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Placerville Wrongful Death Lawyer


It could be difficult for a family to cope with losing a loved one, especially if a wrongful death was the cause. Besides the shock and dismay of losing a family member suddenly, they realize that the person’s income will no longer be forthcoming. The family may not be financially prepared to pay the high funeral and burial expenses.

It is challenging for families to deal with when they are in the beginning stages of grief, and I am here for you in these trying times. When negligence by an at-fault driver or other entity caused your loved one’s demise, the family can recover compensation by filing a wrongful death claim. Although this will not lessen your grief, it punishes the at-fault party and helps relieve the financial stress associated with your loved one’s passing.

If you have lost a family member in a tragic accident in Placerville due to negligence, call our law firm at (530) 392-9400 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our injury lawyers.

The Different Types of Wrongful Death

Wrongful death results from negligence or misconduct. The loss of a family member can occur in several ways, all of which fall under personal injury law. Some of the most common causes of wrongful death are:

  • Motor vehicle accidents can be caused by a drunk or drugged driver, distraction, traffic infraction, or other reasons.
  • Truck crashes are especially dangerous because of the size and weight of the vehicle. Underride/override accidents, jackknifing, and rollovers cause many fatalities.
  • For many other reasons, farm machinery fatalities can be caused by rollovers or moving equipment on a public road.
  • Pedestrian collisions often happen when a motorist makes an illegal turn, is speeding, or is distracted while driving.
  • Motorcycle accident fatalities are often caused by motorists who turn in front of them or speed through a traffic light.
  • Amusement park deaths occur due to poor maintenance, tainted food, safety hazards, and other problems.
  • Bicycle or scooter accidents are common and often result in fatalities because of their lack of personal protection.
  • Aviation mishaps can occur due to a lack of maintenance or inadequate aviator training and experience.
  • Dog bites cause many fatalities yearly and occur because the animal is not adequately restrained or controlled.
  • Defective products such as furniture that tips over, dangerous automobile parts, and others can contribute to an untimely death.
  • Medical malpractice may include wrong diagnoses, pharmaceutical errors, surgical mistakes, and unfair treatment.
  • Workplace accidents often involve fatal falls but can also occur from falling objects, crush injuries, and one of the many other hazards found in the workplace.
  • Intentional acts such as murder are types of wrongful deaths.
Who Can File a Claim for Wrongful Death?

Under the California Code of Civil Procedure Article 6, the following parties can file a claim for wrongful death if their family member died due to negligence by another party or entity. These include:

  • Spouses and domestic partners
  • Children of the deceased person
  • Adopted children of the decedent
  • Stepchildren who are supported at least 50 percent by the decedent
  • A putative spouse is someone who believes they were married but actually weren’t
  • Minors who have resided in the household for a minimum of 180 days if they were supported at least 50 percent by the deceased person
What Expenses Can Be Recovered by the Family?

Following a death in the family, especially if the deceased was a wage earner, they may face economic stress. Although filing a wrongful death lawsuit will not ease their pain or grief, it can provide financial comfort, enabling family members to move forward. Some of the areas that can be reimbursed through a wrongful death claim include:

  • The cost of funeral and burial expenses can be recovered.
  • Wages the decedent would have earned now and in the future, the number of years that person would have been employed is recoverable. Wages include any bonuses and the value of any perks that might have been awarded.
  • Loss of inheritance is the amount of money the decedent would have saved over the years to provide for family members and beneficiaries.
  • Household services such as lawn mowing, paying bills, childcare, and other areas are recoverable.
  • The loss of parental duties, such as guidance, training, and care as a parent, is recoverable.
  • The loss of consortium between spouses is recoverable, and the loss of companionship, love, support, and affection.
  • Medical expenses can be recovered if the decedent lived for a time before dying. Survival actions include the individual’s pain and suffering and their lost earnings. An attorney better explains this action to understand whether a wrongful death claim or survival action might result in the family’s best outcome.
  • Punitive damages are awarded above the economic and noneconomic losses. These damages are rarely granted and generally result from an intentional act, and deaths caused by drunk drivers can fall into this category.

Watch the following video about wrongful death claims:

Gathering Evidence to Support Your Claim

At our law office, we work hard to investigate the accident that claimed your loved one. Our investigators are quickly sent to the accident site to gather evidence to support your claim, which begins with reviewing the police report for mistakes and talking to the witnesses.

Surveillance cameras from lights and nearby businesses are also helpful because they may have caught the accident in progress. Poor road maintenance can cause accidents, including potholes, poorly marked lanes, and defective traffic signals. The government entity charged with care can be held responsible in such cases. Once all of the evidence has been gathered, it is turned over to our legal team to build a robust case to support our client’s claim. It helps deal with the client with the insurance company or prepare a court case if negotiations are unsuccessful.

How to Help When a Family Is Grieving

Losing a loved one is always a tragedy, but much worse when wrongful death is the cause. It propels family members not only into deep grief but disbelief on how the accident could have happened and the feeling that if they had been there, maybe it would never have occurred. There are some ways in which other family members, coworkers, and friends can be supportive. These include:

  • Let the family know you are there for them by calling, visiting, or sending a sympathy card or flowers if you cannot be there in person.
  • Grieving people often forget to eat or have no appetite. Bring over food, send an order from a restaurant, or offer to cook. The family will appreciate your effort.
  • Run errands and offer to drive them. Offer to take children to school or pick them up, drive a family member to the grocery store, and do other errands.
  • Help around the home. Cutting the grass without being asked, offering to babysit, servicing the family car, and other things needed are helpful and appreciated.
  • Offer to go along when funeral and burial arrangements are being made. This can be one of the most challenging times a grieving person may face, and having someone else ahead is comforting.
  • Don’t neglect the family after the funeral and burial. People can grieve for a long time. Calling and visiting and continued offers of help are appreciated.
Contact Our Placerville Wrongful Death Lawyers

If you lost a family member due to wrongful death, you might be eligible for compensation, and we can help. Call our skilled Placerville wrongful death attorneys at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice.

See our past Settlements and Verdicts.

Editor’s Note: updated [cha 8.15.23] Photo Attribution: pixabay.com cd llo [cs 1280]