- Meet Our Team
- Cases We Handle
- Video Center
- Case Results
No Win No Fee Guarantee
Losing a loved one is devastating, no matter how it happens. When the loss occurs unexpectedly because of someone else’s negligence or fault, a new layer of emotional distress is added. Families often find themselves emotionally overwhelmed with grief, sadness, shock, and anger. Amidst all of this, they must also deal with the financial consequences of the loss such as funeral expenses and lost income from the deceased.
At Gomez Trial Attorneys, our San Diego wrongful death lawyers understand that no amount of compensation can ever replace the loss of your loved one. However, you and your family deserve justice. You should not have to bear your grief and financial burdens. While we cannot take away your grief, our attorneys can fight for the money you need to move into the future.
At Gomez Trial Attorneys, our compassionate San Diego wrongful death lawyers stand by you during this difficult time and use our legal tools to ensure you recover as much compensation as possible. We obtained the highest wrongful death verdict in California history: $106,000,000, and our other wrongful death case results include:
We cannot guarantee results but can provide a free case evaluation to help determine if you have a San Diego wrongful death case and what it might be worth.
Since San Diego is located in California, California’s wrongful death law applies. A California wrongful death claim is a type of legal claim that can be brought for the death of a close family member that was caused by the careless, reckless, or intentional actions of someone else.
Any death has the potential to qualify as wrongful, depending upon the circumstances which led to it happening. In our everyday lives, the people, businesses, institutions, and others we interact with owe us a basic obligation not to engage in conduct and not to make decisions that unreasonably put us in harm’s way. Broadly speaking, any loss of life resulting from a violation of that basic obligation can be wrongful.
Losing a loved one can cause incredible pain regardless of your relationship. However, the law only allows certain relationships and family members to file a wrongful death claim. California’s wrongful death statute, CCP § 377.60 allows the following survivors to bring a wrongful death claim:
If you lose a loved one, each family member cannot file their own separate wrongful death claim. Instead, you will list the total losses among all family members in a single claim. If one family member files a claim or accepts a settlement, others cannot seek further compensation. To help prevent confusion, the family should work together to decide how to handle a wrongful death claim.
Multiple wrongful death claims may be brought if multiple responsible parties contributed to the accident; you can file a claim against each of them.
A wrongful death case can arise from any type of accident that results in a fatality, including:
For more than a decade, Gomez Trial Attorneys has stood up for the rights of suffering families as San Diego wrongful death lawyers in all types of wrongful death cases.
Fatal accidents can occur anywhere. San Diego has many similar risks to other cities, as well as additional fatality risks due to the popularity of water and beach-related activities. San Diego’s fatal accident risks include:
No matter how a fatal accident happens, it is a devastating tragedy, and families should learn about their rights to possible compensation from a San Diego wrongful death attorney.
Few, if any, types of cases involve more actual financial loss than wrongful death cases. A wrongful death claim is designed to compensate the family for their loss. Compensable wrongful death damages are generally divided into two major categories, economic damages, and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are damages for losses whose dollar amount can be objectively determined.
Some examples of economic damages you may pursue and recover in a wrongful death action:
Non-economic damages are losses that it is impossible to objectively value. These are often the greatest harms. Some examples of economic damages you may pursue and recover in a wrongful death action:
One other type of damages is punitive damages, which are available in cases where your loved one was intentionally killed. Punitive damages are designed to punish the wrongdoer.
In some cases involving the death of a loved one, other types of claims such as survival damages can also be pursued in addition to the wrongful death claim. Due to the complexity of cases involving death, it is important to consult with an experienced San Diego wrongful death lawyer that can help you assess your case and determine what damages are available.
You will need to prove the following to prevail on a negligence-based wrongful death claim. Several factors contribute to whether you have grounds to file a wrongful death claim, your likelihood of success, and the amounts you can recover.
To file a wrongful death lawsuit in San Diego, you must have lost a family member due to someone else’s negligent, reckless, intentional, or other wrongful conduct. Most cases are based on negligence. To file a wrongful death claim based on negligence, you will need to prove:
In a nursing home neglect claim, for example, a facility may fail to provide adequate care. If their failure to provide adequate care caused your loved one to fall and ultimately led to their death, you may file a wrongful death claim. In a construction accident, you might file a claim against the company that failed to provide adequate precautions at a construction site.
To determine the parties responsible for an accident, you may ask:
An experienced wrongful death lawyer can help you analyze who is at fault.
As discussed above, California’s wrongful death law, CCP § 377.60, limits who can bring a wrongful death claim to certain close family members. The surviving spouse and children are the most common persons to bring wrongful death claims.
To file a wrongful death claim, the decedent need not have died immediately at the accident scene. Often, your loved one may survive for days or even weeks before succumbing to their injuries.
In these circumstances, your family may also seek:
When you lose your family’s primary breadwinner, you may struggle to handle your financial obligations. This financial loss can affect your family greatly, especially if the surviving spouse does not work outside the home.
As a spouse, losing that income can leave you unsure of what to do next. Financial stress coupled with the grief from your loss can be overwhelming. Others may also have financial expectations from the deceased individual — for example, children who required their parents’ support or adult children who needed assistance attending school. In addition, elderly parents may have relied on financial assistance from an adult child.
In addition to their income, most individuals provide a wide range of services to their family members. As part of your wrongful death claim, our San Diego wrongful death lawyers will work with you to determine what services your loved one provided. We can help you predict how much it will cost to replace those services after their loss.
Some service contributions that you may receive compensation for include:
Carefully consider the services your loved one provided to the family before death. We know a wrongful death claim cannot replace your loved one. However, it can enable you to replace some of the services they provided to your family. When another’s negligence takes a loved one from you, you and your family deserve to maintain the quality of life you enjoyed before the loss of a loved one.
The loss of a loved one creates a void that many families struggle to fill. While you may have difficulty quantifying that loss, by working with an attorney, you can get a better picture of what compensation you deserve. You may recover compensation for the loss of your loved one’s presence in your life.
Damages might include:
It depends. Wrongful death cases are a specific type of personal injury case, but not every personal injury attorney is a wrongful death lawyer. Representing clients in a wrongful death case can often require more specialized knowledge than it takes to seek compensation in a personal injury matter in which the victim survives.
Unlike many simpler personal injury matters, for example, wrongful death cases virtually always involve official investigations and may have some degree of media attention, which the right wrongful death attorney must take into account in devising a legal strategy.
In addition, the parties at fault for wrongful death may face separate criminal liability, and criminal prosecution can affect the timing of and evidence available in a wrongful death claim. Also, wrongful death damages tend to fall at the high end of the spectrum of financial compensation, which means that the at-fault parties and their insurance companies often have an incentive to fight aggressively to limit their financial exposure.
When hiring a San Diego wrongful death lawyer, ensure that the attorney you hire has wrongful death case experience (and case results), not just general personal injury experience. After the tragic death of your loved one in a San Diego-area accident or incident, you and your family need the guidance of an attorney who has handled wrongful death cases successfully in the past and who understands the legal, emotional, and practical challenges you currently face.
Nothing up front. Most San Diego wrongful death lawyers, including Gomez Trial Attorneys, take cases on contingency.
Families facing the sudden loss of a loved one often find themselves in dire financial circumstances. Fatal accidents and mistakes in San Diego frequently rob families not just of a beloved spouse, parent, or child but also of that person’s income and future financial prospects. In addition, while some victims perish immediately from their injuries, others survive for a while before passing away, burdening them, their estate, and their families with large medical bills to pay.
The last thing many families can afford, in other words, is to pay for a lawyer. They do not need to worry. At Gomez Trial Attorneys, we represent our clients on a contingent fee basis. Instead of charging clients an upfront retainer or billing them by the hour, our wrongful death lawyers work in exchange for a percentage of any compensation secured on our client’s behalf.
By representing families grieving the loss of a loved one on contingency, our San Diego wrongful death lawyers make our services available to all who need them, giving families access to justice no matter their financial circumstances.
The short answer to this question is as soon as possible.
We understand that some families feel uncertain about hiring a lawyer immediately after losing a loved one. Some worry it makes them look like they are trying to profit from their loved one’s death. Others simply feel overwhelmed and do not think they can spare the time or effort to concentrate on picking an attorney.
These are normal concerns to have. Rest assured, however, that a wrongful death lawyer at Gomez Trial Attorneys aims to protect grieving spouses and families during a difficult time. We take the steps necessary to ensure that at-fault parties, insurance companies, and others treat them fairly and with the respect they deserve.
By contacting one of our attorneys quickly, families give themselves the strongest protection against parties who might try to take advantage of their difficult circumstances.
For example, sometimes insurance companies that know they face financial exposure for a fatal accident may offer families a quick cash settlement that, while it seems like a lot of money, falls far short of the actual amount the family deserves to receive. Wrongful death lawyers safeguard vulnerable families from these kinds of tactics.
Likewise, a wrongful death attorney can serve as a buffer between the family and press, law enforcement, insurance adjusters, and others who may demand their time and attention. Lawyers speak on behalf of their clients, so their clients have the space they need to come to terms with their loss.
To learn more about how a San Diego wrongful death lawyer can help you during this difficult time, contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today for a free case consultation.
Yes. California law generally limits you to two years from your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit, with the potential for a six-month extension if your loved one did not perish immediately from the injuries that ultimately resulted in death.
If your loved one died from a work-related injury or illness, however, then you may have as little as one year to apply for workers’ compensation death benefits. Other exceptions can shorten the statute of limitations, such as if the claim is against a government agency, then you must file within six months.
Failing to take action within these time limits risks forfeiting your rights to file a wrongful death lawsuit or to apply for death benefits. To protect yourself, we strongly recommend speaking with a San Diego wrongful death attorney at Gomez Trial Attorneys as soon as you can after your loved one’s death.
Can a family member sue for wrongful death in San Diego? Yes, close family members can bring a wrongful death lawsuit in San Diego.
If you are the victim’s surviving spouse, domestic partner, child, or (in some cases) grandchild or parent, or if you were otherwise a dependent of the victim, then you may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If the victim left behind multiple individuals fitting that description, you may still file only one wrongful death lawsuit.
In addition, under a separate California statute, you or the representative of your loved one’s estate may file a lawsuit known as a decedent’s cause of action (also sometimes called a survival action), asserting claims for damages your loved one could have pursued had they not died.
Families or personal representatives commonly combine these two types of lawsuits into a single legal action filed in a San Diego court. Lawyers and judges will frequently also refer to the combined lawsuit as a wrongful death claim, but technically, they are separate lawsuits; one is your claim for your loved one’s wrongful death, and the other is the claim that would have belonged to your loved one.
A San Diego wrongful death attorney from Gomez Trial Attorneys can advise survivors like you on deciding whether, when, and how to file a lawsuit arising from a loved one’s death.
If your loved one died in an accident or incident at work in San Diego, then you likely have the right to receive death benefits from the workers’ compensation insurance that covered your loved one.
All California employers have a legal obligation to purchase workers’ compensation insurance covering their workers Virtually all San Diego workers regardless of their industry, job title, work responsibilities, status as employees or contractors, weekly hours, or immigration status have the right to workers’ compensation coverage.
California law requires workers’ compensation insurance to pay death benefits to the surviving spouse, child, or family of a worker who dies. Those benefits include:
Nearly all families of workers who die in fatal work accidents in San Diego have the right to receive these death benefits, even families of undocumented workers.
As the surviving spouse or family member of a deceased worker, you may also have the right to file a lawsuit seeking additional compensation, over and above whatever workers’ compensation death benefits you receive.
Under state law, you generally cannot sue your late family member’s employer or co-workers if you receive workers’ compensation death benefits. However, the circumstances of your loved one’s death may give you the right to sue someone other than your loved one’s employer or co-worker if that party’s decisions or actions caused your loved one’s death.
For example, the surviving spouse of a San Diego road construction worker may have the right to sue the careless driver of a vehicle that struck and killed the worker on a road construction site.
Speak with a San Diego wrongful death attorney at Gomez Trial Attorneys to learn more about your rights if your loved one died in an accident at work.
If you a looking for a San Diego wrongful death law firm, Gomez Trial Attorneys is here for you. Working through a sudden death of a loved one is more than enough to have to attempt to handle. Let an experienced and compassionate San Diego wrongful death attorney handle the legal issues and burdens for you.
Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys at 866-TRIAL LAW (866-874-2552) today for your free wrongful death case evaluation.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“I really appreciate these people they did everything in their power to make our family comfortable and appreciate the effort they did for us we really appreciate everything that they have done.”
Review by: Jennifer L.
No Fees Unless We Recover Money On Your Behalf