Paradise Wrongful Death Lawyer


Losing a loved one is the hardest thing anyone has to face. When it occurs due to another’s negligence, the grief and anger can be overwhelming. No family should have to face that kind of loss. In addition to being overwhelmed with grief, confused over how it happened, and feeling a huge sense of emptiness, the family may wonder how they will manage the funeral and burial expenses as well as the other losses. In such cases, a Paradise wrongful death lawyer may be able to help.

Wrongful Death Claims: Free Advice for Your Family

At, our team of injury lawyers has handled many wrongful death cases successfully over the years. Our Paradise wrongful death attorneys understand what you and your family are going through, and we have helped countless families in Butte County recover the compensation they deserve after a wrongful death. 

By filing a claim, families are able to continue on without experiencing financial hardships caused by a loved one’s death. We know that this will never ease the anguish the family feels, but it gives them some measure of security and the consolation that the at-fault party is being taken to task.

Throughout the process, we keep you up-to-date on the progress of the case with compassion for your loss. You can schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with us virtually or in-person to discuss your case, find out about options for pursuing damages and ask any questions you may have.

How a Wrongful Death Occurs

Wrongful death occurs when someone is killed as a result of an accident, and negligence is involved. You can obtain the compensation your family deserves through the help of a Paradise wrongful death lawyer. In addition to car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents, other areas where wrongful deaths are possible include:

  • Transportation accidents in common carriers such as aircraft crashes, bus accidents, collisions involving trains, etc.
  • Attacks by dogs, whether it involves being bitten or pushed down, which resulted in a fatal accident
  • Accidents on farms or construction sites due to negligence
  • A product such as a car part, furniture, medication, or food that is defective or dangerous
  • Premises liability-related fatalities due to falls or other dangers such as stairwells, elevators, escalators, sidewalks, and parking lots
  • Ridesharing services such as Lyft and Uber
Recoverable Damages in a Wrongful Death 

The type of damages that can be recovered by filing a claim with the help of a Paradise wrongful death attorney varies according to the decedent’s income, age and other factors. These damages typically include:

  • The family can recover the costs of the funeral and burial of their loved one.
  • Up to the normal retirement age, the income or salary the decedent earned can be recovered. Pension benefits, insurance coverage, bonuses, tips, and other perks of their job are included in the recovery of wages. Tax filings and receipts can also be used to support the claim if the deceased was self-employed.
  • Loss of inheritance may lead to recovery of damages. Assuming the decedent had lived, this is the amount they would have been entitled to.
  • As a result of their loved one’s death, the surviving spouse may be entitled to claim loss of consortium and for the love and emotional support provided by the deceased.
  • The family’s children who received at least 50 percent of their support from the decedent may claim the loss of guidance and nurturing that was provided and is now lost. 
  • Family members of a deceased loved one can choose to file a survival action if the deceased lived for a while before expiring. In contrast to a wrongful death claim, a survival action is filed on behalf of the person who died and is similar but also covers the medical expenses.
  • Depending on the circumstances, the family may need to seek punitive damages in a civil case if the death was egregious or intentional. These are not damages that compensate the family for the loss they have suffered. These awards are given to the family as a punishment for the offender and to discourage further bad behavior. 
Wrongful Death Caused by Traffic Collisions

Traffic accidents are the second leading cause of wrongful death, led only by falls. Families that have suffered the loss of a loved one in a traffic accident may be able to obtain compensation for that loss due to the following types of negligence as well as others:

  • Many accidents today are caused by distracted driving, which includes texting, talking on a cell phone and using a GPS. In the five seconds it takes for a driver to send a text message, their vehicle travels the length of a football field. That’s long enough to cause a serious collision.
  • A common cause of intersection collisions is running a red light or stop sign.
  • Tailgating, speeding or cutting in and out of traffic are common reckless driving behaviors that cause traffic accidents. Other forms of reckless driving include failure to yield, racing, or passing on the wrong side.
  • Driving drunk or while under the influence of drugs is still a major cause of wrongful death, despite extensive public education and a crackdown on these drivers by law enforcement.
  • Fatigued driving has been shown to be as dangerous as being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The fatigued driver can cross over into another lane, reacts slowly to potential hazards, and can fall asleep at the wheel of their vehicle. 
Family Members Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim

There are two ways that a wrongful death claim can be filed in California. The California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60 - 377.62 states that one can be filed by the personal representative of the estate or by the following immediate family members:

  • A claim for wrongful death may be filed by a surviving or putative spouse. 
  • Claimants may include minors who obtained half or more of their support from the decedent. This includes both biological, adopted children and stepchildren.
  • The grandchildren of the decedent may file if their parent was predeceased.
  • The parents of the decedent may also join the wrongful death lawsuit if they received at least half of their support from the deceased. 

This video features attorney Ed Smith discussing filing a wrongful death claim:

The following articles provide helpful information about wrongful death in California and commonly asked questions:

Paradise Wrongful Death Lawyer

My name is Ed Smith, and I'm a Paradise wrongful death lawyer. It may be a good idea to consider filing a wrongful death claim if you lost a loved one as a result of another's negligence. It may not be able to ease your grief, but it can remove the financial burden a family faces when a loved one passes away. Contact us at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400 for our compassionate, free and friendly advice. You can also reach us online

You can learn how my law firm and its injury lawyers have helped other clients in Northern California to receive fair compensation for their claims by reading the following:

We are proud to represent California as members of the following groups:

Photo attribution: by Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay 

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