Paradise Wrongful Death Lawyer


Losing a loved one is the hardest thing anyone has to face. Grief and anger could be overwhelming if the death was due to another's negligence. 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 tremendous sense of emptiness, the family may wonder how they will manage the funeral and burial expenses and the other losses.

If you have experienced such loss, a Paradise wrongful death lawyer may be able to help. Call our legal team at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400 for a free no-obligation consultation.

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. We have helped countless families in Butte County recover the compensation they deserve after a wrongful death. 

Families can continue without experiencing financial hardships caused by a loved one's death by filing a claim. We know this will never ease the family's anguish, but it gives them some security and the consolation that the at-fault party is being taken to task.

Throughout the process, we update you on the case's progress 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 is Considered a Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death occurs when someone is killed in 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 include 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
What Damages are Recoverable in a Wrongful Death Claim?

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 following:

  • The family can recover the costs of the funeral and burial of their loved one.
  • Up to the average 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 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 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 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 their loss. 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, and that's long enough to cause a severe 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 under the influence of drugs is still a significant cause of wrongful death, despite extensive public education and law enforcement crackdown on these drivers.
  • Fatigued driving is as dangerous as being under drugs or alcohol. The drowsy driver can cross into another lane, react slowly to potential hazards, and fall asleep at the vehicle's wheel. 
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

There are two ways 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 support from the decedent. This consists of biological, adopted children, and stepchildren.
  • The grandchildren of the decedent may file if their parent was predeceased.
  • The decedent's parents 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:

Call Our Wrongful Death Lawyers in Paradise, CA

It may be a good idea to consider filing a wrongful death claim if you have lost a loved one due to 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 our Paradise wrongful death attorneys at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400 for our compassionate, free, and friendly advice. You can also reach us online

Our injury lawyers have helped clients in Northern California receive fair compensation for their claims since 1982.

Editor's Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 11.2.22]

See our case history of Settlements and Verdicts.

Photo attribution: by Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay 

:cd llo [1192] bw

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.