El Dorado Hills Wrongful Death Lawyer
Experiencing the sudden loss of a loved one is undoubtedly one of the most devastating events a family can face. Emotionally overwhelming, it often brings grief and significant financial challenges. The burden of medical bills, funeral expenses, and the loss of a source of family income can compound the already profound pain and distress. During such a difficult time, seeking the guidance of an El Dorado Hills wrongful death attorney can provide much-needed support and assistance.
If you have tragically lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party, our law firm is here to help you navigate the legal process and pursue justice on behalf of your family. We understand the immense emotional and financial toll such a loss can have, and we are committed to providing compassionate and experienced legal representation.
To seek the compensation your family deserves, we invite you to call our law firm at (916) 921-6400. Our legal team in El Dorado Hills is available to provide a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case in detail. During this consultation, we will listen to your story, assess the circumstances surrounding the accident, and provide knowledgeable guidance on the next steps.The Basis for Pursuing a Claim for Wrongful Death
Under California law, a wrongful death has occurred when an individual dies as a proximate result of negligent action, or inaction by another person. This establishes the basis to file a civil claim under California tort law, enabling a representative of the decedent to seek financial restitution for the immense and unexpected loss of a loved one.Filing a Wrongful Death Case in El Dorado County
Under California law, a wrongful death claim filing is limited to a specific group of individuals, set forth by statute. Those individuals include the decedent’s spouse, domestic partner, child, or children. If the victim did not have a spouse or had no children, a wrongful death claim may still be filed by a representative designated by a California court who is legally recognized as a beneficiary of the victim’s property.
A related issue is whether multiple wrongful death claims can be pursued. This question often arises when a spouse and another family member may not be on good terms or who believes they should be the representative in court over another person. Generally, only a particular individual (i.e., the person chosen to represent the estate) may file suit.
If two people attempt to file separate wrongful death claims representing the same victim against the same defendant, a California court will likely merge the two cases to promote judicial efficiency. Some may think, “Well, what if one lawsuit is filed in California and another is filed in a different state?” That would not work because jurisdictional requirements are associated with a civil wrongful death lawsuit.Types of Compensation Available in a Wrongful Death Claim
Some of the most common types of damages recoverable in wrongful death cases are:
- Medical bills, funeral costs, and other expenses associated with death: types of immediate costs such as these are often referred to as compensatory damages. California law allows plaintiffs to recover the entirety of these types of injuries.
- Future earnings: income the deceased would have expected to earn throughout their lifetime can also be recovered as a wrongful death lawsuit.
- Pain and suffering: California courts consider your pain and trauma due to a loved one’s passing and award appropriate damages.
- Loss of companionship: compensation for the loss of companionship previously provided to you by a family member is also recoverable.
- Emotional distress: in some cases where an individual witnesses the death of a loved one, California Law will allow you to recover damages for your own emotional pain.
- Punitive damages: In the most extreme cases where a death occurred because of an intentional act or gross negligence, it may be possible to recover additional damages.
Many people hesitate before hiring an El Dorado Hills wrongful death lawyer because they worry that an attorney will be expensive. However, our law firm is, first and foremost, dedicated to helping you recover damages for your loss. Unlike other law firms that charge hourly rates, our law firm handles cases on a contingency fee basis. This means there are no fees upfront, and we get paid only after the successful outcome of your case.Will My Wrongful Death Case Go to Trial?
When someone struggles with losing a loved one, going into a courtroom and testifying can feel overwhelming and intimidating. If you file an El Dorado Hills wrongful death claim against the party responsible for your loved one’s death, there is a good chance your claim will be resolved without having a jury trial.
In fact, well over 90 percent of all personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits are resolved via settlement rather than a jury trial. Nevertheless, no attorney can or should guarantee the outcome of a case. When a claim is filed, you need a lawyer ready to go to trial, if necessary. Our law firm is ready to take your case to trial, and we have the financial resources and experience.What Needs to Be Proven in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A jury trial must be scheduled if your lawyer and the other party’s insurance claims representative cannot reach a fair and reasonable settlement. If this happens, the plaintiff must present sufficient evidence to prove the defendant was liable for their loved one’s death. Your El Dorado wrongful death lawyer will need to present evidence that meets the four elements of establishing that a defendant was liable in a wrongful death case, including:
- Duty of care – This is a lеgаl оbligаtiоn arising in numerous situations.
- Brеасh of the duty of care – There needs to be evidence that the dеfеndаnt breached the duty of care.
- Causation – Once your El Dorado Hills wrongful death attorney establishes that a breach of duty occurred, thеrе must be sufficient evidence showing a causal link between thе dеfеndаnt’ѕ brеасh and your loved one’s death.
- Economic and non-economic dаmаgеѕ - Once causation is adequately shown, your attorney must present persuasive evidence to the jury that you suffered harm and losses. This can be proven in the wrongful death context by producing bills and invoices related to medical care, funeral, and burial expenses, and past tax returns for lost wages.
The following video explains how you can find a qualified wrongful death lawyer in El Dorado Hills, California, to handle your claim.Call Our Wrongful Death Attorneys in El Dorado County, California
If you have lost a loved one after a tragic death accident, please call our experienced El Dorado Hills wrongful death lawyers at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for compassionate, free, and friendly advice on how to proceed with a wrongful death claim.
See our past verdicts and settlements.
Editor’s Note: updated [cha 6.19.23] Photo by Greg Ortega on Unsplash sb bw [cs 1166]