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Wrongful Death Injury Lawyer in Encinitas

Wrongful Death Lawsuits and Settlements

After the loss of a loved one there’s no easy path forward, nor is there any amount of money that can make up for such an overwhelming loss.  But in the case of a wrongful death, such as a fatal car accident, surviving relatives deserve and often need monetary compensation.  Common wrongful death situations in the Encinitas area include

  • auto, boating, and recreational accidents,
  • defective products (product liability),
  • medical malpractice,
  • nursing home elder abuse / neglect,
  • slip and fall as well as other accidents in public places,
  • workplace accidents, and

A wrongful death attorney is critical in negotiating a fair settlement, and if necessary pursuing a wrongful death claim in court.

You Pay Nothing Unless Compensation is Recovered!

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death lawsuit isn’t a criminal trial, but rather a civil case for compensation when a settlement can’t be negotiated.  Any person, company, or organization can be held liable if there is proof of negligence, recklessness, or intentional harm.  Full compensation should cover all medical expenses, loss of financial support or household income, and loss of love, companionship, society and affection.  Depending on the facts of the case, surviving family members may also be entitled to punitive damages.

California law provides who may be a plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit.  Generally speaking, appropriate parties are those related by marriage or blood to the decedent.  That is to say a spouse, domestic partner, and children can be appropriate plaintiffs in a wrongful death case.  If none of these exist, then a claim may be filed by parents or siblings.  These rules apply regardless of who is or isn’t included in any will.

Taking Action

From a legal standpoint, sometimes no one is at fault, sometimes several or all parties are considered partially at fault.  But due to the magnitude of the losses involved, insurance companies will frequently fight hard against paying on a wrongful death case.  Encinitas juries are generally sympathetic, so insurers push back by arguing against liability, often hiring expensive professional experts.  With much at stake, you need an experienced, aggressive, knowledgeable and skilled personal injury lawyer as your wrongful death attorney.

There are strict deadlines set by California law on the timing of a wrongful death lawsuit.  For example, when the case involves the negligence of a government entity or its employee, a short 6 month statute of limitations exists for filing a government claim.  Therefore, in order to ensure that your rights to compensation are preserved and fought for, it is important to seek the experience and advice of a skilled wrongful death attorney like Suzanne Skolnick of the Skolnick Law Group, promptly.



Russell S. Kohn and Suzanne Skolnick Attorneys Kohn and Skolnick represented a 60-year-old man in an under insured motorist claim against Farmers. After reduction for the worker’s compensation benefits and the third party recovery, Judge Hoffman’s net award totaled $520,000.

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The Skolnick Law Group

If you’ve lost a loved one our law office is just 10 miles from Encinitas and we take evening and weekend appointments.  Our goal is to win you full compensation in a wrongful death negotiation or court action.  To that end you’ll deal directly with a personal injury lawyer experienced in such cases, never a paralegal.  We’ll complete a thorough investigation, build a strong case to prove liability and support a loss claim, negotiate a settlement, and if necessary, pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.  You can be as involved or uninvolved as you wish.

We offer a free consultation and charge no fees unless we win a recovery for you.


The process of grieving over the death of a loved one is lengthy and private, but should include some opportunities to step out of yourself from time to time.  Encinitas provides some ideal opportunities such as the Encinitas Ballet, the Lux Art Institute, and the San Diego Botanic Garden.


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