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Wrongful Death

Tim Dominguez Law > Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death Attorney in Irvine, CA

A negligent person, business, or government entity could cause nearly any type of serious or catastrophic personal injury. However, it is often said that the ultimate personal injury is wrongful death. No amount of compensation can bring back a loved one or make things “even” again in a lawsuit. Families who lose a loved one in a car accident, fall, medical mistake, or any other type of negligent accident are often faced with debilitating physical, emotional, and financial burdens that can forever affect the family. Our Irvine wrongful death attorney understands how devastating this can truly be, which is why we help fight for families who have lost a loved one.

At Tim Dominguez Law, we are dedicated to holding defendants accountable for their negligent actions that harm innocent people. This is particularly true in wrongful death actions, where we will not stop until a family’s rights have been exercised under the law. We take those physical, emotional, and financial burdens off your shoulders and onto ours, so you and your family can try to heal after the catastrophic actions of a negligent party. Learn how our wrongful death lawyer in Orange County, California can help you by dialing 800-5756-LAW.

What Is A Wrongful Death Under California Law?

Not all deaths are wrongful death. A victim’s death must have been caused by the wrongful actions of another person, business, or government agency. That means that the actions must have been intentional or negligent in a manner that creates liability. Not all accidents can create liability. There are some defenses to an action, such as the emergency doctrine in a car accident or lack of notice in a slip and fall/trip and fall case. Therefore, if there is no liability, a wrongful death action cannot be maintained. That is why some people consider a wrongful death action to be a case within a case because two types of claims must be established.

Who Can Bring A Wrongful Death Action in California?

Not just anyone can bring a wrongful death action. Rather, California law only allows certain individuals to commence a wrongful death action. Under California Code section 377.60 (a), the following individuals may commence a wrongful death action:

    • Surviving spouse or domestic partner
    • Surviving child (or children)
    • Grandchild (if a child is deceased)
    • Beneficiaries who would take property through intestate succession (i.e., if there was no Last Will, who California would give a person’s property to such as a spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandchild, and the like)

In addition to these individuals, there may be other individuals who may be entitled to petition a court for a “letter” to bring a claim. These situations can be incredibly difficult to deal with on your own, that’s why working with an experienced Irvine wrongful death attorney is so critical to securing the best possible outcome in your case.

Common Examples Of Wrongful Deaths In Orange County

Accidental fatalities are frequently traumatic occasions that can put a strain on the loved ones left behind. While settlements cannot restore your loved one, a lawsuit against the liable party or entity can help to make up for the family’s loss. A family may choose to pursue a wrongful death claim in Orange County after the death of a loved one. Typically, only civil litigation might provide the desired justice to a family following the loss of a loved one. When seeking compensation for your lost loved one, you should contact an experienced Irvine wrongful death lawyer. The following are some examples of circumstances that may result in wrongfully killed people:

Types Of Damages In Wrongful Death Cases

It’s exceedingly unusual for a claim to result in more financial loss and suffering than a case involving wrongful death. When another person’s carelessness results in an ultimate cost, the monetary compensation owed to those left behind is well worth it. Here are a few examples of the sorts of losses that may be compensated and recovered by an Orange County personal injury attorney:

Medical Expenses

The victim may be taken to the hospital in an attempt to save their life after a vehicle crash. However, successful efforts aren’t always possible, and when those medical expenditures are combined, they can become enormous.

Funeral Expenses

When you take into account everything necessary for a loved one’s final goodbye, as well as the various costs associated with funerals, it’s easy to see how costly they can be. Funerals may cost thousands of dollars and, in some cases, many families are not financially prepared to meet those expenses following a sudden death.

Property Damage

Property damage may also be a component of wrongful death claims. When a loved one passes away, it’s understandable to overlook some of the smaller items, but an experienced wrongful death lawyer in Irvine, CA can help you track down all damages and get compensated for your losses.

Loss Of Income

A family may be eligible to recover lost income as a result of premature death. This includes future earnings the deceased would have produced had he or she lived a full life. This can amount to years and years of compensation for loved ones’ relatives, depending on when the accident occurred.

Loss Of Companionship

Loss of love, company, warmth, care, help, protection, attention, society, moral support, training, and guidance are all examples of this type of recovery. Although these aren’t physical losses, they are often the most painful. At Tim Dominguez Injury Law, our wrongful death attorney in Orange County will make it a mission to see that your family is adequately compensated.

Punitive Damages

The loved ones of the deceased may pursue and recover punitive damages in some cases, such as when a crime is particularly awful. These awards are not linked to any specific type of damage; instead, they are intended to promote justice.

Due to the many sorts of damages that can result from a wrongful death lawsuit, it’s critical to have a seasoned Irvine wrongful death attorney on your side who has dealt with these circumstances numerous times before. Each of these situations is unique, and each requires a different approach based on expertise and experience.


Elements Of A Wrongful Death Lawsuit In Orange County

If you or someone close to you has decided to bring a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of the deceased’s estate, an Irvine wrongful death attorney may assist with assembling all of the legal elements. These components are important for establishing that a wrongful death verdict is appropriate and compensation is owed to the loved ones left behind. The following are some of the essential parts of a wrongful death claim:

Duty Of Care

The first stage in a wrongful death lawsuit in Orange County is alleging negligent behavior is to demonstrate that the liable party had a legal obligation of care. If you have been hurt in an accident, your vehicle’s insurance provider will make a claim to help cover medical expenses and lost wages. In the situation of a motorcycle accident, for example, the at-fault driver is responsible for ensuring that he or she provides safe passage across lanes to avoid a deadly collision. When someone dies as a result of an at-fault driver’s failure to meet his or her duty of care, he or she has not lived up to that responsibility.

Breach Of The Applicable Duty Of Care

In order to establish negligence, the plaintiff must show that the defendant failed to meet the reasonable standard of conduct in similar circumstances. If a motorist crossed lanes without looking and collided with a motorcyclist traveling at a high rate of speed in the preceding example, this behavior would likely demonstrate negligence on the part of the driver and result in a duty of care breach.


The relatives of the deceased must be able to demonstrate that the negligent actions of the defendant caused his or her death with certainty in a California wrongful death claim. That means the estate must show that the decedent’s death was foreseeable yet avoidable as a result of the at-fault party’s negligence.


Expert witness testimony might be used to establish damages in a California wrongful death lawsuit. As previously stated, the deceased’s loved ones may receive compensation for a variety of losses, including medical costs, future missed income, present suffering and anguish, and funeral expenses. Furthermore, relatives may be eligible for compensation for the deceased’s support and services, emotional and mental anguish, as well as other factors. Fortunately, an Irvine wrongful death attorney can assist you through this perplexing and stressful procedure so that you can concentrate on more important things.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in California?

In California, as with all judgments, a claim for wrongful death must be filed within the time limit established by a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations governing a wrongful death lawsuit in California is two years from the date of the decedent’s demise. If the case is not brought before the civil court system in California within two years, the family’s right to bring it will almost certainly be lost. The law may be found in the California Code of Civil Procedure section 335.1.

How Are Wrongful Death Damages Determined?

It’s impossible to put a price on the loss of a loved one. When a judge or jury calculates how much compensation will be paid in a case of wrongful death, there are several factors that are considered. Your case will be handled and presented by a California wrongful death lawyer in such a way as to maximize your chances for compensation. There are numerous elements to consider while calculating damages for an innocent person who died due to negligence, including:

    • Decedent’s life expectancy
    • Past earnings
    • Potential future earnings
    • Status of the decedent’s health before the accident
    • The decedent’s contribution to the home

Contact Our Irvine Wrongful Death Attorney Today

The loss of a loved one is always difficult, especially if it was caused by the careless, reckless, or negligent conduct of another. If you believe that a loved one was wrongfully killed by another driver, property owner, doctor, or any other individual, call our Irvine wrongful death attorney to learn how we can help recover compensation for you. We offer FREE consultations to families to hear their cases and advise them of their legal rights. Contact Tim Dominguez Injury Law today to schedule your appointment by dialing 800-5756-LAW or sending us a message through our “Contact Us” box available here.