Did you know that there were 5,579 motorcycle fatalities in 2020? Losing a friend or family member in a motorcycle accident can be tragic and devastating. If another party’s carelessness caused your loved one’s death, many people file a wrongful death claim. Although no amount of compensation will bring the loved one back, it can offset medical bills, funeral expenses, and other damages. Hiring a motorbike accident injury attorney is valuable, offering legal guidance and helping you secure damages for loss. Read on to learn more about suing for wrongful death after a motorcycle accident.
Who Can Sue
The deceased’s survivors or estate representatives can sue for wrongful death following a fatal motorcycle accident. Mostly, immediate family members like spouses, children, and parents –for unmarried kids file a wrongful death claim. Other states give life partners, financial dependents, and distant family members the right to recover.
Proving Your Case
Suing for wrongful death requires you to prove liability. You must show without doubt that the defendant’s wrongdoing or negligence caused your loved one’s death. For instance, you may argue that another driver was under the influence of drugs, distracted, speeding, or fell asleep on the wheel.
A lawyer handles the challenging task of proving liability, which involves complex legal issues and extensive investigation. They use their expertise and experience to prove duty, breach, causation, and damages for a successful claim. Lawyers are also trained in evidence collection and use medical records, police reports, eyewitness accounts, and scene reconstruction to create a strong claim.
Potential Liable Parties
Most wrongful death lawsuits find other drivers liable for the accident and thus pay damages. However, government entities, manufacturers, and maintenance providers can also be held accountable for wrongful death. For instance, motorcycle manufacturers can be liable if components flaws lead to an accident.
Similarly, poor road conditions may contribute to an accident, making government entities liable. Most accidents occur due to a combination of factors, meaning you will be dealing with several defendants’ insurance providers.
How Long Do You Have to Sue
The time you have to submit a wrongful death lawsuit depends on your state. Most States have a legal time limit of two to three years, though the time can vary depending on other factors. However, it is best practice to file a lawsuit promptly to prevent time limitations from hurting your claim. Also, investigations and litigation may take significant time.
What Damages Can You Recover
When you submit a wrongful death claim after a motorcycle accident, you can recover numerous damages such as medical bills, funeral expenses, mental anguish, loss of a loved one’s income, grief, property damage, and loss of consortium.
The payout depends on the deceased’s age, health, earning ability, dependents, and medical and funeral expenses. Also, the age and situation of dependents may affect the amount of damages. Some states offer punitive damages to punish the defendant for negligence.
When it comes to damages, working with a skilled motorcycle accident lawyer is crucial. They put a dollar amount on the damages, and you get compensated for both economic and non-economic damages. Also, lawyers negotiate with insurance providers who have a reputation for underpaying claims. A lawyer may opt to go to court if the insurer fails to give a fair settlement.
The loss of a loved one in a motorcycle crash is emotionally devastating. You can sue for wrongful death if another party’s negligent actions contributed to the accident. Subsequently, you seek compensation from the at-fault party for your loved one’s medical and burial costs and loss of presence in your life. Working with an experienced lawyer makes the claims process seamless, and you benefit from their legal expertise.