Thousands of fatal motorcycle accidents happen each year in the United States. According to the US Department of Transportation, there were a total of 4,985 motorcyclist deaths reported in 2018. In an overwhelming amount of cases, fatal motorcycle accidents are a result of another motorist’s negligence.
Learning that a loved one has died in a motorcycle accident is devastating. Not only was this loss completely unexpected, but there is also a good chance that the accident was caused by another driver; thus preventable. Although nothing can erase the trauma endured by those surviving the deceased, a wrongful death claim may assist with ensuring financial stability for the future.
We’ve compiled a few answers to the most frequently asked wrongful death claim questions related to motorcycle accidents in Pennsylvania:
What is a wrongful death lawsuit?
Wrongful death happens when somebody is killed because of another person or entity’s negligence or misconduct. Although there may be a criminal prosecution related to the fatality, a wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action that is separate and distinct from any criminal charges.
Am I eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit?
In order to determine claim eligibility, the following questions must first be answered:
- What Caused the Motorcycle Crash?
If another driver caused the motorcycle accident, you should be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the other driver depending on the facts of the case.
If no other driver was at fault, if another party was responsible for your loved one's death (i.e. a defective product, defective road conditions, etc.), you may still have an action against a party for wrongful death.
Do You Have Any Evidence That Proves Your Allegations?
You must have evidence that the other party's negligent, intentional, or reckless acts or actions were the direct and proximate cause of your loved one's death. Evidence may include eyewitness testimony, evidence from the accident scene, and expert testimony.
How Are You Related to the Deceased Person?
Depending upon each state’s wrongful death laws, only certain people can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Typically, a spouse, child, parent/guardian, or the estate's personal representative are permitted to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased person's beneficiaries. Other family members are only permitted to file a lawsuit under certain circumstances.
Have You Suffered Damages?
You must be able to prove to the court that you have suffered financial and non-financial losses in order to collect compensation for the death of your loved one.
What can I pursue in a wrongful death lawsuit?
It may be possible to pursue compensation for the damages incurred by the family as well as the recovery of damages incurred by the deceased.
In a wrongful death case, the following damages may be available:
Medical expenses related to the crash
Funeral and burial expenses
Lost future income and benefits
Loss of support
Other financial losses
Non-monetary damages, such as loss of companionship
How can Kwartler Manus help?
Our attorneys understand the ins and outs of wrongful death laws in Pennsylvania. We have a proven record of holding responsible parties accountable for their negligent actions leading to the death of a loved one. Although no one can erase the pain of losing a loved one due to negligence on the road, we strive to ease the burden on those left behind with future stability. Contact us online or by phone at (267) 214-8608 for a complimentary consultation to discuss your personal situation.