Mission Viejo Wrongful Death Attorney

Providing Wrongful Death Representation in Mission Viejo, CA

When an individual suffers an injury due to the actions of another person, the injured party has the right to seek compensation for their damages through a personal injury claim. Unfortunately, not every victim survives such experiences, leaving their loved ones to wonder what they can do to hold the party responsible for the death and accountable for their actions. A wrongful death claim can effectively replace a personal injury claim when a victim does not survive their personal injury. While wrongful death claims are functionally similar to personal injury claims in many ways, there are a few key differences potential claimants should know, and it is crucial for them to acknowledge the value of legal representation in these difficult cases.

At Easton & Easton, our team of attorneys has more than 100 years of combined legal experience handling personal injury and wrongful death claims for our clients in Mission Viejo and the surrounding communities. We understand how devastating it is for any family to unexpectedly lose a loved one and the frustration that follows when a death occurs due to negligence, carelessness, or an intentional act of harm. If you have experienced a wrongful death, you need reliable legal counsel to guide you through the legal process of holding the responsible party accountable in civil court. The compensation you receive will not replace your lost loved one, but it can make the transition to your new reality a bit easier.

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Why Should I Hire a Lawyer for a Wrongful Death Case?

If you are wondering why you need a wrongful death attorney, it is essential to understand how complex and challenging these cases are for those who have no professional legal experience or formal legal training. Success with any civil claim requires meeting strict court filing deadlines and other procedural requirements. You would need to manage these requirements on your own while also managing the aftermath of a recent death in the family. Even if fault for your loved one’s wrongful death appears perfectly clear, hiring an experienced Mission Viejo wrongful death lawyer to manage your claim will significantly increase your chance of success and make it much easier for you and your loved ones to approach the situation with confidence.

Easton & Easton believes in providing client-focused legal counsel in every case we accept. We’ll take time to get to know you and your situation so we can fully understand how the recent wrongful death has affected you and your family. We have years of experience handling all types of wrongful death claims and will apply this experience effectively in managing your claim.

How Do Wrongful Death Accidents Happen?

Wrongful death can result from many different situations. It’s important to remember that a defendant does not necessarily need to intend to cause a death to be liable for a wrongful death if their actions result in a fatality. When an individual intentionally causes the death of another person, they will face criminal prosecution for murder. However, most of the wrongful death claims filed in Mission Viejo result from situations caused by negligence such as:

  • Motor vehicle accidents. One of the leading causes of accidental deaths in the U.S. is motor vehicle accidents. Driving under the influence, distracted driving, and moving violations are just a few examples of how car accidents can cause fatalities.
  • Medical malpractice. When medical professionals fail to uphold the standards of care their patients require or incompetently perform medical treatments, they are liable for any resulting damages to their patients. This includes wrongful death. Unfortunately for victims’ families, California enforces limits on the damages available in wrongful death claims.
  • Premises liability. If a property owner fails to take appropriate care of their premises and a lawful visitor suffers a fatal injury as a result, the property owner is liable for wrongful death.
  • Defective products. If a product manufacturer releases an unreasonably dangerous or defective product and a consumer dies as a result of using the product as intended, the company could face liability for wrongful death under California’s product liability laws.

These are just a few of the ways wrongful deaths might occur, leaving the surviving loved ones of the deceased to wonder what they can do to recover. Easton & Easton can provide the legal representation you need after experiencing a wrongful death claim.

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.

California Wrongful Death Statutes You Should Know

A wrongful death claim in California is very similar to a personal injury claim in many ways, but there are several crucial differences you should know before filing your claim. First, California follows the rule of intestate succession to determine eligibility for filing wrongful death claims. This means those who have valid legal claims on the deceased’s estate typically have the right to pursue wrongful death claims, starting with the deceased’s surviving spouse followed by their children, parents, and other close relatives. If the deceased did not have any close family, anyone who can prove they were financially dependent on the deceased or has a valid claim on the deceased’s estate may pursue a wrongful death claim instead.

California provides a two-year statute of limitations on filing wrongful death claims, and this time limit begins on the date of the death. While it may seem like a very long time, it can close very quickly as a family starts managing the aftermath of a wrongful death. It’s important to act quickly and secure legal counsel for the best chance of succeeding with your claim. Finally, when it comes to the damages available in your wrongful death claim, it is vital to understand that the compensation available in a wrongful death claim is meant for the surviving family. However, it’s possible for the claimants to secure compensation for damages to the deceased’s estate through a survival action.

Wrongful Death Claims vs. Survival Actions

If you succeed with your wrongful death claim in Mission Viejo, CA, you can recover several types of compensation including funeral and burial expenses and the lost value of the household services provided by the deceased. The claimants can also recover pain and suffering compensation for the loss of affection, care, guidance, and companionship provided by the deceased. The plaintiff can also receive compensation for the financial support the deceased could have continued to provide, had they survived. Your Mission Viejo wrongful death attorney would calculate an appropriate amount based on the deceased’s salary and the amount of time they could have reasonably expected to work until retirement age.

A wrongful death claim can provide the deceased’s family with substantial compensation, but it cannot provide compensation for any damages incurred by the deceased estate. In these situations, a survival action can hold a defendant accountable for the additional damages that are not available in a wrongful death claim. For example, if a defendant caused the death in question but the deceased did not die immediately from the incident in question, the deceased may have incurred significant medical expenses following the incident. A survival action allows plaintiffs to recover medical expenses for the deceased’s final injury or illness, lost income between the incident and the death, and property damage sustained because of the defendant’s behavior.

Depending on how a wrongful death happens, the defendant could potentially face a wrongful death claim, a survival action, and criminal prosecution for causing the death of another person. If you intend to work with a Mission Viejo wrongful death lawyer to hold the defendant in question accountable, you should know what you will need to do to succeed with your lawsuit.

Proving Liability for a Wrongful Death Case in Mission Viejo

Wrongful death claims function around the legal concept of negligence, similar to personal injury claims. To succeed with a wrongful death claim, the plaintiff must identify the defendant responsible for the death in question, prove the defendant was negligent or acted intentionally in some way that resulted in the death, and provide the court with a complete and accurate list of their claimed damages.

Your attorney may need to provide several important legal services to accomplish this. You mayneed to secure material evidence, witness testimony, and even consult expert witnesses to identify the defendant responsible for the wrongful death in your family and prove their negligence. Once you have succeeded in identifying the defendant or defendants responsible for the wrongful death, your attorney must then calculate the damages you can secure from your claim. A good attorney will also advise you as to whether a survival action is appropriate for your circumstances.

What to Expect From Your Mission Viejo Wrongful Death Attorney

Approaching any wrongful death claim can be incredibly challenging and emotionally stressful for the plaintiff and their loved ones. When you choose Easton & Easton to represent your wrongful death claim, we will do everything we can to make the process as easy and understandable as possible. Our team will work closely with you to gather the evidence and documentation we need to hold the defendant accountable and maximize your recovery.

We understand that a recent death in the family is an unexpected tragedy, and you probably have many questions about what to do and how to approach a wrongful death claim. If you are ready to discuss your legal options after a recent death in the family that someone else caused, Easton & Easton can help. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with our firm and we will let you know how we can assist you as your Mission Viejo wrongful death lawyers.

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Firm Awards
Accredited Business Bbb Rating A+

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

Best Law Firms Orange County 2020

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.

Reader's Choice 2019 Best Law Firm

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.

Top 100 Trial Lawyers

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.

The Best Lawyers in America

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.

Top 50 Personal Injury Verdicts in California 2016

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.

Super Lawyers

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.

10 Best Personal Injury Law Firms in all of Southern California

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.

People Love Us On Yelp

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.

Premier 100 Trial Attorneys for 2015

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.

Multi Million Dollar Advocates Forum

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.

Top Rated Lawyers AV Preeminent

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.

10 Best 2015 Client Satisfaction

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.

American Board of Trial Advocate

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.

The National Top 40 Trial Lawyers Under 40

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.

Avvo Rating Top Attorney Personal Injury

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.

Nation's Premier Top Ten Attorney Personal Injury

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.

Nation's Premier Top Ten Attorney Personal Injury

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.

Nation's Top One Percent

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! Read more…

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!! Read more…
Caila Dean

Ive used them twice and never been disappointed. Read more…

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… Read more…

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! Read more…

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. Read more…

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. Read more…

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!!


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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