Arizona Wrongful Death Laws


The Arizona wrongful death laws can be found in Article 2, Chapter 6 of Title 12 of the Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R. S.).  Pursuant to A.R.S. § 12-611, if the death of a person is caused by wrongful act, neglect or default and such act could have entitled the party injured, if death had not ensued,  to maintain an action to recover damages from the person who caused such wrongful act neglect or default. 

An action for wrongful death can be brought by and in the name of the surviving husband or wife, child, parent or guardian, or personal representative of the deceased person for and on behalf of the surviving husband or wife, children or parents, or if none of these survive, on behalf of the decedent’s estate.  Both parents may maintain the action for the death of a child, and the guardian may maintain the action for the death of the guardian’s ward.  A personal representative includes any person to whom letters testamentary or of administration are granted by competent authority. The personal representative may maintain the action for wrongful death without the issuance of further letters or any other requirement or authorization of law[i].

The damages awarded shall be the amount the jury may consider fair and just with reference to the injury resulting from the death to the beneficiaries and mitigating circumstances attending the wrongful act, neglect or default.  The amount recovered shall not be subject to debts or liabilities of the deceased unless the action is brought on behalf of the decedent’s estate[ii].  In an action for wrongful death, the jury shall give such damages as it deems fair and just with reference to the injury resulting from the death to the surviving parties who may be entitled to recover, and also having regard to the mitigating or aggravating circumstances attending the wrongful act, neglect or default. The amount recovered in such action shall not be subject to debts or liabilities of the deceased, unless the action is brought on behalf of the decedent’s estate.

[i] A.R.S. § 12-612.

[ii] A.R.S. § 12-613.