Bikers know the risks that they face every time they get on their motorcycle. For most, the freedom of the road and the feeling of the wind on your face are worth the risk. Most bikers would tell you that when it’s their time, they would prefer to go riding their bike. That doesn’t of course mean that they should have to cut their life short because of someone else’s negligence. Sadly, that is what happens all too often with motorcyclists. Many Americans have not learned to watch for motorcycles despite both public and private campaigns over the past few decades trying to educate them to do so.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics tell us that for very 100 million miles traveled on a motorcycle there are 33.38 fatalities. In contrast, for those same 100 million miles traveled in a passenger vehicle, there are only 1.28 fatalities. That makes the chance of being involved in a fatal motorcycle accident over twenty five times greater than in a passenger vehicle. According the California Highway Patrol, motorcyclists that were killed in accidents for the year 2008 increased 164% from 1998 while the number of licensed motorcycle drivers only increased by 45%. These statistics make it clear that while riding may be enjoyable, it is also dangerous. What makes the situation so much worse for bikers is that when a biker is killed in an accident with another vehicle, the other vehicle is frequently the negligent (at fault) party. So where does this leave the families and loved ones of the victim?
Under California law, if you have lost a loved one due to a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to file as a claimant in a California wrongful death lawsuit. Persons that are entitled to file a California wrongful death lawsuit include: spouse, children, parents, siblings, children of deceased siblings, grandparents, putative spouse, children of putative spouse, stepchildren and sometimes other minors that were dependents on the decedent. The idea behind a wrongful death lawsuit is to provide the claimant with the support that they would have had but for the negligence of the at fault driver. Understandably, many people do not want to think about lawsuits after they have lost a loved one, much less try to put a value on their life. Remember though that there are time frames within you must file a wrongful death lawsuit and if your loved one supported you while they were here wouldn’t they want to continue to support you through the compensation you could receive in a wrongful death lawsuit? No one can replace your loved one, nor turn back the clock and prevent the accident from happening, but if someone else was responsible for their death then you may be entitled to compensation. The compensation you may be entitled to can include: value of future financial support that you would have received, the value of household services that you would have received and the loss of love, companionship, moral support, affection, comfort and consortium (if applicable).
The exact value of your California wrongful death lawsuit will depend on a number of factors and can best be determined by an experienced California motorcycle wrongful death attorney. If you would like a free and confidential detailed evaluation of your California motorcycle wrongful death case, please contact The Law Offices of Halkides, Morgan, and Kelley today by calling 530.221.8150.
Those in the Albuquerque area of New Mexico might want to reach out to Parnall Law Firm in the wake of a motorcycling accident.