A wrongful death claim is a claim filed against a negligent party that caused the death of another individual. It helps the surviving family of the victim seek compensation for the loss of that individual.
When you lose a loved one in a motorcycle accident due to the negligence of another driver, you may find yourself wondering what you should do next. Do you have the right to a wrongful death claim for the loss of your loved one?
How Can a Lawyer Help Me with a Wrongful Death Claim?
A lawyer can assist you in fighting for your right to compensation after a wrongful death in a motorcycle accident. An experienced lawyer can assist you through the process in the following ways:
- Gathering evidence and documents
- Speaking with medical professionals
- Gathering police reports
- Acquiring eyewitness testimony
- Evaluate the details of your case and arrive at a fair compensation calculation
- Representing you in court
When you are going through the grieving process after losing a loved one to a motorcycle accident, you may not have the bandwidth to pursue the compensation you deserve. Let an experienced lawyer fight for you, while you grieve.
What Expenses Could Be Covered by Compensation in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Typically, a wrongful death claim includes compensation for several vital elements associated with the victim’s loss, including:
Final Medical Expenses
If your loved one did not die at the scene of the motorcycle accident but instead died sometime later of their injuries, your family may face immense final medical expenses. The funds from a wrongful death claim can help provide much-needed compensation for those expenses.
Loss of the Victim’s Income and Services Performed for the Family
Losing a family member can mean an immense financial strain. If you relied on your loved one’s income to provide for your family, losing that income can pose a substantial challenge.
In addition to the loss of your loved one’s income, you may face financial strain related to paying someone else for the services your loved one performed for the family, including child or senior care, preparing meals, taking care of cleaning, or managing maintenance around the house. As part of a wrongful death claim, you can include compensation for those financial losses.
Loss of the Victim’s Presence in Your Life
Compensation for the loss of companionship cannot bring back your lost loved one, but it can provide you with much-needed financial assistance that can help you rebuild your life. An attorney can discuss your right to compensation for the loss of your loved one that is not covered by the financial elements of the claim.
Motorcycle Accidents and Wrongful Death
As of 2019, motorcycle drivers and passengers were 29 times more likely than car occupants to die from accidents involving motorcycles. Even with protective equipment like helmets, gloves, boots, and bodysuits, motorcycle accidents can be severe or even fatal.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that, in 2019, 55% of fatal motorcycle accidents involved collisions with other moving vehicles. Depending on who was at fault (or the percentage of fault), you may be able to sue for wrongful death in these instances.
NHTSA also suggests that motorcycles are more likely than other vehicles to be involved in fatal collisions with stationary objects than other types of vehicles. You might also have a wrongful death claim in this instance if the collision is determined to be the fault of the city or of a private company. Consult a lawyer to determine if you have grounds for a wrongful death case.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim After a Motorcycle Accident?
If you lose a loved one in a motorcycle accident, you may have the right to file a wrongful death claim. However, Nevada law does restrict the individuals who have the right to file a wrongful death claim following the loss of a loved one.
First, for each victim who dies in a motorcycle accident, the family can file only one wrongful death claim, even if multiple individuals have the same right to file for compensation for the loss of that individual. The family will then need to decide how to distribute those funds. Next, only those individuals closest to the motorcycle accident victim have the right to file a wrongful death claim, including:
- The victim’s spouse has the first right to file a wrongful death claim for the loss of that spouse.
- If the victim does not have a spouse, his children have the right to file a wrongful death claim. Each child has the same right to file a claim and to make decisions about the claim.
- If the victim has neither spouse nor children, his parents may have the right to file a wrongful death claim.
- If the victim does not have close surviving relatives, his estate may have the right to file a wrongful death claim. Usually, when the estate files a wrongful death claim, the goal of that claim is to cover the victim’s final expenses.
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Suing for Wrongful Death in a Motorcycle Accident Claim
In general, if you have the legal right to claim compensation for the loss of a loved one related to your relationship with the victim, you may have the right to file a wrongful death claim after a motorcycle accident caused by another party’s negligence, including drinking and driving, driving while distracted, ignoring the rules of the road, or failing to look closely enough to notice a motorcycle occupying the lane.
If you wonder if you might have the right to file a wrongful death claim after losing a loved one in a motorcycle accident, consider this simple question: if your loved one had lived, could he have filed a personal injury claim against the party that caused his accident? If so, your family might have the right to file a wrongful death claim for your loved one’s loss.
Who Bears Liability for the Death of My Loved One in a Motorcycle Accident?
Often, motorcycle accidents occur in Nevada because a driver fails to adequately allow for the needs of a motorcycle rider around him. If the police report from the accident indicates that the other driver bears liability for the motorcycle accident, you will likely need to file a wrongful death claim through the other driver’s insurance. However, an investigation may uncover the fact that more than one entity shares liability for the motorcycle accident. In addition to the driver, liable entities may include:
- The manufacturer of the motorcycle, if a mechanical failure in the motorcycle led to a serious accident
- The manufacturer of the other driver’s vehicle, if it suffered a mechanical failure that caused the motorcycle accident
- The other driver’s employer, if he was on the clock at the time of the accident
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Contact an Attorney Today to Learn More
Ultimately, if someone else’s negligence causes your loved one to die in a motorcycle accident, you likely have the right to sue for wrongful death and pursue compensation for your loved one’s final bills and for his loss in your life. An attorney can help you move forward with a wrongful death claim. Contact Pacific West Injury Law to connect with an attorney who can help you better understand your family’s right to compensation following the loss of your loved one in a motorcycle accident.