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California has established many laws geared at reducing motor vehicle collisions. While both drivers and pedestrians are expected to abide by these laws, many drivers continue to act negligently when behind the wheel, thus putting themselves and others at risk. Unfortunately, California is ranked as one of the states with the highest mortality rates in car crash deaths. If you lost a loved one in a car accident, we extend our deepest condolences to you. 

If you would like to file a claim against the individual at-fault for a motor vehicle-related fatality, West Coast Trial Lawyers has Solana Beach wrongful death attorneys with over 60 years of collective legal experience in handling personal injury cases. We have acquired more than $1 billion in settlements and judgments for our clients. Due to our continued success in the legal field, we have been acknowledged as one of the top personal injury law firms in Solana Beach.

Our attorneys strive to get clients the maximum financial and emotional compensation they deserve for their losses. This includes medical expenses, property damage, emotional distress, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation at our Solana Beach personal injury law firm. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment, please contact our 24/7 legal team by calling (858) 566-7890 or emailing [email protected]

Wrongful Death vs Survival Action
  1. Survival Action. Allows the estate to obtain damages the deceased victim would have received if they were still alive, which includes punitive damages, penalties, or exemplary damages the victim would have acquired. This will only apply to circumstances where the victim survived the accident and lived for a short period of time. Timing is a significant factor in survival action. For example, a driver got into an accident because of their defective vehicle. The tires popped out, which led the driver to lose control. He or she is now suffering from a spinal cord injury, thus making it difficult to physically function the body. The driver passed away a few months later. Now, if the driver died right when the accident occurred, then the estate would be given the deceased individual’s lost wages. 
  2. Wrongful death. This will allow the deceased victim’s surviving family, along with other parties, to be entitled to receive compensation for damages caused by wrongful death, such as:
  • Medical bills.
  • Hospital expenses.
  • Funeral and burial expenses. 
  • Punitive damages.
  • Loss of consortium.
  • Loss of financial support.
  • Loss of love, support, affection, and protection.
Wrongful death cases will be granted to:
  1. Spouse. The deceased victim’s significant other or registered domestic partner may file a lawsuit for reasons, such as emotional distress and loss of companionship.
  2. Parents. Parents who lose their children in an accident may obtain damages for suffering emotional distress and loss of relationship.
  3. Children. Children will be granted damages for enduring emotional distress and loss of relationship with their mother or father. 
There is a chance of punitive damages being awarded if there is proof of the  suspect’s negligence resulting in the death of the victim. However, these  damages are usually not awarded in wrongful death. It is only applicable to a  survival cause of action. Statute Of Limitations

To file a wrongful death lawsuit, you will be given a two year period starting from the date of the incident. The victim, who does not pass away immediately, may have their estate or immediate family file the lawsuit. If you exceed the statute of limitations for wrongful death, then you will be restricted from filing a claim.

For survival action, there is a six month time period that starts on the date of the incident.  When it comes to wrongful death, you will be given a one year time period to file a claim. 

Assumption of Risk

An assumption of risk is identified as a form of defense that a defendant may raise after inflicting a negligent action upon another individual. This means that the individual will not be granted any damages for their losses when he or she exposed themselves to a known danger. In other words, if an individual was conscious of a known danger and still chose to take a chance, they will not be allowed to sue for damages if they were injured or killed.

Assumption of risk defense is often raised in premises liability cases, especially with situations where an individual will notice a warning sign yet still choose to enter the property. Additional other scenarios that provide obvious risks to prevent people from touching, using, or going on include, but are not limited to:

  • Dangerous chemicals. 
  • Extreme sports.
  • Waiver and release provisions.

If the plaintiff, who is a football player, assumes the risk of getting injured or killed for involving themselves in a football game. Legal duty will not be owed to due them if they suffered wounds from taking part in the activity. Football has risks of suffering serious injuries and potential death. This is considered an inherent risk that is incorporated in football. There is no way it can be reduced or removed.

Here is a list of activities that involve an assumption of risk:
  • Extreme activities, such as bungee-jumping, skydiving, paragliding, and mountain climbing.
  • Waivers and release clause cases.
  • Activities that involve obvious hazards or taking part in activities that cannot be done without getting harmed.
  • Sports activities, such as gymnastics, hockey, football, horse riding, or boxing.
  • Premises liability cases. An example could be finding obvious warning signs, yet choosing to ignore it while knowing you may be at risk of injury or death.
Contact Us

If your loved one was a victim of wrongful death, West Coast Trial Lawyers has experienced wrongful death attorneys that will provide their full commitment to making sure that you get the justice you deserve. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation at our firm. No fees are charged until your case is settled. Reach out to our legal team 24/7 by calling (858) 566-7890 or emailing [email protected]


If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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