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Wrongful Death Injury Lawyer in Oceanside/Carlsbad

Wrongful Death Lawsuits and Settlements

The law treats any death seriously, including those that occurred as a result of someone’s negligence. As wrongful death lawyers, we know first hand from our clients just how traumatic the loss of a loved one is. It’s a loss that nothing can fix. We also understand how critical the near and long-term impact of a sudden drop or complete loss of income can be for a family. Oceanside/Carlsbad based, we provide wrongful death attorney services in Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, San Marcos, Escondido, and Vista. We’re pleased to offer a free consultation and work on a contingency basis (no fee unless we win) to establish your case, negotiate a settlement, and as needed, file a wrongful death lawsuit and prosecute it in court.

You Pay Nothing Unless Compensation is Recovered!

Wrongful Death Claims

A wrongful death lawsuit is a complicated civil case for compensation, not a criminal case for punishment.  Wrongful death lawsuits arise as a result of the negligence of another person that has caused a death.  Determining whether you are an appropriate party to bring a claim for the wrongful death of your loved one is the first step in any wrongful death case.  For example, surviving spouses, domestic partners and children of the deceased victim are appropriate parties under California law who can bring a lawsuit for wrongful death.  Other appropriate parties can include parents, grandparents, siblings, nieces, or nephews depending on the facts of the case.  It is important to speak with an experienced wrongful death lawyer to determine whether you have standing to act as the plaintiff in a lawsuit alleging wrongful death.

No amount of money can truly and fairly compensate for the loss of a loved one.  Nevertheless, in the United States, our civil justice system uses monetary compensation as a way to right the wrong of a death caused by someone else’s negligence.  In California, monetary compensation awarded to plaintiffs in a wrongful death lawsuit is divided into two basic categories, namely, “economic damages” and “non-economic damages”.  Economic damages include items of damages like: the financial support, if any, that the deceased victim would have contributed to the family during their life expectancy; the reasonable value of household services of the decedent; and funeral and burial expenses.  Non-economic damages in a wrongful death lawsuit include:  the loss of the deceased victim’s love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society and moral support; the loss of the enjoyment of sexual relations; and the loss of the decedent’s training and guidance.  There is no fixed standard that exists for calculating non-economic damages.  Therefore, it is important to discuss your wrongful death claim with an experienced wrongful death attorney in order to determine the full nature and extent of your damages and, based on your attorneys’ knowledge and experience, what a potential jury verdict for wrongful death damages could be if your case goes to trial.

A Few Specifics

Wrongful death cases can be complex, with difficult issues of causation and liability.  Due to the significant damages involved in a wrongful death case, insurance companies will generally put on a strong defense, particularly where commercial insurance policies with high policy limits are involved.  Truck, motorcycle, or car accident cases involving deaths are just some of the wrongful death cases our office handles.  If your loved one passed away from injuries sustained in a truck, motorcycle or car accident, you should contact our office of experienced wrongful death attorneys for a free initial consultation.  Even in situations where your loved one may have been partially at fault for the incident, because of the comparative fault principles under California law, you may still be able to recover damages for the death of your loved one.  Other common cases we handle that involve wrongful death claims are workplace injuries, dog attacks, and elder abuse / neglect where liable parties can include nursing homes as well as (more rarely) manufacturers of defective products.

For most negligence cases occurring in California, the statute of limitations is 2 years – meaning that a lawsuit for the wrongful death of your loved one must be filed within two years from the date of the incident.  However, it is important to discuss your claim with an experienced wrongful death attorney promptly because there are many laws that shorten the deadline for filing a lawsuit, the most common of which is a claim involving the negligence of a government entity.  For example, if your loved one was killed in an automobile collision with a city bus, a 6 month statute of limitations period for filing a government entity claim may apply, rather than the two year statute of limitations.  There are many laws that alter the general two year statute of limitations period depending on who the claim is against and who are the parties to the case.  Our office can discuss the specific deadlines that relate to your wrongful death claim during our initial free consultation.

Collecting evidence and witness statements when a death has occurred due to someone else’s negligence is very important.  Preserving that evidence soon after the death-causing injury occurred is vital to being successful in proving your wrongful death claim and ultimately, protecting your rights.  Key information to gather at the outset also includes: police reports, medical bills, photographs and other physical evidence.  An experienced attorney knows each and every detail that needs to be attended to in order to build a wrongful death case that will maximize the damages you can recover for the death of your loved one.



Attorney Suzanne Skolnick achieved a $6,000,000 settlement with the County of Riverside for her 66 year-old client who sustained a catastrophic brain injury.

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Your Case at Skolnick Law Group

A great deal is at stake, and the issues of establishing liability, assessing future losses for full compensation, building a case, and negotiating a settlement or prosecuting the case to trial are complex and fraught with obstacles.  Therefore, it’s vital that you have a skilled and knowledgeable wrongful death attorney on your side.  Fortunately, in California laws now favor grieving survivors.  At Skolnick Law Group, starting with a free consultation, you’ll always work directly with an experienced wrongful death attorney (not a paralegal) who will diligently, respectfully, and compassionately protect your right to compensation.  There’s no charge unless we win.

Our practice area is typically at the North County San Diego Superior Court located in Vista, but we also handle cases throughout San Diego County.  Suzanne Skolnick is also licensed to practice in all of the United States District Courts throughout California.  We serve plaintiffs with wrongful death cases in Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Escondido, San Marcos and Vista, as well as other portions of San Diego County.

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