If your family member died in a motorcycle crash, recovering compensation probably isn’t at the forefront of your thoughts, but it isn’t your obligation to shoulder the emotional and financial burdens of your losses either. A knowledgeable and experienced motorcycle lawyer will be able to advise you on whether you might have a claim against the driver who took the life of your loved one. At the least, recovering financial compensation for your losses can ultimately guide you to some closure in the future after your family member has been laid to rest. These claims are called wrongful death claims.
Wrongful death claims in Los Angeles take time to work their way through the courts. These cases may involve an exhausting process while you’re still grieving and rebuilding your life. Taking the first steps alone is exactly where the opposing insurance company wants you. It knows that it’s facing significant financial exposure. Its adjuster will do whatever it legally can to limit the company’s risks by taking control of the case while you’re still in a state of shock. In many cases, they may actually try to blame to motorcyclist for the crash.
Motorcycle riders are at significant risk of death when riding on public streets and highways. The primary reason is that a motorcycle is less stable than a car, and there isn’t the protection that a car offers. This means that when a motorcycle is involved in a crash, the rider is at risk of being directly struck by a car, an object or the ground.
Each year, according to the National Highway Safety Administration, over 5,000 motorcyclists die in crashes in the U.S. This is 15% of all vehicle deaths while motorcycles make up around 5% of all vehicles registered in the U.S. Also, the accident rating (deaths per million miles traveled) of a motorcycle rider is around 25 while a car driver is just over 1.
Causes of Motorcycle Deaths
By far the leading cause of motorcycle deaths is a severe head injury—even when a helmet is worn. The reason for this is the exposure of the head when riding a motorcycle. The bike offers some protection to the chest and lower torso, but the head has only the helmet for protection.
The leading causes of injuries that result in death on a motorcycle are:
- Catastrophic craniocerebral injury (head injury)
- Severe thoracic spine injury
- Chest injury
- Lower abdominal injury
- Organ failure
Damages for Wrongful Deaths in Los Angeles:
If the fault of the accident was another driver, then that person’s insurance company should pay for damages, which may include:
- Medical bills
- Funeral expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future income
- Loss of Consortium (companionship, intimacy)
- Any pain and suffering felt by the deceased before death
- Property damage
Justice for a Wrong
Survivors of a motorcycle death have to deal with varying levels of loss. One of the things that survivors face is the need for justice and closure. Motorcycle crashes are violent, and the knowledge that their loved one suffered and/or perished because of someone else’s mistake is often hard to take. However, one way to right a wrong is to have a system of justice determine fault and order the payment of funds to compensate for that loss. This can only be done by making a claim against the at-fault driver.
Do I need an Attorney?
Always speak to an experienced Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Lawyer after the loss of a loved one. Consultations are free. If the attorney’s help is needed, meet them and see if you mesh well with them.