Being involved in a motorcycle accident is a traumatic event. Victims suffer from mild to severe injuries, which later may lead to death.
Deaths from motorcycle accidents have remained a concern in California. If it’s determined that your loved one has succumbed to death due to someone’s negligence, you may have a claim.
Where negligence is involved in causing death to a victim, this is called a “wrongful death.”
To file a wrongful death claim, you have to know who can file the claim and what may be available for damages.
Establishing Fault In A Wrongful Death Claim
Since every state has its own rules on who can claim damages and how one may file a wrongful death claim, one should seek a motorcycle accident in Bakersfield for legal help.
A motorcycle lacks a myriad of safety features that can help to block any force. As such, a motorcycle accident victim is likely to suffer from fatal injuries. While some victims go through pain and suffering as they nurse those injuries, others succumb to death on the spot.
Whichever way your loved one may have faced death, you will need to provide enough evidence to get compensated. This allows the court to force the defendant to pay survivors damages depending on the nature of their injuries and other losses suffered by the victim.
A plaintiff has to bring up a claim on behalf of the deceased heirs. And before damages can be awarded, it has to be proven that:
The defendant had a duty of care: The defendant, who may be a truck or a car driver, must have an obligation to do reasonable care to ensure others are safe. For instance, you can prove that the defendant never obeyed the traffic rules and run a red right.
The defendant breached the duty of care: You have to show how the defendant breached the standard of care by acting negligently.
Show causation: The negligence act must correlate with the injuries or death of the victim.
It’s not enough to show that your loved one died after the accident. There must be credible evidence. Meaning the plaintiff has to meet the burden of proof.
Who Can File The Wrongful Death Claim?
California allows specific people to file claims in case of a wrongful death claim. These include:
- Surviving spouse of the defendant
- Children of the decedent
- Grandchildren of any deceased decedent’s child
If the above parties don’t exist, whoever was entitled to the property through intestate succession files the claim. The court can also appoint the latter.
It’s also worth noting that a claim can be filed by anyone who depended on the deceased financially.
If your wrongful death claim is successful, you can be assured of getting economic and non-economic damages. Note that you cannot receive punitive damages for your wrongful death claim. For such damages, there has to be a survival cause of action.
Economic damages: These are items that can be identified with invoices, receipts, or bills. For instance, medical bills, lost wages, motorcycle damage, funeral, and burial expenses.
Non-economic damages: These are non-monetary losses which may include things such as loss of companionship, emotional distress, pain and suffering. These damages are determined by the nature and extent of injuries suffered. Concerning wrongful death, these damages may be significant.
You may be required to look for a lawyer who can offer advice on proving that the deceased suffered emotionally due to the accident. Besides, the family may also have undergone pain and suffering due to the deceased.
To pursue the compensation you deserve, you have to add both damages. Fortunately, the damages to be recovered are not capped. You can get as much as you deserve from the settlement or what the court may order for damages.
Having legal representation helps as you will file such a claim within the statute of limitations. Failure to do so, your claim may be denied. For the wrongful death claim, you have two years from the date the victim died.
Talk To A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
The deceased spouse doesn’t have to struggle due to lack of care, protection, or financial assistance, nor do children need to suffer emotionally because someone else was negligent enough to cause the deceased wrongful death. Instead, you need to hire an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer to get you the best strategies to win your case.
Many motorcycle accident cases are resolved through settlement negotiations, but your lawyer is better positioned to determine whether you need to go to trial.
Most motorcycle accident lawyers handle personal injury cases on a contingency basis. Therefore, if you are financially down, you do have to sit back and wait for the time limit to elapse. Your lawyer will be willing to handle your case and get their pay out of the settlement proceeds.