Glendale police are investigating a deadly crash that left one person dead and another seriously injured this past weekend.
Saturday Morning Crash Leaves One Dead
Early Saturday morning, two vehicles collided near 59th Avenue and Mountain View Road. The man driving a Nissan Pathfinder on 59th Avenue northbound crossed over the center line and hit another a car traveling southbound, according to Glendale police.
The man in the Pathfinder died from his injuries and the man in the other car was taken to the hospital for serious injuries.
A third car was struck following the initial collision but the driver of that car was uninjured.
Detectives from the Glendale Police Vehicle Crimes Unit are working to identify the cause of the crash.
Wrongful Death or Civil Lawsuits for Drunk Driving
A civil lawsuit is often the best chance for you or a loved one to recover damages from losses sustained in a drunk driving case.
A civil suit for drunk driving is a separate process from criminal proceedings a drunk driver may face. Criminal proceedings are meant to protect the public from future harm, while also punishing the drunk driver for his or her reckless behavior. A criminal suit can be brought against a drunk driver even if there was no accident or injury.
A separate civil suit can be brought in the form of a personal injury lawsuit that is filed by either the victim, or the family of a deceased victim in order to recover damages such as medical treatment, lost wages, or other economic damages. In cases where the victim is deceased, a civil suit can be brought as a way to recover non-economic damages such as money for pain and suffering.
Arizona follows the doctrine of pure comparative negligence.
If you live in a state that is a “pure negligence state,” you are free to sue a drunk driver for the injuries you or a deceased loved one has sustained. Just like personal injury drunk driving suits, you will need to prove fault as you would in any other civil suit.
Wrongful Death Suit
A wrongful death lawsuit can be brought against someone who has caused another person’s death either through negligence or through intentional harm and are a variation of a standard personal injury negligence suit. Typically, a “wrongful death” claim is brought by the estate of the deceased on behalf of surviving members and other affected parties. The suit is filed against the party they allege is liable for the death.
Two Forms of Wrongful Death Claim
There are two forms a wrongful death claim can take. Either the charge is negligence or intention. This means either the victim died as the result of a negligent act of the defendant. Or the victim died as the result of the defendant’s intentions to kill the victim. Some examples of negligence include: victim’s death as a result of medical malpractice, drunk driving, or the victim dies as the result of a faulty engine in the car the victim was riding in. An example of intention is when the defendant is believed to have murdered the victim on purpose.
Proving a Wrongful Death Claim
For the defendant to be declared liable in a wrongful death claim, the claim brought must meet the same burden of proof that the victim would have had to meet if the victim was alive. In the case of a negligence trial, plaintiffs must show the defendant owed a duty of care to the victim, that the defendant breached this duty of care, and that the breach of this duty directly caused the death of the victim.
Jury Rulings on Wrongful Death Cases
A jury ruling on a wrongful death case is typically instructed to award damages to beneficiaries as it deems fair and just. And generally, a beneficiary will recover a monetary award. The amount recovered by a wrongful death is not subject to any debts or liabilities of the deceased unless the action has been brought on behalf of the deceased’s estate.
Types of Damages
Various types of damages can be recovered in a wrongful death claim. What you file for will be dependent on the circumstances of the case. Here is a list of damages you can claim:
- Punitive Damages
- Loss of love, affection, companionship, care, protection, and guidance since the death and in the future.
- Pain, grief, sorrow, anguish, stress, shock, and mental suffering already experienced, and reasonably probable to be experienced in the future.
- Income and services that have been lost as a result of the death, and that are reasonably probable to be experienced in the future.
- Reasonable expenses of funeral and burial.
- Reasonable expenses of necessary medical care and services for the injury that resulted in the death.
Recovering Legal Damages
In order to legally recover damages in a wrongful death action, there are some general requirements that must be met. They are as follows: (1) The death must have been caused by another’s negligence, i.e., it must be showed that the negligent person was at fault for the death; (2) if the deceased was alive, he or she would have been entitled to recover damages from the at fault party; and (3) the party or beneficiaries must meet the legal requirements to be allowed recovery of damages in the Wrongful Death action.
Note: Wrongful death laws vary from state to state
Not every state follows the same guidelines, principles, or rules. And each state has its own set laws regarding wrongful death. A personal injury attorney can help advise you on if your wrongful death claim is valid and can help you are you pursue a claim against the responsible party or parties.
Working with a Personal Injury Attorney After an Accident
If you have been a victim in a car, truck, pedestrian, or bicycle accident, you should immediately contact a personal injury attorney that understands the specific laws around these types of accidents. They will be able to perform a full investigation and build your case. It’s crucial that you work with someone that knows the intricacies of the laws surrounding these types of cases as well as your specific state’s laws. The attorneys at Personal Injury Attorneys PLLC have experience handling personal injury cases such as car accidents, pedestrian accidents, and bicycle accidents. They will help build a case to ensure you receive everything you need to recover from your specific accident.