Motorcycle Accidents and Fatalities
Motorcycle accidents commonly result in catastrophic injuries due to the lack of protection provided by this type of vehicle. Tragically, death is another risk of motorcycle accidents. Many motorcyclists involved in a crash either lose their lives immediately or after succumbing to the effects of their injuries.
When motorcycle accidents involve fatalities, surviving family members are left with extensive losses, which may include emotional and financial hardships. Motorcycle accident attorney Lynn C. Harris can work with surviving loved ones in the Salt Lake City, UT, and Provo, UT, area to determine if they have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation for damages.
When to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
A wrongful death lawsuit may be filed by surviving family members if the reckless or negligent actions of another person or party resulted in the premature death of their loved one. In the event of a motorcycle accident, a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed if the motorcycle accident was caused by another party, and the motorcycle accident was the cause of death.
As with other types of lawsuits, there are statutes of limitations that dictate the amount of time a family member has to file a wrongful death suit. In the state of Utah, a wrongful death suit must be filed within two years of the date of death. So, if a person is injured in a motorcycle accident and later loses his or her life as a result of those injuries, the statute of limitations would begin at the time of death, not at the time of the motorcycle crash.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Each state has its own laws regarding who is able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In the state of Utah, a wrongful death case may be filed by those considered “heirs” to the estate of the deceased. Specifically, a wrongful death claim by be filed by:
- A surviving spouse
- Surviving children
- Surviving parents
- Surviving step-children (if they were under 18 at the time of death)
- The named personal representative, or executor, of the deceased’s estate
Compensation in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
A wrongful death suit is similar to a personal injury case, only a surviving family member is filing the case on behalf of the deceased. As such, a wrongful death suit may provide compensation for many of the same damages that would be sought in a personal injury case, including:
- Medical expenses for any treatment received prior to death
- Lost wages, including the loss of future wages
- Pain and suffering experienced by the victim prior to death
- Punitive damages, if applicable
In addition to these damages, a wrongful death lawsuit can provide compensation to surviving family members for their losses, both economic and non-economic. Additional sources of compensation for our clients may include:
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of benefits
- Loss of companionship
The death of a loved one is tragic all around, but it can be especially difficult when the loss was sudden and preventable. If you have lost a loved one to a motorcycle accident caused by another person or party, attorney Lynn C. Harris would like to help you get the financial compensation you deserve. To learn more, send us a message online at your earliest convenience, or call our Salt Lake City practice at (801) 609-6972.