Wrongful death is defined by the dictionary as “taking the life of an individual resulting from the willful or negligent act of another person or persons.” This means that an individual or group of individuals caused harm or injury to another individual that resulted in death. It could be an act of intentional assault, murder or negligence, but, for a motorcycle death lawyer, these situations refer to the careless disregard of drivers on the road. Road accidents occur every day and a large number of them involve motorcycles.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), more than 4,500 motorcycle deaths occur every year. The victim could be the rider, passenger of the motorcycle, pedestrian, or any other innocent bystander who is unlucky enough to be at the scene of an accident. These fatalities usually occur because of another person's negligence and leave families broken and in need of guidance.
How Family Members Respond to Motorcycle Wrongful Deaths
When these fatal motorcycle accidents occur, the victim's family members are often overcome by a need to hold the responsible party accountable and obtain justice on behalf of their lost loved one. To put themselves in the best position to do so. Hiring a skilled motorcycle accident wrongful death attorney is a must for anyone who is serious about winning. The most common claim that could be pursued by surviving family members would be a wrongful death claim. If successful, those closest to the deceased can receive compensation for medical and funeral expenses incurred, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering.
Who Can Receive Compensation?
When someone loses their life in a motorcycle accident, it is not unusual for dozens, if not hundreds of people to be negatively affected. In some cases, the deceased has multiple persons depending upon him or her for financial assistance. In most circumstances, the following people would be entitled to receiving compensation:
- Next of kin or heirs
Who Is Held Liable for These Collisions
When compensation is awarded to surviving family members of the deceased, it can come from a variety of different sources. Although most people would understand suing a drunk driver who struck and killed their husband or wife, it may be more difficult to comprehend why that drunk driver's employer may be held responsible, but it does happen. The fact is, wrongful deaths are almost always preventable, but those who are put in a position to help prevent these tragedies fail in one way or another to do so. This could be because a company fails to train their staff properly, fails to produce a safe product, or makes one or more other fatal mistakes that led to a person's untimely death.
Family members of the deceased passenger of a motorcycle could sue the rider as long as they can prove to the court that the rider was careless in operating his or her vehicle. The same goes for the family members of a deceased pedestrian. They could sue a driver or rider if they can prove that a driver's negligent driving behavior resulted in a collision that killed multiple people. A skilled attorney will hire an investigator to review the case facts and ensure that the police has come to the right conclusions. There may be multiple parties responsible for a person's death, and each one should be held responsible. Without a full investigation, some responsible parties may be left without penalty.
What Compensation Can Family Members Receive?
The untimely death of a person, especially bread winners, can cause burden on immediate family members of the deceased. In addition to being emotionally troubled, a myriad of financial burdens can arise including:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Any medical and hospital expenses
- Expenses due to property damage
- Loss of future income and benefits
- For minor children, the cost of their education is also considered
Thus, the responsible parties can be ordered to pay the family of the deceased. In addition to those mentioned, a monetary amount can be given to the bereaved family to compensate for grief, companionship, and affection. As mentioned, there is a time limit to file charges, usually up to two years. If you know anyone who has been a victim of negligence that resulted in a wrongful death motorcycle accident, we encourage you to contact our law offices as soon as possible. Call (800) 838-6644 today to obtain a free case evaluation from skilled motorcycle accident lawyers in Orange County with a long history of success.