A. An action for wrongful death shall 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.

Terms Used In Arizona Laws 12-612

  • Action: includes any matter or proceeding in a court, civil or criminal. See Arizona Laws 1-215
  • Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
  • Decedent: A deceased person.
  • Guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • Person: includes a corporation, company, partnership, firm, association or society, as well as a natural person. See Arizona Laws 1-215

B. Either parent 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.

C. The amount recovered in an action for wrongful death shall be distributed to the parties provided for in subsection A of this section in proportion to their damages, and if recovery is on behalf of the decedent’s estate the amount shall be an asset of the estate.

D. If any party listed in subsection A of this section is found guilty of or guilty except insane for, or pled guilty or no contest to, a violation of section 13-3623 involving the death of the child decedent or a violation of section 13-1103, 13-1104 or 13-1105 involving the death of the decedent, the party is deemed to have predeceased the decedent and is disqualified from recovering wrongful death benefits.  This subsection applies to a person who is found guilty of or guilty except insane for, or pled guilty or no contest to, an offense committed in another jurisdiction that has the same elements of an offense listed in this subsection and that if committed in this state would be a violation of any of the offenses listed in this subsection.

E. For the purposes of subsection A of this section, "personal representative" includes any person to whom letters testamentary or of administration are granted by competent authority under the laws of this or any other state.  The personal representative may maintain the action for wrongful death without the issuance of further letters or any other requirement or authorization of law.