Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC USA / Practice / US Wrongful Death Lawyer

The United States Wrongful Death Lawyer

[Page Updated 07/09/2022] The unexpected loss of a loved one is a tragedy that no one should go through. The pain, emotional trauma, and loss of companionship can be overwhelming.

If we don’t win, you don’t pay.
NO WIN – NO FEE
No Win No Fee Promise
Speak to the Attorney.
ON CALL 24/7
On Call 24/7
Born to serve.
U.S. Marine
Inactive U.S. Marine Lawyer
Death lawyers in the United States

Death Becomes Us – What You Must Know About Accidents

Ultimate Guide to Wronfgul Death Cases

But it can also become really troubling to know that the sudden death of a loved one could have been preventable. Below, our top United States wrongful death lawyer will cover the general wrongful death statute. If you need to hire a wrongful death lawyer, we take United States wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis and can discuss your potential claims anytime, 24/7.

But it can also become really troubling to know that the sudden death of a loved one could have been preventable. Below, our top United States wrongful death lawyer will cover the general wrongful death statute.

If you need to hire a wrongful death lawyer, we take United States wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis and can discuss your potential claims anytime, 24/7. Although we are primarily engaged as Los Angeles wrongful death attorneys, we have been known to handle cases pro hac vice in other states, making us one of the most well-known wrongful death lawsuit litigation groups in the United States.

The loss of a loved one can have a greater impact than one would anticipate. The grief can take its toll on the surviving family members, but the financial loss from the sudden death can further add to the chaos. Unexpected death often comes with burial expenses, funeral costs, and more, which can become challenging, especially if the grieving family is not financially stable.

Fortunately, in the United States, the surviving family members can take legal action against the negligent party or institution to recover compensation for their losses. This civil lawsuit, also known as a wrongful death lawsuit, provides an opportunity for the mourning family to seek financial compensation from the party responsible for the death of their loved one.

If you lost someone you love due to the negligence of another person and believe that your family is eligible for compensation, contact Ehline Law and our wrongful death attorneys today as we might be able to help.

What Constitutes a Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death means different things to different state legislatures, as this is a creature of statute. In California, like most states, it occurs when someone does not die of natural causes but due to the negligent acts of another person. This could be due to the severe injuries one experiences after an accident caused by a drunk driver or perhaps death at the workplace due to a lack of adequate safety measures. However, it is important to know that not all accident-related deaths are wrongful deaths, but in the majority of the cases where it is because of negligence, they are.

Take, for example, a car accident. In the United States, the law requires all drivers to exert extreme caution while driving. If you’re at an intersection, it’s your responsibility to check for any oncoming traffic before crossing. As a responsible citizen, the driver must also follow traffic rules to avoid any accidents.

Failing to ensure reasonable care while on the road or at work can cause fatal injuries to others. According to the law, this is an act of negligence. In situations where an act of negligence causes the death of an individual, it is a wrongful death since the negligent person could’ve prevented it by being more careful.

In California, surviving family members can file wrongful death lawsuits against the negligent party to hold them accountable for their actions and recover financial compensation to pay for the loss. Grieving families have the right to take action against negligent individuals, businesses, and other entities responsible for the death of their loved ones.

Is a Wrongful Death Claim a Criminal Prosecution?

The idea of taking legal action against an individual, business, or entity that caused the death of a loved one may feel like a criminal prosecution. However, that is not the case. Wrongful death claims do not result in prison time or hefty fines, including a criminal conviction, nor does the district attorney ensure any action against the negligent party.

A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit and, due to the nature of this, it will not result in a criminal conviction for the negligent party. Civil lawsuits are legal actions taken against the responsible parties in the hopes of recovering financial compensation. Any successful wrongful death claim can result in monetary compensation. Surviving family members can pursue wrongful death claims as long as there is a negligent party that caused it.

Is Wrongful Death a Crime?

In simple words, it is not a crime, but due to the circumstances that led to the wrongful death claim, it could spark a criminal investigation. That said, there are important differences between a wrongful death claim and criminal offenses.

Wrongful death is a death caused by the negligence of an individual, business, or entity. Such a definition could create grounds for wrongful death claims for crimes like homicide. However, not all wrongful death claims are a result of such crimes. Since these civil lawsuits are brought by private attorneys, it can go either way, with a successful claim resulting in monetary compensation against the defendant.

District attorneys or prosecutors lead criminal offenses and therefore are of a different nature than civil cases. The district attorney has the decision to bring any criminal charges against the negligent party. In the event that the state wins the criminal case, it will result in fines and even jail time for the negligent party, depending on the severity of the crime committed.

Wrongful death due to a crime can result in both cases taking place at the same time; a civil lawsuit by the plaintiff and a criminal case by the district attorney or prosecutor. Any decision made by the state in regards to criminal charges does not affect a plaintiff’s right to pursue a civil lawsuit against the responsible party.

Since state laws or procedures may differ, some states may put a hold on civil lawsuits until the pending criminal charges are rightly addressed first.

Wrongful Death Claim Explained

Since states get to decide how they deal with wrongful death, the handling of wrongful death claims may vary across different states. However, these claims work the same way across jurisdictions, regardless of which state you’re in. So, how does a wrongful death claim work?

When filing a wrongful death claim, state laws differ on who actually has the right to file claims. Upon establishing the right plaintiff for the wrongful death claim, the investigation process can start. This step is important as the plaintiff must determine the cause of the death and any evidence that holds the responsible party accountable for the wrongful death. An attorney can help establish these facts and produce a strong case.

Once the investigations are complete, the plaintiff and their attorney can put their demand forward to the at-fault party. The demand includes financial compensation in return for not filing a wrongful death case against the negligent party. In the majority of cases, the negligent party will try to settle it without further complicating the situation.

However, there are situations where the negligent party will refuse to agree to the plaintiff’s demand, leaving them with the option of pursuing a wrongful death claim. Claims can take a long time depending on the case and the facts, and in some situations, it can take years before the case heads to trial.

In the case of successful wrongful death claims, the court will order the responsible party to pay a certain sum of money to the grieving family members who decided to pursue the claim.

The court will take into consideration the following factors before awarding compensation:

  • Funeral expenses

  • Emotional distress

  • Loss of future earnings

  • Loss of companionship

  • And more, depending on the circumstances

Common Types of Wrongful Death Claims

Death due to someone else’s negligence creates grounds for wrongful death claims. However, some types of wrongful death claims are more common than others.

Here are some of the most common types of wrongful death claims in the United States.

Car Accidents

The current US traffic fatality rate is 12.4 deaths per 100,000 people. The United States sees more than 5.25 million car accidents annually, with around 38,000 people dying on US roads. For individuals aged 1 to 54, deaths from car accidents are the most common cause of death in the country.

You may be careful while driving on city streets or interstate highways, but there are high chances of other drivers acting negligently, resulting in an accident. In the majority of cases (around 4.4 million), car accidents result in minor to severe injuries. However, those unlucky few either are not able to survive the injuries and die or instantly die at the scene of the accident. Intoxicated drivers are very likely to get into accidents that result in the death of someone else.

Medical Malpractice

Recent studies suggest that up to 250,000 people die due to medical errors made by doctors treating patients. The statistics put medical malpractice as the third-leading cause of death in the country. These medical errors include misdiagnosis, surgical mistakes, and more.

Product Defects

Another common type of wrongful death lawsuit is a product defect. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, product defects cause 21,400 deaths in the United States annually. The United States faces an estimated $700 billion in injuries, property damage, and deaths due to manufacturer defects, making it a huge concern for the citizens.

When Samsung released the Galaxy Note 7, the hype surrounding the phone exploded, with many standing in huge lines to be the first few people to purchase it. Little did they know that they would be the only people purchasing the smartphone as exploding phone incidents started to surface.

Many took to social media to share the injuries they received from the exploding battery in the new Note 7 phone. Although Samsung was quick to recall the units, the damage was already done as 26 individuals received burn injuries, while a few even died due to the exploding battery.

This is just one of many examples that we have witnessed in the past. Product defect injuries and deaths are more common than you would think.

Besides these three most common types of wrongful death claims, here are some of the other types of wrongful death claims that happen in the United States:

  • Doge bites

  • Assaults

  • Abuse

  • Slip and fall

  • Workplace accidents

  • And more.

Can Anyone File Wrongful Death Lawsuits?

Although wrongful death lawsuits are civil suits, not everyone has the right to file one in a case of wrongful death. The right to file wrongful death claims varies in every state, and the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit depends on the state law where the death occurred.

Many states will allow an individual to pursue a wrongful death claim if they are the surviving spouse or child of the deceased. On the other hand, some state laws allow the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against other family members, such as siblings or parents, of the deceased. However, that being said, there may be some limitations to the rights depending on the state where the death occurred.

For example, in the event that there are no immediate relatives, some states may allow distant relatives to pursue a wrongful death claim, while others may allow all potential wrongful death claimants to file a suit.

Some states will not allow anyone to pursue a wrongful death claim in the event of the death of a close family member. In states like these, the right to pursue a wrongful death claim solely lies with the wrongful death victim’s estate, and a personal representative of that estate can only bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party.

In California, surviving family members have the right to pursue wrongful death claims against the negligent party.

Who Has the Right to File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?

The right to file a wrongful death claim in California is clearly mentioned in the California Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) section 377.6.

The CCP section 377.6 mentions the following people as having the right to file a wrongful death claim against a negligent party:

  • Surviving spouse, domestic partner, and children

  • Any person that was dependent on the deceased. This could include stepchildren, parents, or a putative spouse.

But who among all of these has the first right to file a wrongful death claim?

Typically, it is the spouse that has the first right to file a wrongful death claim against the negligent party. The surviving children also have as much right to file a wrongful death claim as the surviving spouse. However, in certain states, children only receive that right in the event that the surviving spouse is unable to or unwilling to pursue the claim.

When it comes to siblings or parents, many jurisdictions do not provide them with as many rights as the immediate surviving family members (spouse and children). In limited circumstances, some states will allow siblings and parents to pursue a wrongful death claim. However, other state laws may prevent them from doing so.

Certain states will not allow any surviving family members to pursue a wrongful death claim, and in such states, these rights belong to the official representative of the estate. The proceeds from the claims will only go to the deceased’s heirs.

Elements of a Typical USA Wrongful Death Case

When it comes to any case against a negligent party, there are certain elements that the plaintiff must prove before they can receive any financial compensation.

In California, the plaintiff must prove the following three elements of wrongful death:

  • Accidents or intentional acts result in the death of a person.

  • The death occurred due to the negligence of the other person.

  • The surviving family members are suffering from the financial burden due to the death of their family members.

Element 1: Was It an Accident or an Intentional Act?

A variety of accidents can cause wrongful death and some of these include car accidents, motorcycle accidents, manufacturers’ defects, medical malpractice, and more. As we mentioned earlier, crimes can also create grounds for a wrongful death claim and some of these intentional acts include murder, arson, manslaughter, and other acts done intentionally to harm someone.

Element 2: Was the Death Due to Negligence?

A very important element of a wrongful death claim is proving the negligence of the offending party. A plaintiff must prove that the accident or intentional act resulted in the death of their family member.

For example, you can only hold a manufacturer responsible for the loss of a family member if the accident was due to defective products in the car. But you cannot hold a manufacturer responsible for the death of a family member due to a mistake in judgment by the negligent driver.

Causation is the most important element in a wrongful death lawsuit, and an experienced attorney will prepare the case accordingly to ensure that the plaintiff receives fair compensation for their loss.

Element 3: Did the Plaintiff Suffer Financial and Non-financial Loss?

The plaintiff must also prove that the wrongful death of their loved one has affected the family’s financial status and emotional well-being. For example, the victim could be the sole earner of the family, and his sudden death has led to financial hardship for the surviving family members.

In such situations, the plaintiff must prove the financial and non-financial loss from the wrongful death. These could include burial expenses, lost future earnings, and any other additional damage arising from the death of their loved one.

It can be challenging to determine the value of the claims or prove negligence and damages without the help of a qualified attorney.

How to File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?

Before you can file a wrongful death claim in California, you must determine whether or not a wrongful death occurred.

Is It a Wrongful Death?

The three important elements mentioned above are necessary to determine whether or not there is a case of wrongful death.

According to California law, a family can only bring a wrongful death claim against a party if they can prove:

  • There was a duty of care by the negligent party.

  • The negligent party breached their duty of care.

  • The breach of the duty of care caused damages to the loved one.

  • The family members are suffering damages from the breach.

An inability to prove these elements will result in claim denial. Even if the accident actually caused a wrongful death, according to the law, you must be able to prove these elements. Reaching out to an experienced attorney can help investigate the case, gather evidence, and prove that the accident resulted in wrongful death.

Find Out the Privileged Party

Remember, not everyone has the right to pursue a wrongful death claim in California. So your next step in bringing a wrongful death claim would be to find out who can file the claim to recover the damages. In California, the first right to claim belongs to the surviving spouse or domestic partner. If the spouse or partner is unwilling or unable to file a wrongful death claim, the right then goes to the surviving children.

If the deceased person does not have any children, then the right to pursue wrongful death claims goes to the person’s estate. If the personal representative of the estate is available, he or she can file a lawsuit against the negligent person.

Prepare the Case

Once the surviving family members have determined that the accident caused the wrongful death and the rightful person is available to file a wrongful death claim, it is time to prepare the case by collecting evidence and completing documentation.

Substantial evidence can strengthen the case. A wrongful death lawyer can assist in collecting necessary evidence such as medical records, police reports, photographs, witness testimony, and other relevant documents.

File a Wrongful Death Claim

Once all the relevant information and evidence are available, your attorney can then proceed with filing a wrongful death claim on your behalf. The paperwork will require general information about the case, such as the name of the defendant, their address, the damages, and more.

It is important to file a wrongful death claim with the right court within the deadline.

What Is the Deadline to File Wrongful Death Claims in California?

Like in any other lawsuit in California, or across the United States, the plaintiff must file claims within the state’s deadline, otherwise, they forfeit the right to take legal action against the negligent party.

In California, the wrongful death statute of limitations allows individuals to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party within 2 years from the date of the deceased person’s death. An inability to file the case in California’s civil courts within 2 years will result in losing the right to file a lawsuit. The California code of procedure section 335.1 explains in detail the statute of limitations law.

How a Wrongful Death Attorney Helps

Filing Lawsuit

There are certain requirements that an individual must fulfill before filing a lawsuit, and an experienced wrongful death attorney can help fulfill all those requirements to present your case. Remember, you’re not the only one with legal aid as the defendant will also ensure they have a strong defense to combat your claims and avoid paying. This is especially true if the negligent party’s insurer becomes involved.

Gathering Evidence

You need to have a strong case, and a resourceful attorney will use all resources available to them to collect evidence to present a strong case. This evidence could include police reports, thorough investigations, gathering witness statements if any, depositions, and more.

Defending the Claim

Since the defendant may also have legal aid, it will be their job to combat any evidence or claim the plaintiff throws at them. A defendant may also conduct their own investigations to gather evidence against the plaintiff, but an experienced wrongful death attorney can challenge the defendant and protect your rights.

Negotiations

During the negotiation stage, the defendant will try their best to ensure a low settlement offer. However, with a legal expert on your side, you don’t have to worry about such offers as they will hold their ground to ensure you receive fair compensation for your loss.

Most wrongful death cases are almost always settled outside of court since legal proceedings in court can be time-consuming and really expensive. A professional attorney will work with you and the responsible party to agree on a fair settlement while looking at all the evidence in your favor.

In cases where there is no mutual agreement over the settlement amount, a top-flight wrongful death lawyer will not be afraid to take the case to trial.

Litigation

During the trial, your attorney will protect your rights and make decisions in your best interests.

A qualified and experienced wrongful death attorney will present strong facts and evidence in court and take an aggressive approach to ensure that their client receives the compensation they and their family deserve.

How Challenging Is It to Prove a Wrongful Death?

It’s not easy to prove wrongful death due to the separate elements that the plaintiff must prove before they have any grounds for a case. Let’s look at the elements in detail to paint a picture of why it is important to have the right legal counsel representing you in a claim.

Duty of Care

To establish grounds for a case, the first step is for the plaintiff to prove that the negligent party owed a duty of care to the deceased person. For example, on a road, a driver owes the duty of care to drive safely and exert extreme caution for motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

Another example of duty of care is a business’s responsibility to protect its employees. An employer owes their employees a duty of care to protect and promote their health and safety.

Breach of Duty of Care

Although you may have established a duty of care, that is not enough to pursue legal action against a negligent party, as you must prove that the party breached their duty of care. The breach could be any reckless act by the negligent party.

In the case of a car accident, a driver can breach their duty of care by overspeeding or driving recklessly. In the case of an employer, the breach of duty of care can arise from not providing safety equipment to conduct work safely, resulting in an accident or wrongful death.

Causation

According to the law, the defendant, or the negligent party, is only responsible for any damage caused by the sudden death of a person. The plaintiff must be able to prove a link between the death of the person and the damages arising from it. Inability to prove that link will result in claim denial.

Damages

The plaintiff must prove the value of damages to the surviving members of the family from the death of their loved one. This could be past salary slips to suggest a loss of future earnings or receipts from the funeral homes for funeral expenses. An experienced attorney will be able to determine the value of the claims by exploring previous similar cases and bringing in additional experts if required.

Deposition in a Wrongful Death Suit

A deposition is when both parties record testimony under oath outside of court. Since it is an out-of-court proceeding, there is no need for a judge for a deposition to take place. A deposition can help during a trial or in future court proceedings.

In the case of wrongful death, a deposition must involve attorneys from both sides and the witness as well. There is also a court reporter present during the deposition who takes down all the information or conversation exchanged. This is then later used to prepare a full transcript.

During the deposition, both parties have the right and opportunity to question the witness. This is an important part of the discovery phase, allowing both parties to start their investigations based on the testimony provided by the witness.

In certain situations, the witnesses may not be available to provide testimony during the trial. In this case, the depositions can help obtain the needed testimony before the trial occurs and use it during the trial.

Since there is no judge present, the attorneys can ask contentious questions, which may make the witness uncomfortable. It is important to note that attorneys for both parties can object to such questions during a deposition and work out among themselves an agreement to move forward. Sometimes, attorneys may not be able to resolve these objections, and in such situations, a judge can make a ruling on contentious questions.

What Happens After a Deposition?

An important aspect of the discovery phase, depositions help attorneys obtain testimony before trial. Depositions are not held in special circumstances but rather are a common part of wrongful death lawsuits. The outcome after the deposition will depend on how strong the case is and how both sides respond during the deposition.

There could be many depositions since the attorneys may want to get more information by questioning different parties, such as medical experts, relevant individuals, and more. When the discovery phase is almost at an end, the attorneys will conduct a final deposition, which could either lead to a settlement or a trial.

The way the parties respond during a deposition will determine the outcome of the case. Parties struggling during a deposition can lead to a higher chance of settlement.

Settling Wrongful Death Claims: How Long Does It Take?

The time it takes to settle a wrongful death claim depends on several factors, such as your ability to prove liability, the strength of your evidence, and more. The best scenario is that the involved parties come to a settlement before the lawsuit is ever filed. This is because lawsuits can drag on for years before settling a claim. Even after such a long time, the case may not even result in a settlement, resulting in a waste of time and resources.

A favorable scenario would include the wrongful death claim settling in just a few months. This can occur when there is no dispute over liability, so during the negotiation stages, both parties agree on a fair compensation amount. In situations where there is no dispute about liability, cases can settle without the need for a lawsuit.

A negative scenario would include a dispute over liability, and such cases can take much longer to resolve. This dispute can lead to a lawsuit, which further extends the timeframe. Factors such as the court’s caseload and the duration of discovery can cause a wrongful death case to continue for years.

It is best to speak to a qualified wrongful death attorney about your best legal options moving forward.

Types of Damages Awarded in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

In a wrongful death lawsuit, the claims awarded consider the accrued damages before the death of the person and the losses suffered by the plaintiff as a result of the death of their loved one.

Typically, the jury can award the following types of damages in a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • Economic damage

  • Non-economic damage

  • Punitive damages

Economic Damages

Also known as financial damages, these types of damages include burial expenses, loss of future earnings, loss of benefits such as pension plans, loss of inheritance, and any other financial damage incurred due to the death of a loved one.

Non-economic Damages

These types of damages are also known as non-financial damages, and it is very challenging to put a value on such types of damages. Examples of non-economic damage include the emotional suffering borne by the surviving family members, the loss of companionship provided by the deceased, the loss of care or guidance, and other similar damages.

It is hard to define non-economic damage and allocate a value to it. For example, it is easy to ascertain the financial damage from a car accident by looking at medical bills and car repair costs. However, what value does one put on mental anguish or emotional suffering from the death of a loved one?

Every wrongful death case is different as the compensation will depend on a lot of factors. An experienced wrongful death attorney works closely with surviving family members to understand the pain they are going through and the losses they will face due to the death of their loved one.

Punitive Damages

These types of damages are set or awarded to punish the negligent party for their reckless acts or negligence that resulted in the death of a loved one. The cap on punitive damage awards depends on the state where the wrongful death occurred. For example, in North Carolina, the cap on punitive damage awards is set at $250,000, while in California, there is no cap or limit on the punitive damage awarded in a lawsuit.

Factors Affecting Wrongful Death Lawsuit Settlements

You may be wondering what the average settlement amount is for wrongful death lawsuits, but unfortunately, there are no such settlement statistics available. Settlement value depends on the case and the evidence presented, so every case is different. An attorney would be in a better position to advise you on how much compensation they are looking to recover and what you can expect.

Since no two cases are similar, several factors go into determining the wrongful death claim value. Before proceeding, an attorney will work with specialists and use prior case verdicts to determine your case value.

Here are some of the factors that help attorneys determine wrongful death claim values for their clients:

  • Victim’s age

  • Victim’s future earning potential

  • The insurance policy limits

Generally, when it comes to claims, it depends on the severity of the accident. For example, a car accident with minor injuries can only be worth up to $50,000 (including property damage), but for an accident resulting in spinal cord injuries, the claim value can go into the millions.

The same is the case for wrongful death claims. Attorneys will consider future potential earnings and other damages that can result in a substantial amount. Wrongful death settlements can range from tens of thousands of dollars to a couple of million dollars, depending on the mentioned factors.

Calculating Damages in a Wrongful Death Case

An attorney will help you determine the type of damages you can claim in a wrongful death case. After that, comes the challenging bit: calculating claims.

Some damages, like funeral expenses, are easy to calculate, and attorneys use bills and receipts sent by funeral homes and other related services. However, when seeking claims, plaintiffs are only reimbursed reasonable expenses, meaning that throwing a lavish funeral will result in only part of the expenses covered during pay-out.

Damages like potential future earnings are much more difficult to calculate. An attorney will look at all aspects of the victim’s career to help determine these damages.

Here are some of the factors that are typically taken into account when calculating future potential earnings:

  • The deceased’s age

  • How long would they work if they were alive?

  • Education of the deceased

  • The skills of the deceased

  • Any possible promotions or raises

  • Any future income adjustments

  • Inflation to determine inflation-adjusted income

  • Other benefits, such as retirement plans and other contributions

Even an experienced attorney will require the assistance of an occupational expert and other specialists to consider all these factors and calculate the potential future earnings. Experts also help in determining the monetary value of emotional suffering, loss of companionship, loss of emotional support, and other intangible damages.

Damages Not Available in a Wrongful Death Claim

There are certain damages that you cannot claim in a wrongful death claim in California. This is because recovering these types of damages is part of another legal claim, also known as a “survival action”.

In a wrongful death claim, it is important to note that the damages recovered are the losses to the family members due to the death of their loved ones. This does not include losses incurred by the deceased during the time of the accident and the time of their death, such as medical expenses before death, the deceased’s pain and suffering at the time, and punitive damages.

Who Pays for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

The party paying for a wrongful death lawsuit depends on the case itself and whether or not the negligent party has any insurance protection. Typically, anyone causing harm to another person is responsible for paying for the damage. However, in the majority of cases, car accidents are the underlying cause of wrongful death.

In the event of a car accident, the defendant (the negligent person) will have at least the minimum liability insurance according to the state laws. The insurance policy kicks in when the surviving family members decide to take legal action against the negligent party. In such situations, the insurance company works with the surviving family members and their attorney towards a settlement. Upon mutual agreement, the insurer will disburse the agreed pay-out amount to the plaintiff.

There are other causes of wrongful death, as we mentioned earlier. Violent acts such as assault do not have any applicable insurance policy, which means that an insurance company does not get involved and does not make a payout. That said, it does not mean that recovering compensation is impossible. The at-fault party may have some financial assets for recovery, and depending on the circumstances, an attorney can help determine other entities that could face liability, such as the defendant’s employer.

Questions to Ask Prospective Attorneys

It can be difficult to search for an attorney, especially when you’re still grieving over your loved one. However, you must remain strong at all times as you only have two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party. After a family member’s death, the financial burden can cripple the surviving family members, and recovering compensation can alleviate that stress.

With so many attorneys in California, which one is the right lawyer for your wrongful death case? Finding the right attorney can make the entire process easy and stress-free, so when meeting a few attorneys to discuss the case, here are some questions you should ask them as it’ll help you get the most out of the initial consultation.

  • Do you have experience dealing with wrongful death cases before? There are many general attorneys out there who take on all sorts of cases, but you need someone who has substantial and positive experience dealing with wrongful death cases before. An attorney who specializes in such cases can increase your chances of receiving maximum compensation. An experienced attorney can also take a lot of stress off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on your family in such hard times.

  • How much do you charge? It is best to discuss the financial aspect of legal help so that you know what to expect when hiring the services of a legal expert. Some attorneys may charge upfront flat fees or by the hour, while others work on a contingency fee basis, where they take their fees from the recovery they make. Knowing the mode of payment before hiring can help you assess your financial situation better and decide on which attorney or law firm to go with.

  • Are you going to handle the case yourself? Quite often, attorneys will take on clients and then pass the case on to their juniors. Attorneys at large law firms are tight on schedule and do not personally look at each case. You may have a nice meeting with them only to find out that junior lawyers and staff members are now working on your case. Some clients may not be comfortable letting others deal with their wrongful death case when they confided in an attorney who actually took the initial consultation. Before you consider hiring an attorney, you have the right to know who will be legally representing you.

  • How much is the case worth? To make the most out of the initial consultation, ask the attorney how much you should expect to receive upon a successful wrongful death claim. Although it is challenging to calculate the value of claims, an experienced attorney can provide an educated estimate by going over the case with you and assessing the relevant factors.

Qualities of a Great Law Firm

Before you can seek compensation, you need a great law firm to support you and your case. Here are some of the qualities of a great law firm to help you find the best legal representation.

  • The law firm achieved maximum settlements and successful verdicts in wrongful death cases.

  • They have the resources required to investigate a case, collect evidence, and hold the responsible party accountable for their actions.

  • They have substantial experience in the past dealing with wrongful death cases like yours.

  • Their professional attorney-client relationship makes you want to trust them with your case.

  • The law firm has many awards as a testament to the quality of work they deliver.

Ehline Law Is an Award-winning Law Firm in California

Ehline Law is a premier personal injury law firm that not only takes on Los Angeles wrongful death cases but also cases across California. Founded on the principles of compassion, Michael Ehline (founder of Ehline Law) is a huge supporter of “treat others how you want to be treated”.

Previously serving as a US Marine trial lawyer, Michael Ehline helped many injured victims and family members cope with their losses by working closely with their clients, getting to know them, and recovering maximum compensation.

Our ambitious and aggressive wrongful death attorneys will come to you, wherever you are in California, to lend you an ear, listen to your case, and do whatever it takes to earn your trust. We understand that losing someone you love can leave you all alone, unable to move on. You may feel lost and scared as you start thinking about conquering life by yourself. Don’t worry, we are here to earn your confidence and provide you with the best legal representation in California.

Here are a few reasons why you should consider picking up the phone and calling us.

Our Attorneys Will Get to Know You Personally

Attorneys can never truly achieve the best results until they know their clients personally. Our ambitious attorneys make the effort to get to know their clients and what they are going through after losing their loved ones. Each case is unique, and knowing the losses of the surviving family members enables us to fight for our rights.

Our Achievements Put Us Ahead of the Competition

There are so many law firms and attorneys working in California, but what separates us from them is the awards and achievements Ehline Law has won.

Here are some of the achievements our law firm has won over the years:

  • Michael Ehline has secured the Superlawyers Rising Star award multiple times.

  • In 2015, our attorneys won the “Premier Personal Injury Attorneys” award.

  • Named “Best Attorneys of America”, “Top 100 Trial Lawyers”, and “Personal Injury Warriors”.

  • Our attorneys provide interviews on multiple media platforms, discussing cruise ship laws, limousine law, and other practice areas.

We Have the Resources to Deliver a Win

When it comes to securing a win, it is not just the effort of the attorneys and their knowledge, but a collaborative effort by the entire legal team, back office, and specialists. Occupational and economic specialists work with our attorneys to help determine the value of your wrongful death claim.

All our legal experts, paralegal staff, and specialists are here for your wrongful death claim. At times, you may feel worried and maybe are looking for reassurance, we are here to listen to your concerns 24/7 and work accordingly.

Our Attorneys Have Superior Results

When it comes to hiring an attorney for a case, you need someone who has a proven track record. In the last decade, Ehline Law has recovered more than $150 million for personal injuries for our clients. Not only that, but our attorneys have won many wrongful death cases, which gives us the right experience to handle yours.

Here are some of the wrongful death cases and the successful verdicts we received recently:

  • Ducket v. Ridgecrest Regional Hospital – $2,024,761

  • Hier v. State of California (Caltrans) – $2,000,000

  • Cosham v. City and County of Los Angeles – $1,900,000

  • Clare v. Estate of Clare – $1,220,000

  • Doe v. Automaker – $1,050,000

  • Rodriguez et al. v. Osterkamp Farms – $1,037,500

Our Attorneys Are Not Afraid to Go to Trial

When we work closely with our clients and get to know them, we are the only ones in this legal case that truly understand what our clients feel. This is why we stick to our guns when filing claims, and if there are any disagreements over the settlement amount, our attorneys are ready to take the case to trial. Going to trial is often a time-consuming process, but if we believe that you will get the justice you deserve at a trial, we will take that route.

We Work on a Contingency Fee Basis

We understand that the financial burden from the death of a loved one can cripple a family and negatively impact the surviving family members. This is why our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, where they only receive payment from the recoveries they make. This arrangement helps alleviate the financial stress associated with hiring legal help.

We Offer a Free Consultation

Whether you’re looking for legal help or guidance on your case, our attorneys offer a free case review where we will go over your case and discuss the possible legal options you can take. There is no obligation to retain our services after the initial free consultation, so pick up the phone and contact us now to discuss your wrongful death case with our legal experts.

We Have Multiple Locations

Whether you’re in the heart of Los Angeles or away from it, Ehline Law has more than 15 different office locations in California, allowing potential clients access to award-winning legal services. We understand that not everyone can discuss their case over at the office, which is why our attorneys will come to you in the comfort of your home, office, or wherever you may be in the USA.

You May Be Eligible for Compensation, Contact Our United States Wrongful Death Lawyers Now!

If you lost a family member or a loved one, contact us at (213) 596-9642 as you may be eligible for compensation. Our attorneys are available 24/7 to protect your rights and help recover out-of-pocket costs and other damages.

After losing someone you love, the tragedy can take an emotional toll. With the grieving and arranging the funeral, you already have enough on your plate. The grieving process is already difficult and it may seem that moving on is not possible, but an unexpected financial burden can further affect the situation.

Our attorneys can take away the additional stress of a legal claim from your shoulders, giving you the time to deal with your grief. Let us help you during these tough times by working with you and increasing your chances of financial compensation.

For more information on how we can help, contact us now or visit any of our office locations. call us at (833) LETS-SUE.


Michael Ehline

Top rated injury lawyer, Michael Ehline in Tuxedo Suit

Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.


Recent Personal Injury News

Check out our most recent wrongful death accidents and more, including the famous, infamous and everyday people wounded by at fault parties around the world.

View All →

Downtown Los Angeles Corporate Offices

Downtown Los Angeles Office
633 West 5th Street #2890
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 596-9642
Navigation

Downtown Los Angeles Office
633 West 5th Street #2890
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 596-9642
Navigation /More Locations.

© 2022 All rights reserved.
Ehline Law Firm Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC