If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, you are likely overcome by grief, sadness, and depression. However, in time, you could experience additional challenges. Financially, emotionally, and in many other ways, the deceased person leaves behind a void. Fortunately, California law allows you to recover compensation through a legal action termed a “wrongful death” claim. A Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney can explain the details, but some answers to frequently asked questions may help you understand how these cases work.
What is a wrongful death claim?
When someone dies as a result of another person’s negligence, certain designated individuals can file a claim for the damages they suffer because of the loss. Under California’s wrongful death statute, people with standing to seek compensation include:
- The surviving spouse or domestic partner;
- Children or grandchildren of a predeceased child;
- Minor children who were dependent upon the victim for financial support; and,
- Anyone who could be entitled to probate assets under state laws on intestacy.
How do I file a claim for wrongful death after a fatal motorcycle accident?
Because motorists must carry insurance to protect victims of motor vehicle crashes, you would initiate a wrongful death action by filing a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance provider. A Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyer can be a valuable asset in dealing with the insurer, as claims adjusters are trained in various ways to reject paying out on your claim.
Do I need to go to court?
If the insurance company does not offer a reasonable amount to compensate you for the loss of your loved one, you may need to file a lawsuit in court. The statute of limitations in California allows you two years to sue the responsible driver for damages.
What damages can I recover after a fatal motorcycle accident?
A wrongful death claim is based upon your losses as a family member of a motorcycle crash victim, which may include:
- Loss of financial support the victim could have provided had he or she not died;
- Funeral and burial costs;
- Lost contributions to household services;
- Losses of protection, guidance, companionship, education, moral support, and other damages based upon personal relationships.
Do I need a Los Angeles motorcycle crash lawyer to represent me?
While it is not legally required, having an attorney to assist with your wrongful death claim is crucial. During negotiations with the negligent driver’s insurance company, a lawyer can help with establishing fault and showing the severity of your injuries. If it becomes necessary to go to court, your attorney will provide litigation support. Filing documents, conducting depositions, working on motions, and other mandatory tasks can be challenging if you do not have a legal background.
Contact a Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today
For more information on wrongful death claims after a motorcycle accident, please contact El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers by calling 888-540-0325 or visiting us online. We can schedule a free consultation with a Los Angeles motorcycle collision lawyer who can explain your legal remedies under California law.