Since 1983, attorneys Jim Rushford & Phil Bonotto have represented clients in a wide range of litigation matters, including personal injury, real estate, construction defect and other types of civil litigation matters. They established Rushford & Bonotto in 1997 and assembled a team of lawyers which include former prosecutors, criminal defense and civil litigation trial attorneys to better serve our clients.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a fatal accident it is important you consult with a qualified attorney immediately to start an investigation into the cause of the accident. We can look into the circumstances of the incident and our proactive approach can help protect evidence and insure your rights are protected.

Wrongful Death Case Overview

Wrongful death occurs when a person dies because of the negligence, misconduct or illegal action of another person, company or entity.  An action for wrongful death can also arise if someone was injured and subsequently died of their injuries, even though they may have lived for days, weeks or months before death.  A wrongful death action belongs to the loved one’s immediate family: spouses, children, parents and domestic partners or same-sex spouses.  In cases where there is no immediate family, more distant relatives can file the lawsuit.

When a person has died because of the negligence or reckless act of another party, the victim’s family can file a wrongful death lawsuit.  While no legal action can bring back a loved one, wrongful death actions look to hold the party at fault accountable for the death of a loved one by providing financial benefits intended to replace the resources lost as a result of the untimely death of a member of decedent's family.

A wrongful death action only considers future loss to the family.  A wrongful death case is not a vehicle to reimburse the family for expenses associated with the person’s medical care, for damages in the accident or other expenses incurred before the death.  However, those costs can be recovered in a survival action lawsuit.

Survival Action Overview

When a loved one passes away, their assets and debts become part of their estate. As a result, any medical or other expenses associated with the accident or event that caused the death are expenses of the estate.  Any reimbursement owed to the estate for physical injuries or property damage also belongs to the estate.

The executor responsible for settling the estate must initiate a survival action to recover the damages owed to the person who died. These debts may include medical care and lost wages if the person spent considerable time in the hospital before he or she died.

The combination of a survival action and a wrongful death lawsuit is the legal vehicle the decedent's family uses to recover the damages owed because of the loved one’s death.

Experienced Litigation and Trial Attorneys

With more than 83 years of combined experience, the attorneys of Rushford & Bonotto build our clients' cases from day one to collect and preserve vital information and evidence to insure our clients obtain the best result possible. All of our attorneys at the Law Office of Rushford & Bonotto are experienced trial lawyers with proven results on behalf of our clients. We are dedicated to helping clients receive the best possible result for their case. Our team includes former prosecutors, former criminal defense attorneys, and lawyers with decades of courtroom experience. If settlement is not in the best interest of our clients, we have the talent, experience and resources to take any case to trial and are not afraid to do so.


Contact us today at (916) 565-0590 for a free initial consultation to discuss your case. We proudly represent current and former military personnel and their families.

We have a bilingual member of our team to assist our Spanish Speaking clients. Se habla español.

Proudly serving


  • Sacramento
  • West Sacramento
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