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How Long Does A California Wrongful Death Case Take?

Whether it is an eagerness to close this tragic chapter in your life, a stress over getting some much-needed financial aid in the form of a verdict or settlement or something in between, many families are very curious to know just how long their wrongful death case will take. Of course there is no concrete answer when it comes to any personal injury case and especially when it comes to legal issues related to death and negligence.

Working with Walch Law Firm on your wrongful death case you can feel confident that your case is being handled as quickly as possible and you can always get in touch with us at any time for an update.

How Long Will My California Wrongful Death Case Take?

The simple truth is that these cases do take time. But to give you an idea of what you can expect, here are some important aspects that go into a wrongful death case and some factors that might serve to speed up or slow down the process:

  • Who is the responsible party?: Or put differently, who will we be filing suit against? In some instances it is a pretty easy identification- a driver hit and killed your loved one and we will be filing suit against them and their insurance company. But in other instances in which it is hard to track down the responsible party or there are multiple responsible parties, this can take time.
  • Establishing negligence: In order to bring a successful wrongful death lawsuit in California, we need to establish that the other party's negligent action (or inaction) contributed to the death of your loved one. Again, in some instances this can be really straightforward but in others (for example, suicide) it is a much more complicated and time-consuming process.
  • Collecting evidence: There is so much potential evidence that goes into a wrongful death case in California. All evidence is best collected as close to the accident as possible so the sooner you call us the faster this process always is.
  • Determining damages: So many factors go into determining the amount of requested damages in a California wrongful death case. For instance, in order to prove future lost earnings (a common type of damage you may be able to recover), we need to do a thorough examination of past work history in order to properly forecast this out. 
  • Court versus settlement: The majority of cases do not go to court but settle long before which means that when a settlement is involved, the case is almost done quicker than going to court. Courts are busy and calendars are filled so when court is necessary, this can add months to the case timeline.

Ultimately you want your case to take as much time as necessary to get you the financial recovery you deserve. A quick settlement offer by an insurance company usually means that they know the case is worth more but they are preying on the victims need for immediate financial relief. Do not make the mistake so many make in taking a lowball number. We know how financially stressful this time can be which is why we take all of our cases on a contingency fee basis which means that you don't pay any attorneys fees until you win your case.

How Much Is My California Wrongful Death Case Worth?

Of course you want to know how much your case is worth and we wish that we could give you a  number from the beginning but we can't and any law firm that promises a certain amount is not only lying to you but breaking some legal ethics rules along the way. If a loved one has died as a result of the negligence of someone else, you should get in touch with us as quickly as possible before you miss your opportunity to file a wrongful death suit. Here's a look at some factors that can help you get a general idea of how much your case might be worth:

  1. Defendant: Who the defendant or defendants in a case is makes a huge difference in the amount you will be able to recover. Take an identical car crash that is completely the fault of the defendant. One defendant has no insurance while the other has a very comprehensive policy with a high limit for these situation. In both cases we will try to get the policy limits from the insurance company but those limits can vary by hundreds of thousands of dollars. When the defendant is a large corporation or other entity, the likelihood of actually recovering the amount we are seeking is much higher because the defendant in those cases is able to pay.
  2. Victim: One of the potential damages in a wrongful death case is the lost earnings of that individual. For this reason, the age and professional life (or household contributions) of the victim can have a big impact on the worth of the case. A mid-30's professional with a wife and kids would have a very high projection for this important area of recovery and rightfully so- he has left behind a wife and kids that depended on his high income. While no amount of money will ever bring him back, we will work hard to try to get a settlement that reflects his financial contributions to his family, among other things. Age, education, employment background-- all of these factors and more greatly inform the worth of your case.
  3. Expenses surrounding death: the death of your loved one may not have happened immediately and recouping all medical and burial expenses is something we always work hard to get for our clients.

California wrongful death cases are complicated by nature. For this reason and so many more, it is always in your best interest to work with an attorney experienced in this area of personal injury law. At Walch Law, we not only have the experience but also the track record of success you are looking for. We win over 95% of our cases and while we can't guarantee anything (no attorney can) we will work very hard to try to get you the compensation you deserve. We know you have a lot of questions and dealing with a this part of the accident is not something you want to do but we make it easy on you-- your first consultation with us is on the house and we are here to answer any and all questions you may have about your case and our approach. We are so very sorry for your loss and here to help with your financial recovery.

Nine Reasons To Choose Us


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When looking for a California wrongful death lawyer, you want a law firm that can get you the money you deserve. At Walch Law, we don't just meet our clients' expectations, we exceed them. We win over 95% of our cases and will work hard to get you the same great results we have gotten for so many of our happy clients. When it comes to handing a California wrongful death case, resolving your case as quickly as possible for as much money as possible is how we approach every case.


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Founding partner Gary Walch started this law firm to help people in your very situation. With over forty years of experience, you can feel confident that when you hire Walch Law Firm, you are benefiting from his years of experience. Robert Walch has been with the firm since 2000 and has a track record of success, as does the rest of the highly qualified staff at Walch Law. A family firm with the resources of a big law firm means you get the best of both worlds.


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There are lots of law firms that will happily take your business but very few will deliver results and handle your case the way that we do. We understand and respect how difficult this time is for you and our family. When you hire Walch Law Firm you are hiring a family firm that you can trust. We have a stellar reputation within the legal community and among our clients.


Contingency Fee
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For many individuals and families following a death it is not just an emotional time but a stressful financial time as well—hiring an attorney should help relieve this financial stress which is why you hire us on a contingency fee arrangement. Translation: you don't pay for any fees or costs associated with your case until you get paid. We have the financial resources of a large law firm but the accessible environment of a small firm meaning your case won't get lost in the shuffle.


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Whenever you are ready, we are available to talk and this open and available communication model is something that our clients enjoy until their case is closed. We keep you informed and updated on your case every step of the way, always explain what's happening in plain English and ultimately deliver on our promise to get you paid.


Recent Victories
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Winning over 95% of our cases means that you can feel very confident when you hire us to help with your case. Some of our recent victories include a $5,000,000+ settlement for a car accident, $1,250,000 settlement for a wrongful death pedestrian case and $2,500,000 for injuries related to a subway accident.


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First and foremost, you are suffering a major traumatic loss and we understand that. We can help with counseling, medical professionals and other important resources during this time. Your focus should be on dealing with this loss, let us take care of all the legal details.


Family Firm
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There are small firms that might not be able to front the costs of your case and there are big law firms that will easily take your case but lack any type of personal touch (and you might have trouble hearing back from them when you want to) and then there's Walch Law Firm. We can handle any case and pride ourselves on our accessibility to clients. Father-son duo Gary & Robert Walch treat everyone like family and this personal touch is something that our clients as well as our employees constantly comment on and appreciate!


Se Habla Espanol!
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¿Busca un abogado de habla hispana ayudar con su caso de la muerte ilícito de California? No busque más. Somos una firma de abogados de servicio completo de habla hispana que puede ayudarle durante este tiempo difícil tiempo. Llama nos o correo electrónico hoy para su consulta gratuita para aprender más.

We are here to help. Get in touch with us today to begin your financial recovery.