Rancho Cordova Wrongful Death Lawyer


When a loved one’s life is cut short by the negligence of another, the law in California enables a representative of the decedent’s estate to pursue monetary restitution through a wrongful death claim. After the fatal incident, you may think contacting a wrongful death attorney in Rancho Cordova is inappropriate because of what other people may think or say. Do not make this mistake. If you lost a loved one in a preventable accident, the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit is simply exercising your rights, under the law, to hold the reckless party responsible for their negligent actions in civil court.

How a Wrongful Death Claim Can Help

No amount of money can bring back a loved one. Nevertheless, taking legal action and pursuing a wrongful death claim can help ease the financial strain associated with an unexpected death, especially if the decedent was the primary breadwinner of their family. The types of damages that are typically awarded in wrongful death claims include:

  • Medical bills, funeral costs, and other expenses associated with a loved one’s death.
  • Future Earnings: Expected income that the decedent would have earned throughout their lifetime can also be recovered as part of a wrongful death lawsuit.
  • Pain and Suffering of the Decedent: California courts consider the pain and suffering that the decedent experienced before their untimely death. This often arises in an accident where the victim was severely injured and receives medical treatment (e.g., emergency care). Still, the severity of the injuries is simply too extensive, and the victim succumbs to the severity of their injuries.
  • Loss of Mentorship and Companionship: You can secure compensation for the loss of companionship previously provided by your loved one. This claim is typically made when the decedent is survived by a spouse.
Punitive Damages in Wrongful Death Cases in California

A form of damages that may be pursuable, in addition to the damages described above, is punitive damages. These are damages designed to effectively reprimand a defendant who engaged in outrageous conduct and let others know that such behavior is completely unacceptable.

California Civil Code Section 3294 governs the pursuit of punitive damages. It is essential to understand that a plaintiff (i.e., the injured party) may only pursue punitive damages when it shows that the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious or committed maliciously. Not only must this behavior exist, but you must prove it with overwhelmingly convincing evidence (a.k.a. clear and convincing evidence). A way to think about this evidentiary standard is that you have to tip the proverbial scales of justice to your side by a wide margin (well over 50 percent). This is a much higher standard in the field of wrongful death law. The applicable evidentiary standard for most personal injury cases is just over 50 percent (a.k.a. a preponderance of the evidence).

However, there are instances where the egregious conduct is so shocking that punitive damages are recoverable. A fatal car accident caused by a drunk driver is an example of where a Rancho Cordova wrongful death lawyer may seek punitive damages.

Benefits of Hiring a Rancho Cordova Wrongful Death Lawyer

A wrongful death lawyer plays a significant role in developing a persuasive case to convince a judge or jury to award you maximum compensation. They can help determine if you have a viable claim and ensure that no critical filing deadlines are missed. They deal with complex legal issues involving tort, probate, contract, and insurance. They ensure that the claim is moving forward so you can focus on helping yourself and your family work through the emotional loss and get through the grieving process.

Retaining the services of an attorney also makes sense because most wrongful death attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis. This means you do not have to pay some outrageous hourly rate or retainer fee to access an experienced attorney. Your Rancho Cordova wrongful death attorney will only get paid when they obtain a financial recovery for you and your family.

Time is of the Essence to Take Legal Action 

The sooner you take action and speak to an attorney to get the wrongful death claims process started, the better. The California legislature enacted a statute of limitations on wrongful death claims. In California, a family member has two years from the date of the death to file a wrongful death claim in court (or six months for a lawsuit against a government entity). If you fail to take action in that period, your case will likely be barred from going forward. Do not make this mistake.

Losing a loved one is gut-wrenching and creates tremendous stress and anxiety for you and your family. You need assistance while you focus on grieving and picking up the pieces. An experienced Rancho Cordova wrongful death attorney can help during this time.

Watch the following video to learn more about a wrongful death claim.

Rancho Cordova Wrongful Death FAQ

Who can pursue a wrongful death claim?

Surviving family members may place a claim for wrongful death. They include the spouse, putative spouse, or domestic partner. Minors who received at least half their support from the victim may join in the claim. If the parents received at least half their support from the deceased, they might also file for wrongful death.

Can I afford to hire a lawyer for my wrongful death claim?

Our wrongful death law firm takes cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that there are no upfront fees for you, and our legal team will only get paid upon the successful conclusion of your wrongful death case.

Wrongful Death Lawyers in Rancho Cordova, CA

Retaining an attorney in Rancho Cordova can make wrongful death claims easier for you and your family. At AutoAccident.com, our lawyers are here to help. Call our law firm at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice on how to bring your case today.

Our Rancho Cordova wrongful death attorneys have decades of experience representing families in their time of need to obtain the compensation they deserve for their financial and intangible losses.

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 6.29.22]

Photo by Anna-Louise from Pexels

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