that can help
further the success of his client's claim. You can rest easier knowing
that you have an attorney with you who is adamant about protecting your
rights—no matter what it takes.
Contact our firm today or fill out our
free case evaluation form to retain the proper representation you both need and deserve. We
can be reached at