Sacramento Wrongful Death Lawyer

Sacramento Wrongful Death AttorneysFew things are more painful than the unexpected death of a loved one, especially when negligence or wrongdoing is involved. This can leave surviving family members with many unanswered questions, including how to take legal action to help cover medical bills, funeral and burial costs, and other losses.

At the Arnold Law Firm, our Sacramento wrongful death lawyers have helped many families pursue compensation. Although nothing can bring back your loved one, the people who hurt you and your family should be held accountable. We have recovered millions in compensation for our clients.

For more information on how we may be able to help, call us at (916) 777-7777. Your initial consultation is free of charge, and we only get paid if we obtain compensation on your behalf.

How California Defines a Wrongful Death

wrongful deathUnder state law, a wrongful death is defined as a death that is caused by the negligence or misconduct of another individual or entity. When a death is caused by a wrongful act, surviving family members may be able to seek compensation. The estate may also be able to pursue a separate claim for losses suffered before death. A wrongful death claim is considered a civil lawsuit.

While there can be many different causes of wrongful death, some of the most common include:

  • Car accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Construction area accidents
  • Defective products

A wrongful death incident may not be immediately fatal. For example, the victim of a serious car accident may be treated in the hospital for hours or days before passing away.

For answers to wrongful death questions, consult our Wrongful Death FAQ page.

Who Is Eligible to File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Only certain individuals are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit in California. This includes the deceased person’s surviving:

  • Spouse
  • Domestic partner
  • Children

If there are no surviving family members, a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought by anyone else who would inherit the deceased person’s property under the state’s intestate succession laws. This could include the surviving parents or siblings of the deceased.

Other individuals may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit as long as they can prove they were financially dependent on the deceased person, such as:

  • Putative spouse (lived together, not legally married)
  • Children of the putative spouse
  • Stepchildren dependent on the deceased for at least half of their financial support

Can the Estate of the Deceased File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The representative of the estate can file a survival action to pursue compensation for losses suffered by the deceased prior to his or her death. For example, a survival action may provide compensation for medical bills while the victim stayed in the hospital before eventually passing away. The purpose of a wrongful death lawsuit is to recover compensation for losses suffered by surviving family members after the death.

Who is the Representative of the Estate?

Anyone who would be entitled to the property of the deceased under the laws of intestate succession may be eligible to file a survival action. The representative is often the spouse or another family member of the deceased.

Why Should I Hire a Wrongful Death Lawyer?

legal teamBuilding a successful wrongful death case can be very challenging. Having an experienced and dedicated attorney to guide you through the entire litigation process can be an asset during this difficult time.

At the Arnold Law Firm, we believe that everyone should have access to adept and courteous legal guidance. With that in mind, we proudly work on a contingency-fee basis, which means that we only get paid if we obtain compensation for you.

With more than four decades of experience helping victims throughout the greater Sacramento area, we understand that wrongful deaths can have many causes and can affect loved ones and family members differently.

For those unsure if they have a case, we offer a no-cost, no-obligation initial case evaluation, which allows our clients to submit the details of their case for free. Our attorneys will review your claim to determine if there are grounds to file a lawsuit or not.

If we validate your claim, we will also be able to advise you on the best way to move forward. Our firm has decades of experience handling sensitive cases.

Free Consultation. No upfront fees. Call: (916) 777-7777.

Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Case

Every wrongful death case is unique. Recovery of damages is meant to provide relief to family members who are suffering financially and emotionally due to a loved one’s untimely death.

Generally, damages recovered for a wrongful death could include:

  • Loss of financial support and value of household services the deceased would have provided
  • Loss of love, companionship and guidance from the deceased
  • Loss of household services the deceased used to perform

Damages in a Survival Action

The representative of the estate may be able to file a survival action to recover the following types of damages:

  • Medical expenses related to hospitalization and treatment the deceased had prior to death
  • Funeral and burial expenses (i.e. cremation services, grave markers, cemetery lot costs)
  • Lost income and future earnings the deceased would have earned if not for his or her death
  • Personal property damage

If the death occurred because of intentional acts or as the result of gross negligence, it may be possible to recover financial compensation designed as a deterrent and as punishment for the responsible party. These are also known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are not available in a wrongful death claim, only a survival action.

Deadline for Taking Legal Action

California adheres to a specific time limit that a surviving family member, dependent, or inheritor of the deceased person’s estate may be able to take legal action for a wrongful death. If the lawsuit is not filed within the deadline, the case will likely result in a court dismissal and an inability to obtain a recovery.

Our Sacramento wrongful death attorneys can help determine the deadline that applies to your situation and protect your rights through the legal process.

Resources for Those Who Unexpectedly Lost Loved Ones

It is difficult to put into words how devastating it is to lose a loved one due to another’s reckless behavior. However, there are resources to help families during these difficult times. While the support from other family members and friends is critical, there are also support groups and grief counseling organizations to help families.

Bereavement Network Resources of Sacramento provides a resource directory of many types of bereavement groups.

Those who have suffered the loss of a spouse or significant other can attend a support group created by the Widowed Persons Association of California Sacramento Chapter.

Hospital and hospices in Sacramento also have bereavement programs, such as Mercy General Hospital, which has ongoing six-week grief and loss sessions.

Contact Our Sacramento Wrongful Death Attorneys Today

If you believe that a loved one has died as the result of the negligence or misconduct of another, we recommend contacting the Arnold Law Firm for legal help. We have successfully recovered millions in verdicts and settlements for our clients and are ready to fight for maximum compensation.

Sacramento Lawyer Clay ArnoldFirm founder Clayeo C. Arnold is an active member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and the American Association for Justice, an organization that promotes a fair and effective justice system. Our office is also conveniently located several minutes from the Sacramento County Courthouse.

To learn more about your rights and legal options, contact us to schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our attorneys. We do not ask for upfront fees and only get paid if we obtain compensation for you.

Give us a call at (916) 777-7777 to get started.