Granite Bay Wrongful Death Lawyer


Losing someone you love is one of life’s most stressful situations. Even if a loved one is ill, we are never prepared enough for their passing. If they were taken by a careless or reckless act on the part of another person, a sense of anger, shock, and disbelief compounds the grief we feel. A sudden unexpected death can catapult us into a feeling of vulnerability we’ve never experienced before.

So how do we cope? Most experts say that grief recovery is a gradual one, filled with ups and downs. At the start, everything may feel surreal and empty. Nothing may seem to make sense anymore, and you may find that even daily chores are overwhelming. 

During this time, the last thing you need is to worry about financial issues caused by a loved one’s passing and deal with insurance companies. Have an experienced Granite Bay wrongful death attorney handle all aspects of your case so you and your family can focus on recovering from your loss. At the same time, your lawyer works to obtain justice on your behalf.

Effects of a Sudden Death on Survivors

There is no quick way to deal with sudden death due to negligence or an intentional act. In such cases, the people left behind are robbed of a chance to say goodbye or even to say they love you for the last time. This lack of preparedness makes death all the more overwhelming. Survivors may experience physical signssuch as loss of appetite, anxiety, and insomnia. 

Parents and other caregivers worry about explaining how this beloved person is no longer present and why it happened if children are involved. An inheritance or financial help the child or spouse might have relied on is also gone. Also, the cost of end-of-life expenses and monthly bills may prove overwhelming after the decedent’s support is lost. While no one can resolve the grief you feel, a Granite Bay wrongful death lawyer can help with financial stress.

What is Wrongful Death in California?

A wrongful death occurs when a reckless or negligent act causes a fatal accident. It can also result from intentional acts such as homicide. In some cases, driving under the influence or aggressive driving also causes wrongful death. For example, a prosecutor can charge a drunk driver with vehicular or gross vehicular manslaughter or murder in California. This elevates the DUI to an intentional act since the driver either knew the consequences of drunk driving or used their vehicle as a weapon. 

A person may be killed by another individual who has a grievance against them in other situations. Even though this is considered murder, the family can still file a claim against the person for wrongful death. 

What Are the Causes of Wrongful Death?

Negligence is the usual cause of wrongful death. As mentioned above, intentional acts can also be considered why a person dies. Some common reasons for wrongful death are:

What is the Purpose of a Wrongful Death Claim? 

It is a claim brought against the perpetrator of a negligent or intentional act that caused the death. These claims allow the deceased family to file a lawsuit to obtain compensation for their loved one’s death. Some of the most common types of compensation in a wrongful death case are:

  • Medical expenses: The medical care provided to the loved one immediately before their demise is covered. This covers ambulance rides to the hospital, ER charges, and physician involvement. 
  • End-of-life expenses: Such expenses involve burial and funeral costs.
  • Lost income: This covers the income the decedent may have earned had they lived. It also covers future income over their lifetime. 
  • Loss of household services involves the cost of routine jobs the decedent would have done around the house.
  • Loss of companionship: When someone dies, their survivors will lose the moral support, affection, and companionship they might have provided.
  • Lost inheritance: A family member may be denied the amount of inheritance they might expect if their loved one lived.
  • Loss of consortium: Loss of companionship by a spouse.

Our wrongful death attorneys serving Granite Bay, California, have created the following video about handling these cases.

Survival Actions

Had the decedent not died but instead had been injured in an accident caused by a negligent party, they would have filed a personal injury lawsuit. This would include expenses for medical care, pain and suffering, and other costs. 

In a survival action, the family steps into the decedent's shoes and files a lawsuit for the costs from the time of the injury until the family member’s death. It is called a survival action because it survives the person’s demise. On the other hand, a wrongful death lawsuit claims compensation due to the family members after the person’s death. 

Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Case in California?

California law allows the following persons to file a wrongful death claim:

  • The spouse of the decedent
  • Domestic partner
  • Children
  • Stepchildren whom the decedent supports
  • A minor child the decent supported for a minimum of 180 days before their death. The decedent must have provided 50 percent of the child’s support.
  • Putative spouse: This person acted as if they were married to the decedent and believed themselves in a “marital” relationship. This holds whether the person has legal proof of a marriage or not.
What Needs to Be Proven in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The family members must prove negligence or the person's intention who caused their loved one’s death. For example, if negligence was the reason the person died, the plaintiff must prove the defendant had a duty of care to the deceased and that duty was breached, which caused the person’s death. Finally, they must establish a link between the person’s demise and the damages they are seeking.

What is the Statute of Limitations for a Wrongful Death Claim?

A time limit called a statute of limitations in California limits the bereaved person’s ability to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In California, this time limit is two years from the person's death. While this may seem to be more than enough time, many things must be done before the period expires. 

The accident must be investigated and proof of negligence and fault established. It is best to start before evidence is lost or covered up during this challenging time. If a government entity is a defendant in the case, the time limit may be much different. Your Granite Bay wrongful death lawyer can ensure all documents are filed in time.

How a Granite Bay Wrongful Death Attorney Can Help Your Family

An attorney helps establish negligence, which is necessary for filing a wrongful death claim. Our Granite Bay wrongful death lawyers help our clients by sending an investigative team to the fatal accident scene. 

In other cases, we review medical records, sometimes with the assistance of an expert, to determine if the care was compromised. Once we determine if negligence or an intentional act precipitated the death, we work on filing the claim and obtaining the compensation. 

Discuss Your Case with a Granite Bay Wrongful Death Attorney

Our Granite Bay wrongful death attorneys at have been fighting for families in Northern California since 1982. To learn how our legal team can help your family after a fatal accident in Placer County, call (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for compassionate, free, and friendly legal advice.

We’ve been able to help many Granite Bay residents obtain the compensation they deserve. Besides wrongful death, some of the areas we’ve worked in are all types of car accidentstraumatic brain injuriesand pedestrian and motorcycle accidents.

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

See client reviews of our wrongful death law firm on GoogleYelp, and Avvo

Look at our case history on our Verdicts and Settlements page

Editor’s Note: Updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 3.22.23]

Photo Attribution: Pixabay

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