Nevada City Wrongful Death Lawyer


Dealing with a death in the family is never easy. It is even more complicated when your loved one was killed due to another person or entity’s negligence, and the grief is even more daunting. Without notice, someone rings your doorbell or calls you on the phone, and your world is thrown upside down. Dealing with this type of loss takes a lot of stamina and the help of close friends and family members. There is no one way to handle a death in the family. However, it helps the bereaved learn more about wrongful death and what can be done.

Let’s look at who can place a wrongful death claim, the types of accidents, what is covered by this lawsuit, and what can be done to make a difficult time easier. We’ll also explore what a wrongful death lawyer in Nevada City can do to make it easier financially. We know that none of this will make the loss of a loved one any easier, but it will make the transition period less of a financial burden.

Suing for a Wrongful Death

A representative for the family sues for wrongful death and is usually the executor of the deceased person’s estate. Some of the people who might have a share in the claim include:

  • Members of the immediate family: This consists of the spouse, children, adopted children, or parents of a decedent who isn’t married.
  • Putative spouse or domestic partner: In California, a putative spouse could be divorced or separated from the decedent but was still supported by that person. The spouse may also believe the marriage was still valid, although it wasn’t. This ruling by California courts resulted from Ceja v. Rudolph & Sletten, Inc., a case in which the deceased husband had neglected to divorce his first wife before marrying again.
  • More distant members of the family: Siblings, parents, and grandparents may place a claim if no closer family members survive.
Types of Wrongful Death Accidents

There are many different types of accidents that result in a person’s demise. They range from automobile crashes to the failure of a doctor to treat a patient appropriately. In every case, someone dies prematurely or unnecessarily. This causes the family overwhelming grief and, on occasion, anger. They wonder why this happened and how someone could care so little for a person’s life that their loved one was taken from them. Some of the more common types of wrongful death accidents are:

What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Wrongful death lawsuits allow the family to collect compensation for the financial losses resulting from the demise of a loved one. It is a personal injury lawsuit and must be filed at a specific time, or else the ability to mount a claim will be lost. If this time limit, called the statute of limitations, is not met, the court will not allow the suit to proceed. In an average family, the deceased’s support made it possible to pay household bills and the mortgage, support children living in the household, and set up inheritance plans. When an unexpected wrongful death occurs, such payments become more difficult to meet. 

Types of Compensation

As mentioned above, there are specific types of damages that need to be recovered by the deceased's immediate family. They are:

  • Medical expenses incurred before the individual’s death are usually collected through a survival action. This type of claim is where the family files a personal injury claim for the deceased. It is called a survival action because it persists despite the person’s death. It can also include the decedent's pain and suffering before their death.
  • Burial and funeral expenses: Today, end-of-life items such as burial and funeral costs are high. This is almost impossible to pay for many families, and a wrongful death claim will help with this.
  • Loss of income: This category includes the deceased's income and the salary they would have made in the future.
  • Loss of benefits: This is also covered in a wrongful death lawsuit. It includes life and health insurance premiums and all retirement benefits.
  • Other losses: Loss of companionship, consortium, love, and affection can be claimed. 

Nevada City wrongful death lawyer Ed Smith discusses the different types of claims:

Wrongful Death Lawyers in Nevada City, CA

Losing a loved one is tragic enough, but grief is worsened when they are taken away because of wrongful death. For free and friendly advice, please call our Nevada City wrongful death lawyers at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400. An online form is also available.

We are proud to be a California member of the National Association of Distinguished Counsel, which awards membership to lawyers who display the highest standards in their legal practices. In addition, I belong to the Million Dollar Forum, which represents lawyers who have won more than $1 million for a previous client.

It can be confusing to decide which lawyer to call for advice since many choose from. Knowing something about a lawyer’s practice can help, which is why we include links to clients’ reviews and cases our firm handled in the past at:

Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 5.17.22]

Photo by Mayron Oliveira on Unsplash

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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.