Nothing strikes at the heart like the death of a loved one. In some cases, the death would never have happened except for the negligence, recklessness, or bad action of an individual or entity. California law entitles you to compensation if you have lost a loved one because of unjust circumstances.

Nordean Law specializes in California wrongful death lawsuits, ranging from traffic accidents to medical malpractice to workplace accidents. Success in a wrongful death case requires establishing liability through a thorough investigation, painstaking legal work, and aggressive courtroom representation. Nordean Law works tirelessly to get our clients the justice they deserve.

What Is Wrongful Death?

California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60 CCP, also known as California’s wrongful death statute, provides the basis for family members to bring a wrongful death action against allegedly liable parties. Eligible plaintiffs include the following:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Domestic partner
  • Children

To prevail in a wrongful death claim, plaintiffs must show that the defendant(s) caused or contributed to the decedent’s death through negligence, recklessness, or intentional actions.

For instance, a hospital administering a medication that triggered a deadly allergic reaction may face a wrongful death claim based on negligence. A driver who caused a fatal accident by speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, and tailgating may face a wrongful death claim for recklessness. Violent actions that result in death often bring about criminal charges and a wrongful death lawsuit.

Why Choose Nordean Law For Your Wrongful Death Claim In Orange?

Wrongful death claims require establishing the defendant(s) duty of care, breach of that duty, and that the breach resulted in the death. Often, defendants attempt to deflect blame from themselves by raising doubt as to the cause of the accident or even blaming the victim. Nordean Law’s Orange personal injury lawyers know how to combat these strategies and keep the focus on the negligence, recklessness, or bad actions of the defendant.

"We never lose sight of the pain and suffering of your recovery, not to mention emotional trauma that lasts for years."

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Wrongful Death Claim In Orange?

If another caused the wrongful death of your loved one, you need an expert in wrongful death litigation to establish your claim, investigate the circumstances, and represent you in court. Wrongful death claims must meet specific standards of proof according to California law. Your wrongful death attorney will construct a case that meets these requirements and negates the defendant’s attempts to conceal or minimize responsibility.

Common Types Of Wrongful Death. 

Wrongful death claims can emerge from a variety of situations. Under California law, a claim for wrongful death exists when a person dies because another individual or entity breaches a duty of care. Common types of wrongful death include the following:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Workplace accidents

The defendant(s) have a duty of care in all these examples. For example, drivers must obey traffic laws and proceed with due caution; doctors must follow medically sound processes and work in their patients’ best interests; employers must comply with workplace safety standards and protect their employees.

A duty of care must have been breached for a wrongful death claim to succeed, and that breach must be, at least in part, the cause of the death.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death

Legally speaking, wrongful deaths occur when a person or entity breaches a duty of care, and that breach causes tragedy. The breach can occur because of negligence, recklessness, or intentional action.

Vehicle accidents rank as one of the more prevalent forms of wrongful death. All drivers have a duty of care, and this duty is all too frequently breached. A typical car accident involves an individual driver who caused an accident through negligence, such as failing to watch the road. Other vehicle accidents result from recklessness, such as aggressive driving. Also, intentional actions, such as road rage incidents and drunk driving, are common causes of wrongful death.

Most medical malpractice claims result from negligence. A doctor or other medical professional performed their job poorly, resulting in wrongful death. Many workplace accident fatalities also occur because of negligence. Failure to follow OSHA requirements, for example, is a common cause of wrongful death.

Hear From Our Community Of Satisfied
Raydrea E.
Raydrea E.
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The best lawyer in the area! He and his team will take great care of you. They are very good with taking questions and answering them without lying to you. I will use Sam and his firm for any cases I might encounter. Highly recommend!!
Ricardo Dagher
Ricardo Dagher
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I was rear ended on the highway by a driver that was not paying attention. He didn’t even slow down. After the collision, I couldn’t even walk. Sam and his team helped me every step of the way. They made sure that I received the best treatment. I don’t know what I would’ve done without them. They fought the insurance company to make sure I received full value for my car. Sam was able to get all my bills covered and on top of that held the other driver and his insurance company accountable. I received the settlement that I deserve and helped me move with my life after an accident that changed my life.
Erica Z.
Erica Z.
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If you are worried about your claim you should contact Nordean Law. Sam Nordean and his team are not only true professionals with integrity, but also sincerely care about their clients well being and state of mind throughout the process.
Diana S.
Diana S.
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Sam Nordean is a great lawyer. He handled my case with the utmost professionalism. After taking my case, Nordean was always very straightfoward about all proceedings. He never sugarcoated things and was very honest. As the client, I appreciated that Sam Nordean would advise me about the proceedings but that my opinions and voice was also heard. Sam Nordean fought for me as the victim in my case and I was very happy with the outcome. Sam Nordean is a great lawyer and I would recommend him for anyone in need of a personal injury lawyer.
Aldo Z.
Aldo Z.
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Nordean Law is working on my injury case. and can't thank them enough. Sam and his team have been reaching out and keeping me informed with all pending matters. I appreciate that because with all that is currently going in right now, I need some stress off my shoulders. Thank you Nordean Law!!!
Michael Ruddle
Michael Ruddle
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My family and I were involved in an auto accident. I was referred to Sam Nordean through a good friend of mine who is a current client. That meant a lot to me. I called Sam immediately and he answered the phone. I thought, "Wow, an attorney who actually answers his phone". I explained to him what had happened and he and his Team immediately took over. They have already taken care of our property damage issue and are making sure we have the best medical treatment available. We still have a ways to go, but I know Sam is working hard for my family. And, when I call him he still picks up. Thank you Nordean Law
Donna Melik
Donna Melik
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I can’t thank the Nordean Law group enough! The amount of clarity they provide by walking you through every single step is beyond relieving. The entire team is so professional! And they truly fight for justice! Our family has been with them since 2017 and appreciates all the hard work! Don’t look any further, go for the representation of Nordean Law
 Boyce Osife
Boyce Osife
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Very knowledgeable and experienced law firm. Very polite service representatives who care about your needs and help you find the right help.
Alice Alqueen
Alice Alqueen
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Nordean Law, APC represented me and helped me through my insurance case when they refused to pay my bills. Sam was very patient, experienced, and well-knowledgeable such qualities are hard to find in one attorney. No matter how many times I called or asked questions he was always attentive and understanding. I would recommend them to anyone in a heartbeat! Thank you for winning my 2 cases!
Sukhwinder Kaur
Sukhwinder Kaur
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Sam and his team are amazing. My mom experienced a major fall and ended up getting seriously hurt. Sam and his team stood by her side every step of the way and took her under their wing making sure she got all the care that she needed. Communication is key to any relationship rather it be business or personal and Nordean law made sure their was no confusion and all points were made aware to both parties. Thank you sharmin, Alyssa, patty and Sam ! Your time and hard work is definitely appreciated!

What To Do After Wrongful Death In Orange?

After losing a family member, it’s difficult to fathom what you must do to protect your legal claims. However, it’s essential to lay the groundwork for your wrongful death claim so you can receive justice.

The following steps protect your legal rights:

Report the Incident

If you believe a wrongful death occurred, report the matter to the proper authorities. For a traffic accident, this starts with law enforcement. For medical malpractice, it begins with the hospital administration.

Contact a Wrongful Death Litigation Specialist

Wrongful death cases are a particular type of personal injury law. This type of claim has its standards, and you need an experienced advocate to establish your case, negotiate with the opposition, and represent you in court.

Document All the Details

Keeping notes of what occurred can make the difference between a solid case and one where the defense benefits from wiggle room. Creating a chronology of events and sharing it with your attorney prepares your case and ensures no key details are missed.

How Does the Investigation Process Work?

Wrongful death investigations uncover the negligent, reckless, or intentional actions that caused the death of your loved one. If you believe another’s wrongful acts killed your family member, contact a wrongful death litigation specialist to begin an investigation into the incident. The litigation process gives your legal team the tools needed to get to the bottom of the tragedy. 

Common types of wrongful death investigations include the following:

Medical Malpractice Investigations

Medical malpractice investigations review medical evidence to uncover negligent and improper medical practices.

Industrial Accidents

When a loved one dies from a work-related accident, the cause is often negligent workplace safety practices. Industrial accident investigations determine what occurred and who is responsible.

Products Liability Investigations

Products that are used as intended should never cause injury or death. Investigations into product liability determine how the accident occurred and where the flaw in the product existed.

Nordean Law specializes in California wrongful death lawsuits, ranging from traffic accidents to medical malpractice to workplace accidents. Success in a wrongful death case requires establishing liability through a thorough investigation, painstaking legal work, and aggressive courtroom representation. Nordean Law works tirelessly to get our clients the justice they deserve.

How Much Is Wrongful Death Case Worth?

Wrongful death claims settle anywhere from thousands to millions of dollars. Several factors weigh the case’s value, including financial losses to the family, intangible impacts, such as lost relationships and grief, and the amount of blame a court is likely to assign to the defendant(s).

Financial losses can include the following:

  • Lost income
  • Lost household services
  • Lost future income
  • Lost benefits
  • Lost future gifts

Intangible losses are harder to quantify but often worth much more than the financial losses, including the following:

  • Lost relationships
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of life enjoyment
  • Bereavement
  • Pain and suffering

The court may reduce the total damages if it finds the victim contributed to the accident. For instance, if a wrongful death claim results in $500,000 in damages and the court find the victim 10% responsible, it reduces the award to $450,000.

Contact a Top-Rated Orange Wrongful Death Lawyer Today

If you have lost a loved one because of another’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional action, contact Nordean Law’s Orange wrongful death attorneys.

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Hiring the right Wrongful Death Attorney will make a significant difference in your challenging and stressful situation. You may spend many hours attempting to figure out what you should do next at Orange Courthouse. You’ll lose hours of time trying to figure out what you need to do next if you don’t hire an attorney. Even more, you will also receive about 40% less when the settlement finally arrives, which will happen much faster with professional assistance.

Please contact us if you have any queries or would want to know what you could be owed. In California, you have two years from the date of injury to file a claim and sue for compensation. If you want to go it alone in court, the Orange Courthouse is located at 700 W Civic Center Dr, Santa Ana, CA 9270. If you want to take professional help, our wrongful death lawyer in Orange will be more than happy to help you.

Orange Wrongful Death FAQs

The family can collect in a wrongful death case even if the accident is partly the victim’s fault. California law follows a pure comparative negligence standard in wrongful death claims. Under this standard, a plaintiff’s award is reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the victim in court. For instance, if the victim is 20% at fault for a fatal auto accident and the defendant 80%, then the court awards the plaintiff 80% of the damages.

California wrongful death law requires plaintiffs to prove that the defendant(s) acted negligently or intentionally in a way that brought about an unjustified death. Accordingly, courts demand that three elements be demonstrated by the evidence's preponderance (more likely than not).  

  • A Duty of Care Existed: A duty of care may be established by a specific relationship, such as a doctor’s responsibility to a patient. However, in many situations, members of the general public also owe a duty of care to one another, such as drivers’ obligation to abide by traffic laws and avoid negligent or reckless vehicle operation. 
  • The Duty of Care Was Breached: Plaintiffs must show that the defendant(s) breached the duty of care through action or inaction. For instance, a driver who causes an accident by texting and driving or a doctor who neglects safety protocols. 
  • The Breach of Duty Caused Unjustified Dying: To win, plaintiffs must go a step further and establish the link between the breach of duty and the death. For example, a driver could cause an accident by texting and driving, a clear breach, but if the decedent later died of a different cause, the case may not qualify as wrongful death. In another instance, a doctor may have failed to follow best practices, but a wrongful death claim may fail if the patient’s death is attributable to another cause.

Yes. California law establishes a two-year statute of limitation for wrongful death claims. The two-year period begins on the date of the decedent's passing. However, the law does provide exceptions in limited circumstances.

  • The Discovery Rule Exception: Plaintiffs can petition the court to extend the statute of limitations if they were unaware of and could not reasonably expect to know that defendant(s) caused or contributed to the wrongful death. For instance, families of a person with cancer may discover that exposure to carcinogens caused the disease after the statute of limitations expired. Depending on the circumstances, a court may extend the statute of limitations.
  • Medical Malpractice Exceptions: Family members have three years from when the alleged medical malpractice occurred. When medical malpractice is discovered after three years, families must bring the case within one year of obtaining that knowledge or within one year when the court rules they could be reasonably expected to know.
  • Shorter Time Limits for Lawsuits Against Government Entities: California’s wrongful death statute mandates a shorter statute of limitations against government entities, such as state agencies and city departments. Families must bring the action within six months of the victim’s death. 


The time to resolve a case depends on whether it settles and at what point negotiations come to a close in the litigation process.A case that goes through a jury trial and appeals can take many years. However, most wrongful death cases settle before the trial date. Trials are necessary to resolve factual disputes between the parties; often, the facts are established, and a settlement is reached without impanel a jury.

Many cases settle after the discovery process. During discovery, attorneys use the powers of the courts to gather evidence and interview witnesses. Towards the end of this process, attorneys depose the opposing side’s witnesses. Once the discovery process is complete, the case is often more apt to settle. Many claims settle in one to two years if a trial remains unnecessary.

Wrongful death claims compensate the victim’s family. Since the decedent cannot benefit from an award, the focus is on providing family members with compensation that pays for their financial and emotional losses. Typical categories of damages in wrongful death claims include the following:

  • Lost income
  • Lost benefits, such as health insurance
  • Pain and suffering of the family
  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of relationships
  • Emotional distress

Survival actions are brought by the executor of the decedent's estate on behalf of the departed. These actions claim benefits for the decedent's damages as opposed to the family’s, such as lost income, medical bills, and pain and suffering.

Orange wrongful death attorneys are paid through contingency fees, so the family never has to come up with money out-of-pocket to bring a case. Because Nordean Law attorneys provide expert legal representation and negotiate for full compensation, our fees pay for themselves. Therefore, we prepare every case for trial. Once the defendant(s) know we will win in court, they are willing to offer settlements that cover all the family’s damages, attorney’s fees, and litigation expenses. 

"We never lose sight of the pain and suffering of your recovery, not to mention emotional trauma that lasts for years."

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