Cypress Wrongful Death Attorneys
Cypress is a quiet suburban, residential community in northern Orange County, which is known for its high-performing schools. The city is home to the Cypress Community Festival, Cypress College, the headquarters of Bandai, which is a Japanese toy and video game manufacturer, Centralia School and Veterans Park. According to the 2011 U. S. Census, Cypress is also home to 48,526 residents.
The experienced Cypress wrongful death lawyers of Bisnar Chase understand that the death of a loved one can affect families emotionally and financially. We have handled many cases where the decedent was the family's sole breadwinner or primary wage earner. Such severe losses often plunge families in a financial quagmire.
Our wrongful death attorneys will handle all your paperwork and research so you do not have to worry about these issues during a very difficult time in your life. We will answer your questions and address your concerns. We will work diligently to help you secure the compensation you rightfully deserve and hold the wrongdoers accountable. Please contact us at 949-203-3814 to schedule your free and comprehensive consultation.
What is Wrongful Death?
A "wrongful death" occurs when someone is killed by a willful or negligent act of another person or persons. For example, if a drunk driver strikes and kills a pedestrian, the family members of that deceased victim can file a civil wrongful death claim against the at-fault driver in addition to any criminal charges he or she may face.
Wrongful death statutes provide a legal process whereby immediate family members of fatally injured victims can pursue financial support for their loss. A wrongful death claim is a civil lawsuit that is different from criminal charges and neither proceeding controls the other. If the drunk driver in the above example is found not guilty of vehicular manslaughter, he or she may still be found civilly or financially liable for the victim's death in civil court. The family will have to prove that the at-fault driver's negligence contributed to their tragic loss. While the burden of proof in criminal cases rests with the prosecution, in civil cases, it rests with the plaintiff.
Examples of Cases that Can Result in a Wrongful Death Claim
There are many ways in which an individual can suffer fatal injuries due to the negligence or wrongdoing of another.
- Negligent driving: Careless and reckless drivers are responsible for numerous deaths in California each year. Motorists who cause fatal injuries by speeding, driving distracted or driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol may be held accountable for their actions.
- Defective products: The manufacturers of defective products can be held liable for making dangerous and defective products that cause deaths. There are many types of defective products that can result in fatal injuries, including hazardous prescription drugs, defective vehicles and auto parts, defectively designed medical devices and hazardous children's products such as car seats and nursery products.
- Nursing home neglect: When a nursing home resident dies as a result of neglect of abuse by the facility or its employees, the victim's family can file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault parties. Common fatal incidents in Orange County nursing homes include choking on food, falling, administering wrong medication and neglect.
- Dangerous premises: When an individual is killed on someone else's property, it must be determined what led to the accident. The family of someone killed in a slip-and-fall accident will have to show that the property owner knew of the hazardous conditions that led to the accident and failed to fix the problem in a reasonable manner.
- Dog attacks: Often, dog bite incidents or vicious dog attacks may also result in a fatality. In such cases, the dog's owner can be held liable for the victim's wrongful death.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Not everyone who is close to the victim is eligible to receive compensation for his or her losses. According to California law, the surviving spouse, domestic partner and children of the decedent are the first eligible recipients of compensation. If there is no surviving offspring of the victim, there are a number of other potential claimants including: a putative spouse, children of a putative spouse, stepchildren, parents or a minor who was financially dependent on the victim. Each case is different. So, victims' families would be well advised to find out from an experienced Cypress wrongful death attorney if they are eligible to file such a claim and what their claim may be worth.
Elements of a Wrongful Death Case
The elements of a successful wrongful death case include:
- Showing that the victim was killed as the result of another's actions or lack of necessary action.
- Proving that the action that resulted in the fatal injuries was caused by negligence or intentional conduct.
- Determining who has the legal right to bring action against the person responsible for the incident.
- Selecting a representative to establish an estate for the victim and to identify all survivors.
Damages in Wrongful Death Cases
The loss of a loved one, in addition to being emotionally traumatizing, can also be financially devastating to a family. If you have lost a loved one as a result of someone else's negligence or wrongdoing, you may be able to receive compensation for losses including medical and funeral costs, lost future income and benefits and loss of love and companionship. Families may also claim as damages, the value of the household services the decedent would have provided in the future.