Coping with the death of a family member is one of life’s most difficult challenges. At Bisnar Chase, our Huntington Beach wrongful death lawyers are passionate about holding wrongdoers accountable for their negligence. Contact our team for a free case review if you think your loved one’s death may qualify as a wrongful death lawsuit.
Our wrongful death attorneys are here to ease the burden on you. We will investigate the fatal accident and ensure those liable are held accountable. We are here to fight for you if you have lost a loved one in or near Huntington Beach.
For aggressive litigation, straight talk, and honest answers, call (949) 203-3814 to find out more about your options. Our personal injury lawyers in Huntington Beach have been in business for more than 40 years and have a 99% success rate. We have handled countless catastrophic accident cases resulting in wrongful death and can help you too.
Huntington Beach Wrongful Death Resources
What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death is a legal term. It is used to describe a form of civil action that can be taken when someone dies due to the actions of another party.
The death could be caused by negligence, or through malicious or criminal actions. Either way, if somebody else was responsible for the fatality, they could be liable and face a lawsuit.
In most cases, the wrongful death lawsuit will be filed against the negligent party by a family member of the deceased.
For example, if your loved one was killed by a reckless driver who was looking at their phone and failed to see the victim crossing the street, resulting in a fatal crash, this would be an act of negligence. Similarly, someone committing murder or manslaughter through an assault could also face a civil wrongful death lawsuit, in addition to criminal charges.
Civil Lawsuit vs. Criminal Action
A wrongful death lawsuit filed by our personal injury lawyers is completely separate from any criminal proceedings the defendant might face.
For example, a driver could hit another person with their car. They will likely be arrested by police and charged by state prosecutors with vehicular manslaughter. If convicted, they could be sentenced to prison time.
As personal injury attorneys, we have nothing to do with this process. We handle separate civil actions. Regardless of the outcome of criminal proceedings, we can file a civil lawsuit against the defendant to secure monetary compensation.
Common Wrongful Death Claims in Orange County
Losing a loved one can massively impact a family, both emotionally and financially. The loss of care, support, and companionship can really take its toll.
In addition, many families have to deal with spiraling expenses, such as funeral costs and medical bills from the accident. If the deceased was the family’s primary income producer, survivors are often put in a difficult position and struggle to get by.
Common forms of fatal accidents include:
Public transportation injuries, such as train or bus accidents.
Catastrophic slip and fall injuries.
Fatal injuries caused by dangerous or defective products.
Aviation accidents, such as plane or helicopter crashes.
Acts of violence.
Swimming pool accidents.
The above are just some of the most common types of fatal accidents leading to wrongful death claims in Huntington Beach.
When the worst happens, an experienced wrongful death attorney at Bisnar Chase will fight to ensure justice is done. When you work with our firm, our entire team is behind you.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
There are two factors that should be present in order to have a strong foundation for a wrongful death claim. First, that the victim died due to the negligence of another. Second, the loss of that individual caused the surviving family members great pain and suffering.
People who can file a wrongful death claim include surviving children, spouses, and the deceased’s parents.
Code of Civil Procedure 377.60 states, “The decedent’s surviving spouse, domestic partner, children, and issue of deceased children, or, if there is no surviving issue of the decedent, the persons, including the surviving spouse or domestic partner, who would be entitled to the property of the decedent by intestate succession.“
Those able to file a lawsuit can be extended out to other family members and dependents, depending on the situation. The collection process of assets can also change if the deceased left a will. An executor will then announce what assets will go to which person.
Contact us at Bisnar Chase for guidance specific to your situation.
Damages You Can Receive in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
When you file a wrongful death claim, you have the potential to win compensation for economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages involve losses that have a monetary value attached to them. Some examples of economic damages include:
Medical bills related to the fatal accident.
Funeral or burial costs.
Lost financial support and future earnings.
A surviving family member or spouse can also claim non-economic damages, such as the emotional impact and losses left. These damages cannot necessarily be measured in dollars, but represent an even greater loss. They include:
Loss of love.
Pain and suffering.
Serving as a Huntington Beach wrongful death attorney is a difficult task. We feel the heartache and rage that our clients experience as they struggle to recover from their loved one’s death.
But we are here to offer the care and support you need at this difficult time, alongside first-class legal services. When you sign with Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, you become a client for life, and you will receive a very personal experience from passionate lawyers.
We will not rest until we secure just compensation and ensure anyone sharing fault or displaying negligent conduct is held accountable.
Top Causes of Fatal Accidents in Huntington Beach: Statistics
The most common cause of accidental death is an auto accident. That might involve a victim being struck by a car as a pedestrian, being involved in a car-on-car collision, or being struck by any other vehicle type.
Causes of fatal auto accidents include:
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Ignoring road rules, such as running red lights, stop signs, and other traffic signs.
Did you know?: In California in 2020, there were 3,558 fatal auto crashes resulting in nearly 4,000 deaths. Those numbers make our state the second-deadliest in terms of car crash deaths in the United States.
According to stats from the California Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), fatal crashes occur every year on the roads around Huntington Beach.
Other causes of fatal accidents include:
Unsafe workplace practices.
Manufacturer error or negligence.
Lack of visibility.
Premises owner negligence.
Lack of safety regulations or training.
Fatal accidents can happen for all kinds of reasons. But if that accident was at least partially caused by the negligence of a person or organization, that responsible party must be held accountable.
Who is Liable in a Wrongful Death Case?
When it comes to a wrongful death lawsuit, liability refers to someone who is responsible for causing the accident. To prove a wrongful death claim, we must show:
The liable party owed the victim a duty of care.
They were negligent in that duty.
Their actions were at least partially responsible for causing the victim’s fatal injuries.
The damages and losses caused by the death.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Wrongful Death?
The most common parties that we file wrongful death claims against include:
Careless or reckless drivers: The majority of claims result from driver errors or reckless driving, causing fatal collisions.
Manufacturers of dangerous products: Many deaths are caused by defective products. In these cases, anyone involved in the production and distribution of the dangerous item must be held accountable.
Property owners: People or organizations that own or manage property have a duty to ensure it is safe for lawful visitors.
Government bodies: Some deadly accidents are caused by issues with infrastructure, or the negligence of government agencies. For example, if an auto accident occurred because of a poor intersection design, the state or council agency responsible for the road might be liable.
Dog owners: When a dog attack results in catastrophic injuries, the dog’s owner is liable, according to the strict liability guidance under California law.
Medical providers: When a death occurs due to medical malpractice or negligence, the healthcare provider could be liable.
Criminal offenders: Those causing fatalities through violent or criminal acts can face civil lawsuits.
Do You Need a Wrongful Death Attorney?
The right attorney is essential to the success of your claim. The proof is in the results. Making a claim through a skilled wrongful death lawyer produces better results, with victims securing more compensation.
When it comes to the death of a loved one, you do not want to leave anything to chance. The right law firm for your case will:
Identify all potentially liable parties. We don’t leave money on the table.
Complete all required paperwork and filing according to court deadlines.
Collect evidence and build a strong case, including booking expert witnesses.
Coordinate and conduct depositions.
Handle mediation and out-of-court settlement negotiations.
Prepare to represent you at trial if necessary.
Many wrongful death claims are resolved with a settlement without having to go through a trial. This is often preferable for both sides because trials are unpredictable and expensive. However, they are also sometimes the only way to secure fair compensation.
At Bisnar Chase, we have decades of experience. We will use our extensive knowledge to ensure we take your case in the right direction. But it is also important that you are comfortable with the process, and we will make any decisions with you.
Wrongful Death FAQs
It is only natural to have plenty of questions before filing a legal claim over the death of a loved one due to someone else’s negligence. This is a turbulent time, and you shouldn’t rush into anything. It is our team’s goal to keep you fully informed and make you feel at ease through the process.
Some of the most frequently asked questions include:
Can you file a wrongful death lawsuit if there was no criminal prosecution?
Yes, you can file a civil lawsuit against a negligent party regardless of whether criminal charges were filed, and no matter the result of criminal prosecution.
What is the California statute of limitations for a wrongful death case?
The time limit you have to file a claim depends on the circumstances of your case. In most cases, it is two years from the date of death. But there are exceptions. For example, some medical malpractice cases may carry varying limits. Contact Bisnar Chase for information based on your specific claim.
How much will a lawyer cost?
Clients are free from out-of-pocket expenses when they work with Bisnar Chase. We offer a free consultation and advance all costs needed to win your case. We only get paid if we win for you. If your case is unsuccessful, you owe nothing.
Elements of a Wrongful Death Case
These types of cases are filled with complicated terms. Your attorney will walk you through the process and give you as much detail as you need, but the glossary below will provide a base of knowledge on some of the key terms.
Wrongful Death Cause of Action
The cause of action is a legal action that is brought by the family members of a deceased person who has died due to the negligence or intentional act of another.
A wrongful death cause of action allows family members to recover damages for their emotional and financial losses. The damages available include funeral expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
Wrongful Death vs. Survival Action California
Wrongful death lawsuits are usually filed by the spouse or children of the deceased person. These lawsuits are typically filed in California state courts and can be pursued under either a survival action or wrongful death cause of action.
It is important to understand the difference between these two types of action. Survival action essentially sues for the damages that the victim would have been able to claim if they had survived the accident. Wrongful death action claims are for the impacts that the loss has had on the survivors.
Average Wrongful Death Settlement
The average settlement or verdict for a wrongful death claim is $500,000 to one million dollars. But every case is different. The amount you will receive will depend on the circumstances of your case and your attorney’s skills. The amount recovered can also depend on state laws.
Compensatory and Punitive Damages in a Wrongful Death
The wrongful death statute in California provides for both compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages are awarded to compensate the survivors for economic losses, such as medical bills, funeral expenses, and loss of companionship.
Punitive damages are awarded to punish and deter those who commit wrongful acts that cause injury or death. These damages are technically not awarded in many wrongful death cases, but exceptions do apply.
In California, we may be able to recover punitive damages from any defendant whose willful misconduct was a substantial factor in bringing about the injury or death.
Wrongful Death Negligence
Wrongful death negligence refers to careless, reckless, malicious, or otherwise negligent actions resulting in the death of an individual.
Negligence is often applied to situations where people die after being denied necessary medical care, given the wrong type of treatment, or given the wrong dosage.
These cases can have devastating effects on families and loved ones. Wrongful death cases are often handled as civil lawsuits in which damages are sought for loss of income, companionship, and love, and other damages resulting from the death.
Wrongful Death Tort
Wrongful death tort is a legal term for an action brought against an individual or organization that caused the death of another.
This is the most common civil action pursued by families and loved ones against those who caused the death.
The plaintiff must show that he or she has been wronged in some way and that this wrong was the cause of the deceased’s death.
Wrongful Death Value of Life
It seems cruel to put a dollar value on a person’s life. But in these cases, that is what the legal system is asked to do. The wrongful death value of life is not an exact number, but it can be determined to some extent by the person’s age, income, and other factors. It is meant to account for the economic and non-economic impact of the death.
What is a Wrongful Death Waiver?
A wrongful death waiver is a contract between the person signing it and the company for which they are signing it.
This waiver will state that the company will not be held liable for any damages which may occur if they are to kill or injure someone in their care.
Contact the Best Wrongful Death Attorney in Huntington Beach
If you have lost a loved one due to negligence, contact one of our wrongful death lawyers in Huntington Beach for a free consultation. We will review your case and ensure you get the guidance you need.
Our success rate and history of high client satisfaction will give you the peace of mind to concentrate on your treatment rather than your monetary recovery. We offer:
A 99% success rate.
More than $800 million won.
An office in nearby Newport Beach.
More than four decades of experience (in business since 1978).
Experienced trial lawyers.
The resources to win even the largest cases.
A free consultation and a no win, no fee promise.
When a wrongful death occurs, our attorneys will not rest until every potential avenue of compensation has been investigated.
Contact a Huntington Beach wrongful death lawyer at Bisnar Chase now for a free case analysis. Call (949) 203-3814 or send us a message through our website contact form or live chat. We are here to help.