Newport Beach Wrongful Death Lawyer

Newport Beach Wrongful Death Attorney

Losing a relative unexpectedly can be devastating for any family. People can die from innumerable potential causes, sometimes without any warning at all. When one party’s actions, either intentional or negligent, result in the death of another person, this is a wrongful death, and the responsible party faces liability for all damages their actions inflict on the surviving family of the deceased.

Newport Beach Wrongful Death Lawyer

Legal Representation for Newport Beach, CA, Wrongful Death Claims

A wrongful death claim is a type of civil claim that seeks compensation for the losses a family experienced from the death of their loved one. The party responsible for causing the death is liable for compensating the family but ensuring their accountability may be more challenging than you might expect when you do not have reliable legal counsel advising you of your rights and options for legal recourse.

The attorneys at Easton & Easton have years of professional experience representing Newport Beach, CA, area clients in complex civil cases, including those pertaining to catastrophic and fatal injuries. If you believe another party is directly responsible for causing the recent death of your loved one, we can help you ensure accountability with a wrongful death action.

Benefits of Legal Representation for Your Newport Beach Wrongful Death Case

Fault for your loved one’s untimely death could seem perfectly obvious to you, and you may wonder whether you need to hire legal representation to succeed with a wrongful death claim. While it’s technically possible to file and even win your case without an attorney, the experience will be much easier with an experienced legal team at your side. In addition, you will be more likely to succeed with reliable legal counsel advising you.

Your attorney can assist with every facet of your case, from initial filings and pretrial motions to determining the full scope of your claimable damages and guiding you through settlement and/or litigation. It’s common for our clients to initially undervalue their claims, only learning the full scope of the compensation they can seek once they’ve secured our representation and we begin reviewing the details of their claims.

The team at Easton & Easton believes in focusing our legal services on each client’s unique needs and concerns. Therefore, we will take time to get to know you and your circumstances following the untimely death of your loved one. If you believe you know the cause of your loved one’s death, we can review the details of how the death occurred and help you determine the best way to prove liability for wrongful death.

Ultimately, hiring legal counsel to manage your wrongful death case in Newport Beach means you and your family can mourn with some reassurance that your legal team has your case firmly in hand. Easton & Easton will assist you in exploring the full range of economic effects the wrongful death has had on you and your family, assess any damages to your deceased loved one’s estate, and determine the best way to establish fault for the wrongful death. Do not make an already difficult situation harder for yourself or your family by attempting to handle it on your own.

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

In California, the party intending to file a wrongful death claim must do so within two years of the death in question. Alternatively, if the cause of death can’t be immediately determined, or if the defendant took any action to actively conceal their liability for the death, the statute of limitations will toll until the cause of death is discovered. For example, if you just recently discovered that a loved one recently died because of the negligence or intentional misconduct of another party, the discovery rule allows for one year in which to file your wrongful death action.

In addition to the time limit applicable to wrongful death suits in California, the state also restricts the right to file wrongful death claims based on the law of intestate succession. As a result, the first party with the right to file a wrongful death suit would be the deceased’s surviving spouse, followed by their children and other immediate family members.

If the deceased did not have any close family, the extended relatives or the personal representative named in the deceased’s estate would have the right to pursue a wrongful death action instead. Finally, if there are no family members or personal representatives eligible to file a wrongful death claim, anyone who can prove that they hold a valid claim to the deceased’s estate or that they were financially dependent on the deceased could file a wrongful death claim.

If you are struggling with the loss of your loved one and believe another party is responsible, reliable legal counsel from an experienced attorney can be an invaluable asset that helps you stay focused on your family’s practical needs and guides you to a positive outcome to your case. The emotional toll a wrongful death can take can be devastating, and Easton & Easton strives to ensure every client we represent has the compassionate and responsive legal counsel they need to understand their cases in clearer detail.

wrongful death attorney newport beach ca

Common Causes of Wrongful Death Cases in California

Depending on how your loved one died, the evidence you will require to establish fault for the wrongful death will vary based on the unique details of the case. Physical evidence, eyewitness testimony, and input from relevant expert witnesses can all play pivotal roles in a wrongful death case. Unfortunately, a wrongful death can suddenly upend the lives of the victim’s family, and it can be difficult to determine what kind of evidence you will need to prove fault for the death.

An experienced Newport Beach wrongful death attorney can provide valuable support and guidance when establishing liability for the death. The team at Easton & Easton has extensive experience handling all types of wrongful death claims. We can leverage our experience to help you determine the exact cause of your loved one’s untimely death. Some of the most commonly reported causes of unexpected deaths that generate civil disputes include:

  • Motor vehicle accidents. Vehicle crashes continue to be a leading cause of death throughout the United States. Unfortunately, if a negligent driver caused your loved one’s death in a fatal accident, their auto insurance might only compensate a fraction of the total losses you and your family can claim in response to the wrongful death.
  • Premises liability. A property owner can face liability for wrongful death if a lawful visitor to their property sustains a fatal injury during their visit. If you are unsure whether a property owner bears liability for a recent fatal slip and fall accident, it is crucial to consult an attorney as soon as possible.
  • Interpersonal violence. California has a very high statewide rate of violent crime. If your loved one dies because of an intentional criminal act, the perpetrator faces severe criminal penalties in addition to liability for your family’s civil damages.
  • Product liability. If a defective product causes the death of an end user, the manufacturer could face liability for wrongful death under California’s product liability statutes. In addition, when a defective product causes injuries or deaths, the manufacturer may be compelled to recall the product and arrange compensation for anyone harmed.

Whenever a person dies due to the actions of another party, the party at fault faces liability for the losses they inflict on the deceased’s family. Additionally, it is possible for the plaintiff in a wrongful death suit to seek additional compensation beyond what their claim would typically provide if the deceased’s final injury caused them to suffer for an extended period before they succumbed to their injuries.

If you are wondering whether the recent death of a loved one qualifies as a wrongful death, determine whether one or more parties could have caused the death. To succeed with your wrongful death claim, it is crucial to prove the defendant named in your claim directly caused the death of your loved one. This means proving they failed to exercise reasonable care in a manner resulting in the death or that they committed an intentional harmful act against your loved one that proved fatal.

It’s possible for the defendant responsible for causing the recent death of your loved one to face criminal prosecution. A few of the most common causes of wrongful deaths that generate criminal charges against the defendants responsible include driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, reckless driving, and interpersonal violence.

Compensation for Wrongful Death Claims and Survival Actions in California

Wrongful death cases share many procedural similarities with personal injury claims in California. For example, both cases require plaintiffs to prove that the defendants named in their suits were intentionally harmful or negligent in a manner resulting in their claimed damages. However, while a personal injury claim seeks compensation for the victim’s damages, a wrongful death claim focuses on losses sustained by the victim’s family.

In a wrongful death claim, the surviving family of the deceased has the right to seek compensation for:

  • Funeral and burial expenses.
  • Lost financial support provided by the deceased. This could include income the deceased could have expected to earn until retirement if they had survived.
  • The value of the household services and childcare the deceased had provided.
  • Lost affection, care, guidance, moral support, and consortium. In other words, the deceased’s family has the right to seek compensation for their pain and suffering.

If the victim of a wrongful death did not immediately die from their final injury, their estate likely incurred various damages between the final injury and their death. For example, hospital bills for treatment of their final injury and lifesaving intervention attempts, lost income from when they were unable to work, and property losses inflicted by the defendant are all losses claimable through a survival action. As the name suggests, a survival action aims for compensation the deceased could have sought in a personal injury suit if they had lived. Recently, California legislators enacted a new law that allows non-economic damages to be claimed in survival actions that reflect the pain and suffering a victim experienced before their death.

What to Expect From Newport Beach Wrongful Death Attorneys

The initial aftermath of an unexpected death in your family can be extremely difficult to navigate. Balancing the emotional distress of the situation and your practical concerns regarding the economic impact of the wrongful death is very challenging for anyone. However, if you have an experienced Newport Beach wrongful death attorney handling your legal proceedings, you and your family can have some small measure of peace of mind during this difficult time.

The reassurance of knowing your case is in reliable hands is just one of the benefits of hiring legal representation for your wrongful death claim in Newport Beach, CA. Your legal team will also assist you with court filings, ensuring your case meets all applicable deadlines and includes all necessary supporting documentation. Depending on how your loved one’s death happened, you may need various forms of evidence to prove liability for the wrongful death beyond any doubt.

Establishing fault for a wrongful death is the first phase of succeeding with your case. You must also prove the full scope of damages resulting from the incident in question, and you must also prove a clear causal link between the defendant’s intentional misconduct or negligence and the damages included in your wrongful death claim.

It’s also possible for your wrongful death suit to unfold in tandem with a criminal case against the defendant filed by the state. If any illegal conduct resulted in the death of your relative, your attorney could help you understand how this may influence your wrongful death proceedings. Ultimately, no single legal strategy works for every wrongful death claim, and every case will pose unique challenges and present important opportunities to plaintiffs. The best way to accurately address all the unique variables in your case is to consult an experienced Newport Beach wrongful death attorney as soon as possible after someone has caused the death of a loved one.

Newport Beach Wrongful Death Lawyer FAQs

Q: Can a Defendant Go to Jail for Causing a Wrongful Death?
A:
Various criminal charges can come into play following a wrongful death, depending on how the defendant caused the death in question. If they caused a fatal vehicle accident because they were driving while intoxicated, or if they intended to cause physical harm to the victim and consequently caused their death, the defendant will likely face criminal penalties.

Q: What Happens if the Deceased Is Partially Liable for Causing Their Own Death?
A:
California’s pure comparative negligence law can factor into a complex wrongful death claim if it is revealed that the decedent contributed to causing their death in any way. The judge ruling on the case would assign a fault percentage from the plaintiff and deduct this percentage from the final case award. However, remember that a wrongful death claim applies to the family’s losses, not the defendant’s, so comparative negligence is more likely to influence a survival action than a wrongful death claim.

Q: How Long Does It Take to Complete a Wrongful Death Case in California?
A:
Many factors can influence the time required to resolve your wrongful death claim. If the defendant’s liability is in question, or if you have trouble accurately calculating the total compensation you can seek in your claim, it can take much longer to resolve than you may expect. A good Newport Beach wrongful death attorney can provide their client with an estimate of the timetable their case is likely to follow.

Q: Will My Wrongful Death Claim Go to Trial?
A:
Most civil cases filed in California end in a private settlement. It’s typically in the best interests of all parties involved in a civil claim to take advantage of settlement to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. However, if a defendant claims they are not responsible for the death or if they caused the death in any manner leading to criminal charges from the state, the case may generate complex litigation.

Q: Is It Worth Hiring a Newport Beach Wrongful Death Attorney?
A:
Reliable legal counsel can make a tremendous difference in the outcome of any civil claim. Easton & Easton accepts wrongful death claims on a contingency fee basis, meaning our client only owes a legal fee once we win their case. Therefore, there are no upfront costs or fees if we fail to secure a recovery on your behalf. Hiring an experienced attorney to represent your claim is an investment in the quality of the outcome of the case.

The attorneys at Easton & Easton understand how tragic the unexpected loss of a loved one can be, and the knowledge that another party caused your loved one’s death can add frustration to an already strong mix of emotions. However, if you have legal questions after the death of a loved one resulting from another party’s negligence in Newport Beach, we can help. Contact us today and schedule your free consultation with a Newport Beach wrongful death attorney you can trust.

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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
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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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