Approximately 500 California riders die every year in serious motorcycle accidents. When a negligent motorist causes a fatal accident, the deceased rider’s family members and estate can file a lawsuit for wrongful death and other causes to recover compensation for their and the rider’s losses.
For more than 25 years, families in southern California have relied on Salamati Law for assistance from a motorcycle accident lawyer in Los Angeles. We have the knowledge, experience, and skill to recover the largest available damages that can help them overcome the loss of their loved ones.
Do you need to be related to the deceased rider to file a motorcycle accident lawsuit?
Under California law, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed by:
- A deceased rider’s spouse or domestic partner
- The rider’s surviving children
- If the rider had no children, their parents, or the next person (e.g., a sibling) who might be an heir to the rider’s estate
- The rider’s stepchildren or stepparents
- Any persons who can establish that they relied on the deceased rider for financial assistance
Before filing a California wrongful death lawsuit, an experienced Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney will analyze the nature of the relationship between the deceased rider and the person who is seeking damages. This will prevent the lawsuit from being dismissed for procedural reasons.
What damages can be recovered by someone who lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident?
A bereaved party’s damages will include funeral costs and expenses, the value of lost companionship, and costs and expenses attributable to the deceased rider’s economic and emotional support.
Lawsuits filed by the deceased rider’s estate can further seek recovery for the rider’s pain and suffering because of their injuries and medical costs. The damages that can be recovered will always depend on the facts of the case. Experienced Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers will estimate those damages after they analyze all of the relevant facts.
Do all of the deceased rider’s family members need to file separate motorcycle accident lawsuits?
For optimum efficiency and effectiveness, all deceased riders’ loved ones will generally combine all of their claims into a single lawsuit against the negligent party. If multiple cases are filed, they will likely be aggregated and proceed as a joint group of claims.
The family members might then determine how to divide any damages award among themselves. However, if they are unwilling or unable to do that, a court can allocate damages on the basis of the relationships that individual parties had with the deceased rider.
When should a deceased rider’s loved ones file a lawsuit?
Under California law, family members and other authorized parties have two years from the date of the accident that results in a fatality. The best practice is for the deceased rider’s loved ones to hire an attorney and to file a lawsuit as soon as is possible after the fatal accident. They can gather all relevant evidence before witness memories fade, and evidence becomes difficult to access.
Contact the Los Angeles offices of Salamati Law When Your Loved One Suffers a Fatal Motorcycle Accident
At Salamati Law, we offer free consultations to bereaved partners and families of riders who suffer fatalities in Southern California motorcycle accidents. Please see our website or call our offices directly to confer with one of our attorneys. They can discuss your right and opportunity to recover the largest available damages award when a negligent driver causes a motorcycle accident that takes the life of someone close to you.