Your family may be entitled to compensation if you’ve recently lost a loved one in a fatal accident in Vista, CA. It’s important to speak with a qualified Vista wrongful death attorney about your legal rights. The compassionate legal team at Petrov Law Firm can help.
Since 2012, our attorneys have advocated for grieving families throughout Vista and Southern California. Putting more than 20 years of combined experience behind every case, we’ve helped our clients win over $40 million in settlements and financial awards.
How Petrov Law Firm Can Help Your Family After a Fatal Accident in Vista, CA
Just because someone dies in an accident doesn’t mean the right to compensation is lost. Those responsible can be held accountable – it’s just up to surviving family members to bring a claim.
However, insurance companies won’t be compassionate to your loss, and they’ll fight you every step of the way. Hiring an experienced Vista personal injury lawyer to represent you can make all the difference in the world.
At Petrov Law Firm, we know how devastating it can be to lose a close family member. We also know that getting money won’t turn the clock back or bring your loved one back. However, it can provide incredible relief during this trying time.
You take the time you need to grieve and move forward while our top-rated attorneys:
- Take care of every aspect of your wrongful death case
- Investigate the accident that led to your family member’s avoidable death
- Identify who’s at fault and legally responsible for resulting costs
- Defend your family member against any efforts to “victim blame” or say they’re responsible
- Work closely with leading accident experts as we analyze evidence, build your wrongful death claim, and assess how much money you may be able to get
Our team will negotiate aggressively to get you the best possible settlement agreement. Rest assured, we’ll be fully prepared to bring your case to a jury in San Diego County if other parties don’t cooperate.
It’s our goal to get you all of the money you deserve, and we’ll do everything in our power to make that happen. Contact our law office serving Vista and surrounding areas in Southern California to get started now.
What is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death refers to an avoidable death that’s the result of:
- Intentionally harmful behavior, or
Wrongful death cases often arise when a victim of a crime dies or an accident is fatal. Surviving family members assume the right to file a lawsuit and seek damages for how the death affects them.
How Are Wrongful Death Lawsuits and Survival Actions Different?
Survival actions are related to wrongful death claims, but they’re different. Survival actions also arise after an untimely and avoidable death. However, they’re filed by the victim’s estate and seek damages that the victim would have been able to recover had they survived their fatal injuries.
Survival actions require that the victim survive their injuries for some period of time. This could be as little as a few minutes or as long as a few months (or more). It just has to be proven that their death resulted from another’s negligent or intentionally harmful conduct.
We Handle All Types of Wrongful Death Matters in Vista, California
At Petrov Law Firm, we represent families who’ve lost loved ones as a result of:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Boating accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Uber and Lyft accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Dog bites
- Negligent security
- Dangerous and defective products
- Construction site accidents
- Workplace accidents
- Occupational illness and disease
- Medical malpractice
- Nursing home abuse
No matter what kind of tragic accident changed your life, our Vista wrongful death lawyers are here to help. Contact our compassionate team to learn more about our legal services and your legal rights today.
Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in California?
Under California law, only the victim’s personal representative or one of a limited number of beneficiaries has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
- The victim’s spouse
- The victim’s domestic partner
- The victim’s child
- The victim’s grandchild
- The victim’s parent(s)
Minor children, other than the victim’s own, can also file a claim if they (a) lived with the victim for at least six months and (b) were financially dependent on the victim.
If none of these individuals survive the victim, then any beneficiary who would be entitled to the victim’s property under California’s probate laws can file a wrongful death action.
What Damages Can Be Awarded in a California Wrongful Death Case?
Unlike other types of personal injury cases, there are limits regarding what types of damages can be awarded in wrongful death actions.
Remember, in these cases, damages are awarded to compensate the family member (or other heirs) for their losses and experience.
Family members can recover the financial losses related to a fatal accident and wrongful death, such as:
- Financial support the victim would have provided had they survived (loss of income, wages, and benefits)
- The value of household services the victim would have provided
- The loss of gifts or benefits the beneficiary would have received
- The cost of a funeral, burial, and related services
In California, non-economic damages can also be awarded to families in wrongful death actions.
This can include money to compensate the family for the loss of the victim’s:
- Moral support
Loss of consortium damages – related to the loss of sexual relations between spouses – can also be awarded.
Are Punitive Damages Available in California Wrongful Death Lawsuits?
Punitive damages are not traditionally available in California wrongful death cases. However, there is an exception when a victim is killed in a felony homicide, and the defendant is convicted of that crime.
How Long Do Beneficiaries Have to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Vista, CA?
Two years. That’s the statute of limitations that applies to most wrongful death actions in the state of California.
Time on the clock begins when the victim ultimately dies from their injuries. This may or may not be the same date as the fatal accident or incident. For instance, a victim in a car crash might suffer a traumatic brain injury and survive for a few days. The statute of limitations would begin to run on the date of death, not on the date of the motor vehicle accident.
While there are times when a shorter statute of limitations may apply – like cases involving the government – it’s important to understand that these are exceptions, not the rule. If you miss the deadline to file a claim, you’ll forfeit the opportunity to recover the compensation that you rightfully deserve.
What’s My Vista Wrongful Death Case Worth?
The value of a wrongful death lawsuit will vary in every situation.
However, certain factors will be relevant to the discussion, including:
- How old was the victim when they died?
- What was their life expectancy?
- Did they support their family financially?
- What kind of household services did they provide? To what extent?
- What was the victim’s earning potential?
- How has the loss affected the plaintiff(s) emotionally?
- Did the victim share any responsibility for their tragic accident?
It’s important to discuss the details of your specific case with an experienced personal injury attorney in Vista. They will be able to review the facts of your case, consider the evidence, and give you a good-faith estimate about what your case might be worth.
When you hire a lawyer, you’ll also benefit from experts who can offer insight into how your family member’s death will impact you financially (and emotionally) for years to come.
Call Petrov Law Firm to learn more about your case and how much money it could be worth. Our team is here to help you whenever you need us most.
What Happens if the Insurance Company Starts to Blame the Victim in a Wrongful Death Case?
Your family member isn’t around to defend themselves, but that won’t stop an insurer from pointing fingers at them. California has a pure comparative fault system in place. Under it, the more fault a victim shares, the less others have to pay for the resulting harm.
Damages are reduced in direct proportion to the victim’s degree of fault.
So, pushing blame onto your deceased family member will mean the insurance company (or another party) will have to pay you less money for your devastating loss.
Our Vista wrongful death attorneys will be here to stand up for your family member at every turn. We’ll be their voice and fight to ensure that they’re not assigned blame when it’s inappropriate. If they did contribute to the accident, our team will work hard to minimize how much liability they’re assigned.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Trusted Vista Wrongful Death Lawyer
Following a fatal accident in Vista, California, your family may be entitled to compensation. Don’t hesitate to call Petrov Law Firm for help with your fight for maximum damages.
Our Vista wrongful death lawyers are ready to put 20+ years of combined experience behind your case. We’ve won tens of millions for families like yours. Let us work to get the best results for you.
Contact our law office in Vista to get started with a free consultation today.