CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Clients

Folsom Wrongful Death Lawyer


A death in the family can be one of the most painful and heart-wrenching experiences that anyone must endure. This is particularly true in the case of a death caused by negligent or reckless actions. Far too many families have their lives turned upside down due to someone else's irresponsible and cavalier actions. 

If someone you love was fatally injured in an accident in Folsom due to negligence, call our experienced wrongful death attorneys at (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly, and compassionate advice.

Wrongful Death Claims May Arise in Different Circumstances

Many different scenarios can give rise to a wrongful death lawsuit. One of the most common situations where a wrongful death claim may arise is a serious auto accident. Other circumstances include:

  • Boating accidents
  • Dangerous consumer products
  • Defective auto design and repairs
  • Medical errors and malpractice
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Unsafe pharmaceuticals and medical devices

While these causes of wrongful death are the most common types of claims we see, that does not mean that other types of incidents resulting in death will not be grounds for a wrongful death claim. If you suspect that you may have a wrongful death claim, please contact an experienced Folsom wrongful death attorney right away.

The Financial Strain of a Sudden Loss

The sudden loss of a loved one can result in significant and immediate financial strain on family resources. Medical bills can become astronomically expensive. Funeral costs can also be quite large. Furthermore, the decedent may have been the primary breadwinner for the family. For these expenses and other losses during your time of need, an experienced Folsom, CA, wrongful death attorney can help you get the financial compensation you deserve. The types of economic and non-economic damages that are typically pursued in a Folsom wrongful death case can include:

  • Emotional distress
  • Future earnings
  • Loss of companionship
  • Medical bills, funeral costs, and other expenses associated with a death
  • Pain and suffering
Wrongful Death Lawsuit Limited to Certain Family Members 

California law has limited the filing of this type of civil claim to the following individuals:

  • The victim’s spouse or domestic partner
  • The victim’s child, or children
  • If the victim passed away without a significant other or children, it is still possible to file a claim. However, it needs to be filed by the individual designated as the representative or executor of the victim’s estate. 
Consolidated Claims for Wrongful Death

Another issue that can come up is whether more than one person can pursue a wrongful death claim on behalf of the person who died. For example, if both a fiancé and a parent want to pursue claims on behalf of the deceased person. Filing two separate lawsuits based on the same incident involving the same decedent would be a fruitless endeavor. This is because the insurance defense attorney would simply file a motion to consolidate the two claims, and you would wind up with one case.

You may be thinking, “okay, I’ll just wait until the first lawsuit is completed, then I’ll file my lawsuit.” Again, this would be a fruitless endeavor. First, there is collateral estoppel, which is a legal doctrine holding that the same issues will not be re-litigated. Second, there will probably be statute of limitations problems with filing a second lawsuit after the conclusion of a first lawsuit.

Will I Have to Testify in Court?

When someone is coping with the sudden loss of a loved one, the thought of going into a courtroom and testifying can be quite intimidating and unpleasant. Take heed of the fact that there is a good chance your wrongful death claim will be resolved through settlement or mediation without having to testify at a jury trial. In fact, over 95 percent of all personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits are resolved through a settlement rather than a jury verdict. Nevertheless, no lawyer should guarantee that you will not have to testify because each case is different, and a jury trial may, in fact, be necessary to obtain the financial restitution you deserve.

What Needs to Be Proven at Trial

If the other party’s insurance representative is unwilling to offer a reasonable settlement, a jury trial will need to occur. If this happens, the burden is on your wrongful death attorney to present compelling evidence to prove that the defendant was liable for your loved one’s death. Four elements need to be established to hold a defendant liable in a wrongful death case. Those four elements include:

  1. A duty of care – This arises in different circumstances. For example, a driver has a duty of care to operate their vehicle reasonably safely and adhere to the rules of the road.
  2. Brеасh of the duty of care – There needs to be evidence that the dеfеndаnt breached the duty of care.
  3. Causation – Once a breach of duty has been established, thеrе needs to be sufficient evidence showing a proximate, causal link bеtwееn thе dеfеndаnt’ѕ brеасh and your loved one’s death.
  4. Dаmаgеѕ - In the wrongful death context, this element can be proven by producing bills and invoices related to medical care, funeral and burial expenses, past tax returns for lost wages, and so forth.

If you have lost a loved one in a fatal accident due to the careless or reckless actions of another person or entity, let a Folsom, CA wrongful death lawyer help you and your family during this challenging time.

Watch the video below for further information on a wrongful death claim.

Wrongful Death Attorney in Folsom, CA

Did you lose a loved one in an accident that was caused by someone else's negligence? Contact an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Folsom, CA, at to discuss your wrongful death case. Call our law firm anytime at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice from one of our lawyers today.

We have been helping the Folsom and greater Sacramento community with their matters involving personal injury and wrongful death for more than three decades.

We are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

See our client reviews on AvvoGoogle, and Yelp and our past cases on our Verdicts and Settlements page.

Editor's Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy. [cha 7.28.21]

:sb bw [cs 1164]

Photos by pixabay

Client Reviews
"Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!" Alex & Dinah M.
"Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation." Beverly
"Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything." Annie T.
"Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime." Jeremy M.
"I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone." Shannon D.
"Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury." David M.