This morning, we've learned of a tragic two-vehicle collision near Chandler, in which all five occupants were killed, including both drivers. The two vehicles involved both sustained horrific damage.
The cause, or causes, of the collision are not yet known. Law enforcement is investigating if speed and/or alcohol were factors.
What legal rights might survivors of these victims have? Arizona designates statutory beneficiaries that can bring claims for those killed through the negligence on another.
These are called wrongful death claims. Statutory beneficiaries include surviving parents, spouses, and children.
The claim is a joint claim for however many statutory beneficiaries exist, and is designed to compensate those beneficiaries for the loss of their loved one's love, companionship, and support.
In this collision, such claims might be brought against the estate of whichever driver caused the collision.
If a defect in highway design was a factor, such claims could possibly be brought against the governmental entity and/or construction company responsible for the defective road design/construction.
This might include a claim for improperly placed stop signs, inadequate sight lines, etc.
Also, if a defect in the design and/or manufacture of one or both vehicles was a contributing factors in the deaths of each vehicle's occupants, a claim might also be brought against that motor vehicle company.
Clearly too soon to tell if any of these issues are relevant in this tragic collision, but it is important to keep them in mind as the investigation unfolds.
In the interim, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family members.