Not only can you file a wrongful death lawsuit after your loved one dies in a motorcycle accident, you should. Presuming the accident was caused by another party’s negligence and that you are the deceased’s surviving spouse, child, or parent, it is your right to seek justice in court now that your loved one cannot.
You may assume the at-fault party’s insurance wouldn’t dare fight paying out an adequate settlement to a grieving family. Unfortunately, that assumption would be incorrect. In most cases, whoever ends up being the administrator of the deceased’s estate will be forced to file a lawsuit to be compensated for the family’s damages.
The truth is, insurance companies care more about profits than they do about people. These companies are known for fighting wrongful death settlements because they know the accident victim’s family is in a vulnerable position. They count on you being overwhelmed by grief and settling for a lowball amount just to get the process over with.
In order to prove that your wrongful death case is valid, you’ll need to demonstrate negligence on the at-fault driver’s part and that their negligence caused the death. Some of the main ways the drivers of vehicles can cause motorcycle accidents are:
Not looking when making a left-hand turn
Driving while intoxicated
Driving while sleepy
In addition to the driver, there may be other defendants in your case. This can include a city or municipality that failed to adequately maintain the roads. The manufacturer of the motorcycle’s parts or tires may also be liable.
The Evidence You’ll Need
After a fatal accident, investigators will carefully document the accident scene, taking photos of the scene, the damage to the vehicle, and the injuries. A report will be made that contains information that ranges from the weather that day to any dangerous conditions on the road. You can use a copy of this report as evidence.
Some other types of evidence you can also use to prove fault include eyewitness testimony and expert witness testimony. If there were businesses or homes near the scene of the accident, you may also be able to retrieve surveillance video.
The Damages You Can Recover
There are two types of damages you can recover in a wrongful death case: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are damages that have an actual dollar amount. This could include the cost of the funeral and burial, cremation costs, any hospital bills that were a result of the accident, or the cost of ambulance transportation.
Non-economic damages are damages that, while they also have value, won’t have an exact dollar amount that can be quantified. This can include the pain, suffering, and anguish of the victim and the victim’s family. It can also include loss of consortium for the spouse or loss of guidance for any surviving children.
You can also claim damages for future expenses like the income you will lose due to the deceased’s death, diminished inheritance, and services or tasks you will have to pay for now that the deceased is no longer alive to perform them.
Be sure to hire a personal injury lawyer to represent your family’s interests during your wrongful death case. The insurers will throw everything they’ve got at trying to blame your loved one for their own death, all in the name of holding onto their profits.
The average cost of a fatal motorcycle accident is $1.2 million, and settling for less can mean being stuck with bills and ending up in debt. You need expert representation to handle this complex type of case if you want to see justice served.