Escalon Wrongful Death Lawyer


Wrongful death occurs when a person is killed due to another's intentional acts or if negligence existed and caused the person's demise. Death can happen in various ways, from a trip and fall mishap to a pedestrian accident or a motor vehicle collision

Beyond the grief loved ones feel, the loss of the financial support that the decedent provided weighs heavily on the family. Funeral and burial expenses can drain money they saved for other purposes, and the cost of household bills may be difficult to meet. If the family's difficulties are due to an accident, then an experienced wrongful death attorney can help.

How Our Law Firm Can Help

At, our legal team has provided compassionate service to residents of Escalon and the surrounding area. We understand that clients are unsure about what to do after their family members die and are caught in a web of sorrow over the loss of their loved ones. 

We dispatch our investigators to the accident scene to discover how it happened and determine liability. To do this, we examine the accident site, interview witnesses, obtain surveillance camera videos, and perform accident reconstruction techniques if a motor vehicle accident is involved. 

We always protect our client's rights. No one can act recklessly and walk away without being liable for the pain their actions inflicted. My staff and I can assist you after a loved one dies, and we do everything we can to make it easier for you. 

For free and friendly advice, call us at (209) 227-1931 locally or at (800) 404-5400 to schedule a free case review in person or virtually. Contact us online using our convenient form if it is easier for you. Remember, you won't pay for our services unless your case is successfully resolved in your favor.

The Loss of a Loved One in a Wrongful Death

Losing a loved one is hard enough, but dealing with a family member's death due to negligence or an intentional act can be devastating. The enormity of it can sometimes overwhelm the family. Family members must deal with grief, anger, and a sense of helplessness in addition to end-of-life preparations. 

However, many families must also deal with financial difficulties linked to their loved one's demise. Few of us think about this until it happens, and the added stress is daunting. If another person or entity is responsible for your loved one's death, you have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. 

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Under California Code 377.60, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed in California if the person's death is due to negligence or an intentional act. The following individuals can file a claim:

  • The deceased's spouse
  • The putative spouse
  • The deceased's domestic partner
  • The children of the deceased
  • Stepchildren if they received a minimum of 50 percent of their monetary care from the deceased
  • Grandchildren of the deceased if the children of the decedent are deceased themselves
  • When the decedent is a minor, the parents or guardians can file a claim
  • If the deceased provided their parents with 50 percent of their support, the parents could file a wrongful death claim
Deadline in Which a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Can Be Filed

Every personal injury lawsuit has a deadline beyond which the claim can no longer be filed. This is called the statute of limitation. For a wrongful death in California, the time within which a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed is two years. Your wrongful death attorney will ensure that all documents are properly filed on time.

First Steps in Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

After speaking with a wrongful death lawyer in Escalon, you will learn whether you can proceed with a claim, which will be filed in civil court. The complaint presents the family's case against the negligent party. It explains the legal reasons why the case is being brought and identifies the at-fault party. The lawsuit also includes the family's demand for judgment, which is the damages the family suffered. 

Please watch the video presented by attorney Ed Smith that explains the wrongful death process:

Compensation in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The family can obtain the following compensation if their loved one died due to another person's or entity's negligence: 

  • The cost of end-of-life expenses, including the decedent's funeral and burial
  • The lost wages the decedent would have earned until the time of their retirement 
  • The pension, commissions, and other benefits the deceased would have earned until their retirement
  • The loss of consortium, affection, moral support, and comfort the decedent would have provided to the spouse, domestic partner, or putative spouse
  • Children can recover damages for the deceased's care, guidance, and training the decedent would have provided to them
  • Loss of inheritance can also be claimed
  • The family could request punitive damages if the death resulted from egregious acts by filing a survival action
What Is a Survival Action?

survival action differs from a wrongful death lawsuit in that it targets the personal loss the decedent suffered from the time of the accident to their death. This period could be short or involve weeks or months. It encompasses the pain, loss, and suffering the injured person experiences before death. It is a personal injury lawsuit that survives the person's demise and is filed by the family. 

In California, punitive damages can only be requested if a survival action is filed. The survival action can be filed simultaneously as a wrongful death lawsuit. The jury decides the monetary amount of punitive damages, which are usually much higher than the compensatory damages.

Escalon Wrongful Death Lawyer

If your loved one dies due to another's negligence or intentional act, your family may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Call our law firm at (209) 227-1931 locally or at (800) 404-5400 to obtain free and friendly advice. When you call, you will be able to schedule a free case review that gives you a chance to meet with our legal team, ask questions you might have, and get to know us. Let us help you through this difficult time. 

Editor's Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 10.26.22]

Photo attribution: Image by Andreas Lischka from Pixabay 

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