Irvine Wrongful Death Lawyer

Irvine Wrongful Death Attorneys

The death of a loved one is extremely difficult to handle. Aside from experiencing extreme grief and emotional hardship, you also have to handle the arrangements for your loved one. The combination can feel impossible.

When your family member’s death occurred suddenly and because of the actions of another person, you may have a wrongful death claim. Though litigation cannot bring your deceased loved one back, it can make sure that you receive the proper compensation for your suffering and their death.

If your loved one was the victim of wrongful death, our Orange County wrongful death lawyers can help you to recover financially. This gives you space and peace of mind to properly grieve your loss.

Easton & Easton: Your Personal Injury Attorneys

When most people face wrongful death claims, they do not consider that personal injury lawyers may be able to help. The truth is that we can do a lot to help your family heal financially. Here at Easton & Easton, our firm has been helping the families of Orange County wrongful death victims to get back on their feet financially.

We have over 100 years of combined experience in personal injury law, and we have won over 100 million dollars for our clients in the past five years alone. When it comes to personal injury and wrongful death settlements, you have no better chance at a high payout than with Easton & Easton.

Though we are tenacious in the courtroom, we understand that wrongful death cases are incredibly difficult to navigate. These are emotional cases, which is why we approach each one with sympathy, compassion, and understanding. We understand how to be sensitive to your grieving process while simultaneously working to win your case.

What Is Wrongful Death?

There’s a lot of confusion surrounding wrongful death cases. After all, death of any kind can feel wrong to the family involved. In the eyes of the law, wrongful death cases are situations in which victims of personal injury cases succumbed to their injuries. Personal injuries occur when someone does something thoughtless, negligent, or illegal and harms another person. In cases of wrongful death, the victim was not only harmed but passed away as a result.

These cases can take place anywhere, including home, work, school, or in public. Some common examples of wrongful death cases include:

  • Intentional killing, or murder
  • Medical malpractice that caused the patient to die
  • Fatal car accidents caused by negligence
  • Assault and battery that resulted in death

This is certainly not an exhaustive list. However, it gives some good examples of how a personal injury case can turn into wrongful death. All of the above would be simply considered personal injury if the victim had not died as a result.

In all the previous examples, the victim’s death was completely preventable. Another person’s mistake, negligence, or malice led to the victim’s death. Wrongful death cases help to ensure that the offending party pays for their hubris or inhumanity, and the victim’s family is not at a financial disadvantage because of it.

Proven Case Results

We recently settled a wrongful death case for $2.75 million where the decedent was 55 years old with no wife or children, just two surviving parents in their 80s. The defendants’ insurance carrier initially expected to pay no more than $250,000 to settle the case of these 80-year-old parents who had no economic losses as a result of their son’s death. But because we demonstrated the unique bond these parents shared with their son by persuasively telling their family story, we were able to significantly increase the value of their case. After seeing how we would present this elderly couple’s case before a jury, the insurance company knew that taking the matter to trial could result in a substantially higher verdict based on our advocacy. Consequently, we were able to settle the case for an amount far in excess of our clients’ wildest dreams without them having to go through the pain and ordeal of a lengthy trial.

Why Do I Need a Lawyer?

Many people wonder why they need to hire an attorney for a wrongful death case. After all, if the other person was clearly at fault, the court will see that, right? Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The offending party will likely have an attorney that will try and twist their story. Though they may not always be successful, approaching court without an attorney can greatly minimize your settlement.

Most importantly, however, you will be struggling with grief during your case. Even if you feel calm and collected in general, the case will likely bring up triggering conversations and information about your loved one’s death. It is not uncommon for victims’ families to become emotional in court. If you are trying to represent yourself, this emotion could get in the way of your message and muddy your point.

It is always best to give yourself space to grieve and allow an attorney to handle your case. We understand the legal system and can properly fight for you and your loved one. We give you the very best chance at compensation that is fair for the pain, suffering, and loss that you have endured.

How to Establish Fault for a Wrongful Death Case

In some situations of wrongful death, proving fault is fairly simple. For example, if your loved one was murdered during an armed robbery, the guilty party is the robber who harmed them. However, in other situations, fault is not as straightforward. For example, in the case of a negligent driver, there needs to be evidence that the driver was acting recklessly when they killed your loved one. This can include things such as security footage, phone records, eyewitness accounts, coroner analysis, and more.

The ultimate goal is to present an airtight picture of what happened to the court. In order for a wrongful death case to be considered, the court needs to see signs of negligence, reckless endangerment, malice, or intentional harmful action.

Settlement vs. Litigation in a Wrongful Death Case

Some wrongful death cases end up in court. This is called litigation. Both sides of the argument will present their cases to the judge, who will determine which side has the more valid argument. If there is any doubt that negligence or harmful action was present, the judge may rule the other party as innocent.

However, many wrongful death cases do not get as far as litigation. Many times, litigation is reserved for situations in which either side could feasibly be correct. However, in lots of wrongful death cases, it is clear who the perpetrator is and what they have done wrong. In these situations, the attorneys may decide to settle. This means that they come to an agreement outside of court.

A settlement payout may be what you were asking for or a little bit less, depending on what your attorney sees is appropriate in the negotiations. If you do receive less than you were asking for, remember that litigation is expensive. By avoiding this process, your attorney saves you time, money, and lots of heartache. For many people, the slight difference in compensation is well worth the ability to settle out of court.

Compensation for Wrongful Death

As we mentioned, a payout will not bring your loved one back to life. Realistically, there is simply no way to put a price on the value of a life, especially when you are in mourning. It is important to remember that this is not the objective. As you determine a settlement amount, always keep in mind that the sum discussed is not how much your loved one is worth. Instead, it is a sum that is meant to compensate for their financial absence.

Because your loved one died unexpectedly, there are a lot of financial structures that fall apart. You were likely counting on their income, for example, and now you must adjust your finances to exclude that income. For most families, that loss is significant. Income is one of the considerations when determining a wrongful death settlement. Others include:

  • Any medical bills the deceased incurred before they died
  • Any suffering the deceased endured before they died
  • Damages to property
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Loss of companionship
  • Value of services your loved one would have provided if they’d lived

Of course, some of these are more abstract than others. For example, companionship does not have a price tag on it, so it is difficult to assign a sum to it when it is lost. However, your attorney can talk you through these aspects of your compensation sum to determine what you should rightfully receive.

You should not only be compensated for the practical expenses of death, such as funeral and burial services, but you should also be compensated for household income changes and your own pain. Take heart in knowing that your attorney, and the courts, see all these things as worthy of financial compensation.

What to Expect From a Wrongful Death Attorney

Many people get their idea of lawyers from TV shows and movies. However, unlike those forms of entertainment, all attorneys are different. Your wrongful death attorney should be diligent and firm in the courtroom, but not so in meetings with you. Your attorney should be compassionate, empathetic, understanding, comforting, and patient, as you will need to discuss very painful and sensitive topics with them.

If you interview an attorney who cannot give you solace while simultaneously building your case and collecting evidence, you need to keep looking. Your emotional state is important, and your attorney is your primary source of support in the courtroom. The legal process following wrongful deaths can be difficult and complicated, so you want to be sure that your closest ally is someone with whom you can speak freely.

Additionally, you can expect that your attorney will keep you up to date on any deadlines, paperwork, court dates, evidence, updates, etc., that occurs in your case.

Contact Easton & Easton

Here at Easton & Easton, we treat our clients like family. When wrongful death cases come through our doors, we mourn your loss with you. We are here to help bring some financial comfort to your tragedy and help to put you in a position to properly heal. Contact us today for more information.

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Firm Awards

The superior client service Easton & Easton provides has earned the firm an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Easton & Easton is honored to have been chosen anew each year since 2014 by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers as one of the "Best Law Firms" for the Southern California Metro Area.

Easton & Easton is honored to have been chosen by the LA Times Reader's Choice Poll as "The Best Personal Injury Law Firm in Orange County" for 2018.

Doug and Brian Easton have been selected as Top 100 Trial Lawyers for California each year since 2014 — honors given to less than 1% of attorneys.

Doug and Matt Easton have each been chosen as one of The Best Lawyers in America for Plaintiff's Personal Injury Litigation. Best Lawyers lists attorneys who have earned selection through exemplary legal work that attracts the notice of their colleagues. Lawyers cannot buy their way onto this list.

Brian and Matt Easton were recently honored for their efforts in securing a $1,850,000 verdict for a client in 2016, which was selected as one of the Top 50 Personal Injury Verdicts in California by TopVerdict.com.

Doug and Brian have each been selected by Super Lawyers, an honor given to less than 5% of attorneys. Matt Easton has been selected among Super Lawyers' Up-and-Coming Top 25 in Orange County and Top 100 in Southern Califonia, an honor given to less than 1% of attorneys under 40 years old.

Easton & Easton is honored to have been chosen as one of the "10 Best Personal Injury Law Firms” in all of Southern California" each year Since 2015 based on client satisfaction — one of the highest honors we could ever hope to achieve.

Easton & Easton received the “People Love Us On Yelp” award in 2016 due to the exceptional client satisfaction reviews given by our clients over the years.

Doug and Matt Easton have each been featured as Premier 100 Trial Attorneys for California since 2015 — honors given to less than 1% of attorneys.

Brian and Matt Easton have each earned lifetime appointment to the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum — The Top Trial Lawyers in AmericaTM through the results achieved for their clients. This is an honor given to less than 1% of attorneys in the United States.

Doug Easton has held the “AV Preeminent” Rating for over 30 years and Matt Easton received this prestigious distinction in 2015. The "AV Preeminent" rating is the highest possible rating for both legal ability and ethical standards, and is based on the legal profession’s oldest peer review rating system, dating back to 1887.

Doug, Brian, and Matt Easton have all been chosen as one of the "10 Best" Personal Injury Attorneys in Southern California each year since 2015 based on client satisfaction, an honor given to less than 1% of personal injury attorneys - and Easton & Easton houses three of them.

Brian Easton was selected to the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) in 2015. ABOTA is one of the most premier associations of trial attorneys and judges, requiring a certain number of jury trials as lead counsel and approval by a majority vote of the ABOTA board.

Matt Easton has been selected each year since 2014 as one of the Top 40 Trial Lawyers Under 40 for California by The National Trial Lawyers — an honor given to less than 1% of attorneys.

Doug and Matt Easton have each been chosen as one of The Best Lawyers in America for Plaintiff's Personal Injury Litigation. Best Lawyers lists attorneys who have earned selection through exemplary legal work that attracts the notice of their colleagues. Lawyers cannot buy their way onto this list.

Both Doug and Matt Easton have been selected as Top Personal Injury Attorneys by Avvo with scores of 10 out of 10 based on their skill, experience, results, peer evaluations, and client reviews.

Matt Easton has been selected as one of the Top 10 Personal Injury Attorneys Under 40 in California for 2015 by the National Association of Personal Injury Attorneys — an honor given to less than 1% of personal injury attorneys under the age of 40.

Doug, Brian, and Matt Easton have all been selected by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel among the Nation's Top One Percent of Attorneys each year since 2017.

Orange County Personal Injury Lawyer | Costa Mesa Auto Accident Attorney | Catastrophic Injuries

“We look for the human story behind every injury or wrongful death. We prepare our cases for trial; reaching out to the jury with the most compelling evidence possible for the best verdict possible. Insurance companies know this and come to the table prepared to negotiate in good faith. Call us to see how we can turn your story into fair compensation.”

Partner W. Douglas Easton

What Our
CLIENTS SAY

Coming out of my first auto accident as an adult, a very difficult and scary time to navigate and understand, I was so incredibly thankful to have been put in contact with Easton & Easton. I honestly was lost with how to handle paperwork, doctors, medical costs and what next steps were, and from the moment I spoke with Travis Easton and my case manager Katie, my mind was put at ease. They have made the entire process stress free for me as I recovered, and I am so grateful for them and their genuine care for my case. Communication from the start has been fantastic, especially making clear what my expectations for the entire process would look like, and I truly believe they have my best interest at heart. 100% I would recommend their firm for anyone that is needing representation!

Sara McClelland

My experience with Easton & Easton has been amazing! Gabriel Mendoza and my case manager Katie have been so helpful and taken so much stress off my plate. They’ve been super informative and honest and given me very clear expectations. They’ve taken such a terrible experience (my accident) and eased my mind about the outcome. I can’t thank them enough!!

Caila Dean

Ive used them twice and never been disappointed

Lisa Bluemel

The Easton & Easton Law Firm is amazing! The entire team is very helpful and caring. They were always there to answer all my questions. They directed me through the entire process and stayed with me every step of the way. This team is outstanding and were wonderful to work with. Because of the tremendous effort they put on my case they were able to win my difficult personal injury case. I couldn’t have asked for a better law firm to handle my case. They are the Best! Thank you for your patience, professionalism, & guidance! I definitely recommend this firm to handle your case. They go out of their way to fight for your rights. THANK YOU…

Sofia Sanchez

I could not be more pleased with the services provided by the Law Offices of W. Douglas Easton. The senior partner Mr. Easton took the time to meet with me and my wife while I was still in the hospital, where he gave my family hope that there was light at the end of a very long, and very dark tunnel. Matt Easton then worked my case, and because of his dedication, experience and expertise I received a settlement that was larger than I EVER thought possible. It was truly astounding! Matt and the entire team at Easton & Easton looked out for me throughout my recovery, and in the end they gave me my life back. Five stars is not enough. Thanks Matt! Thanks Easton & Easton!

Dan Campbell

Brian and everyone at Easton and Easton are simply the BEST at what they do. Brian is thorough, easy to talk to, and truly cares about his clients. If you want a family of attorneys with perseverance and determination to fight for you, give Easton and Easton a call. I am glad I did.

Kyle Keith

What an amazing law firm, talk about going above and beyond to make such a painful experience go so well. I have referred a co-worker and a family member to them as well and everyone had such a great experience as I had.

Logan Ross

I can’t say enough amazing things about my experience with Travis Easton at Easton & Easton. Travis and his entire team (Katie, Amy, Dee, Michelle, & Araceli) are phenomenal. It provided me a lot of comfort to know I was being so well taken care of. I was especially impressed that every document for the case was perfectly written and specific to me. Nothing was generic, which shows the level of care and attention they put into each individual case. I had such a great experience and would highly recommend Travis Easton and his firm to anyone going through a personal injury. Travis took a bad situation and made the best of it for me. Thank you again, I’m forever grateful!!

-Allee

Ashlee A.

Retaining Easton and Easton was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! From the initial consultation to our final meeting, they were nothing short of exceptional. I was forced to retain their services after firing my previous attorney for not handling the case properly. I dealt with Gabriel and Brian (partner) exclusively throughout the case. They did as promised and were great communicators throughout the entire process. I will recommend them to anyone I know going through a personal injury case. They were ultimately able to untangle the mess caused by my previous lawyer and get a result that I was extremely happy with. Their staff is exceptional as well and provided top notch customer service. Amera was also extremely helpful and easy to deal with as well.

Jeffrey N.

I was in a pretty bad car accident and decided to have Easton & Easton represent me, Travis Easton to be specific. Travis Easton and his paralegal made the whole process effortless. They were so understanding and helpful! The entire thing was a gigantic mess, yet Travis managed to make it run like clockwork. I would HIGHLY recommend Easton & Easton! If you are ever in need of a personal defense attorney Easton & Easton is the firm to represent you!

Mark B.

They are the best law firm in Orange County period. Choosing them to represent me was the best decision of my life.
My life changed in a matter of seconds after a catastrophic spinal cord injury that left me disabled. Brian Easton and his team worked on my case non stop for 3 years and provided me the justice I deserved. I couldn’t have been more content.
I was treated with utmost respect and I felt like I was being represented by a close family member. The responses to my questions were quick and clear. What E & E has done for me is phenomenal.
My sincere thanks to Brian, Matt, Travis, Doug, Gabriel and Amera. They are what they are because of their dedication to provide high quality and professional service to their clients.

Vamsi P.

Brian Easton and his team, Gabe Mendoza and Amera Hajali, helped me during a very difficult time in my life. I had a significant injury from a car accident, and wound up seeking out Easton & Easton when I was having difficulties getting help from my doctors. The Easton team took a lot of stress off of me while acting as my advocates to help me get the care I needed, and saw my case all the way through to a healthy settlement.

They are the BEST!

Jennifer P.

I have nothing but good things to say about Easton and Easton. Brian handled my case professionally and communicated with me effectively throughout the process. He made sure that the process was effortless and as hands free as possible. This was super important for my busy schedule. I highly recommend Easton and Easton if you are ever found in a situation that you need an attorney.

Claudia C.

I would highly recommend Easton & Easton.
I was rear ended on my home and pushed into a semi-truck. I was not sure how to go about even using an attorney.
Brian, Gab and Amera were so good about helping me thru the process and representing me.
I was able to concentrate on getting myself better knowing they had my back, taking care of the details and keeping me informed along the way

Linda M.

The best Law firm by far. I would highly recommend Easton & Easton, LLP and ask for Gabriel Mendoza and staff. He and his colleagues did and exceptional service. Thank you for everything. Job well done!

Ericka P.

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