Costa Mesa Wrongful Death Attorneys
Since 1978, our Costa Mesa Wrongful Death Lawyers have been providing a first-class experience for victims throughout Orange County. Losing a loved one is one of life's more difficult challenges and pursuing compensation after their death can make a very painful process all the more daunting.
At the Law Firm of Bisnar Chase, we have been assisting family members of wrongful death victims to win the compensation they need to begin the healing process.
Contact our accident attorneys near Costa Mesa at 949-203-3814 for a free case analysis.
Elements of a Wrongful Death Case
A wrongful death claim is associated with any person, whether it be an employee or driver, losing their life due to someone else's negligence. Every year, many people's lives are claimed due to someone else's carelessness. The state of California's statute of limitations states that those who are seeking to file a claim on behalf of the deceased do so within a two year period.
How do you know you have a potential wrongful death case though?
There are four common elements that must be present in a wrongful death case.
These elements include:
- Carelessness: Proof that the person lost their life due to someone's reckless or negligent actions must be apparent in a wrongful death claim. The plaintiff's legal representation can do so by presenting an argument to the jury that the defendant had a duty of care to the deceased.
- Breach of duty: An entity that is found negligent in a wrongful death case means that they failed to carry out the "duty of care". For example, if a doctor leaves an instrument inside of a woman during a cesarean section operation then this action was negligent. The doctor had a duty to make sure the operation for the mother was safe.
- Causation: Causation is how the defendant's actions led to the injury of death of the victim. In the case of the doctor leaving a tool inside of the woman in a cesarean section operation, if the tool being left inside the woman led to a serious infection that later killed the woman then this is causation.
- Losses: Wrongful death settlement amounts can vary. Factors that influence a wrongful death settlement would be the age of the deceased, how much income the deceased accumulated in their lifetime, how much income the deceased would have earned in their lifetime and how many people were financially dependent on the deceased. Damages that can be won in a wrongful death lawsuit can be compensation for hospital bills, burial expenses, and loss of consortium.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
There are several parties that can file a wrongful death claim in California. These include a surviving spouse, surviving children, surviving parents or a domestic partner. There are instances though where a person who is not blood-related may file a claim.
Individuals who were proven to be financial dependents of the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit as well. Legal representation on behalf of the plaintiff will need to demonstrate that the plaintiff was financially dependent on the deceased 180 days before their death. One example that confirms that a person was financially dependent is if a minor, such as a stepchild resided in the deceased's home, rent-free, 180 days before their death.
Wrongful Death Settlements
The Costa Mesa Wrongful Death Lawyers at Bisnar Chase have fought for families who have lost a loved one due to a third party negligent actions for over 40 years. One of these cases involved John Cunningham, a 58-year-old man who committed suicide in a rehabilitation center.
Gavin Long, Partner at Bisnar Chase shared that the lack of training and expertise at the facility contributed to Cunningham's death.
"Bright Future was a horribly-run detox facility. They had inexperienced staff and supervised their clients minimally. They lacked treatment planning and didn't have a care policy. They didn't properly assess patients for suicide risk." shared Long.
With an immense amount of hard work and dedication, Gavin Long collected $11 million in damages for the Cunningham family which included his wife and their two daughters. Long, along with the rest of our injury attorneys, believes that families that have suffered such a great loss should be compensated and wrongdoers must be held accountable.
If you or someone you know has lost a loved one due to carelessness – whether it be an improperly trained staff member or a drunk driver – call now to explore your legal options. You may be entitled to compensation for the death of your family member.
Contact our law offices near Costa Mesa at 949-203-3814.
Steps to Take When Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In a time that should be spent mourning, filing a wrongful death claim can be difficult. Many are confused about who to turn to in their time of need, and do not know where to begin the process of filing a claim. There are actions you can take though to ease the stress and complications of a wrongful death claim.
Actions to take when filing a personal injury claim:
- Seeking legal representation: It is crucial that you hire a wrongful death lawyer whose expertise you trust. It is also vital that you feel comfortable with the attorney. This type of personal injury case can be a sensitive ordeal. It should be handled by a lawyer you feel comfortable enough to speak openly with about any questions or concerns that may arise. You will also want to inquire about their background and track record for winning wrongful death settlements in this particular area of law.
- Discovery process: The discovery process involves the collecting of evidence that will help better your chances of receiving maximum compensation. The evidence will then be exchanged between the plaintiff's and the defendant's legal representatives. This can be the lengthiest period of the litigation process since both parties are trying to build a strong argument.
- Trial: It is important that you have an experienced trial lawyer on your side for your wrongful death case. Litigators and trial lawyers differ immensely. Trial lawyers have decades of practice in the courtroom while litigators usually are well rounded in mediation. At the law firm of Bisnar Chase, our lawyers have over 40 years of experience in the courtroom and understand what it takes to prove that your loved one was wronged. Contact our Orange County law offices today for a free case analysis.
- Settlement: Every state has regulations on how wrongful death settlements are dispersed amongst family members. In California, the process of dispersing a certain amount to each family member is a decision that is made solely by the family. If the deceased left behind a will then the funds will be distributed as stated in the will. Note that if your loved one did not leave behind a will and you choose to pursue legal action then you have two years from the date they were killed to file a claim.
Experienced Wrongful Death Lawyers in Costa Mesa
The Costa Mesa wrongful death attorneys at Bisnar Chase have assisted victims with several different types of wrongful deaths.
No matter how you lost your beloved, our attorneys are likely to have experience settling or trying a case that is similar to yours. Our experience could mean the difference between a large verdict, and a non-existent one.
The following are types of wrongful death cases in which we have experienced tremendous success:
- Auto Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Product Liability
- Product Defects
- Auto Defects
- Bicycle Accidents
- Premises Liability
- Construction Accidents
Costa Mesa Wrongful Death Attorneys Who Care
Finding the right Costa Mesa Wrongful Death Lawyer at the beginning of your case is important. Too often, we receive cases from other law firms in which the clients were not happy with their services and are looking for attorneys with a better success rate and a greater dedication to client satisfaction.
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else's negligence, contact one of our skilled wrongful death attorneys in Costa Mesa today to get expert assistance from proven attorneys.
Call 949-203-3814 now to start your case off right and get free legal advice.