In recent years, motorcycle accident deaths have been on the rise. Just between 2019 and 2020, fatal motorcycle accidents increased by 11%. But over the past ten years as a whole, they have increased by 20%.
While these tragic accidents can happen for many reasons, such as a lack of wearing a helmet, they are often the result of other negligent drivers. Though cars are supposed to share the road with motorcycles like any other vehicle, it’s not uncommon for drivers to pay less attention to motorcycles or to even purposely drive aggressively around them.
No matter the case, losing a loved one in a motorcycle accident is never easy. However, if the death of the loved one was the result of someone else’s negligence, the family they left behind may be entitled to benefits through a wrongful death lawsuit.
If you have lost a loved one in California due to a tragic motorcycle accident, the team at Sally Morin can help. Our San Francisco wrongful death lawyers understand how complex these cases can be and are dedicated to helping grieving loved ones seek justice and recover high-value settlements for their losses.
Fatal Motorcycle Accidents in California
California is home to the highest number of registered motorcycles—nearly 800,000! And while motorcycle riding might offer more conveniences in major California cities, like lane splitting and ease of parking, that many motorcycles on the roads mean we see a significant number of motorcycle accidents every year.
The NHTSA shows that over 500 people were killed in motorcycle accidents in California in 2020—and those are just the fatalities. Hundreds, potentially thousands more, are severely injured every year as well.
But what is the cause of so many motorcycle accidents—specifically wrongful death motorcycle accidents?
While these accidents can be the result of the motorcycle riders themselves, more often than not, they are due to the negligence of other drivers on the road around them. Specifically, wrongful death motorcycle accidents in California are often caused by:
- Drivers failing to yield the right of way to motorcyclists
- Unsafe speeding around motorcycles
- Drivers turning in front of motorcycles
- Drivers cutting motorcycles off
- Road rage around motorcycles
- Drivers purposely trying to keep motorcycles from lane splitting
When these kinds of actions lead to a fatal motorcycle accident, the deceased’s loved ones are often entitled to wrongful death settlements, which can help them cover the financial and even emotional losses from the death.
Who Gets the Money in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit for Motorcycle Accidents in California?
Wrongful death laws can vary slightly from state to state. In California, the wrongful death statute states the following as eligible parties who can receive compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit for the loss of a loved one:
- Surviving spouse
- Surviving children
- Surviving stepchildren
- Surviving parents
- Surviving minors who were dependent on the deceased (not necessarily related)
The money that is received by these individuals can vary, depending on the specific losses or damages suffered. In most wrongful death motorcycle accident cases, eligible parties can be compensated for:
- Medical expenses related to the deceased’s treatments before they died
- Lost financial support
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of household services
- Loss of childcare
- Loss of companionship
The best way to ensure you are getting the highest settlement possible and being compensated fairly for all losses is to work with a wrongful death law firm. An attorney can guide you through the case, help you fill out paperwork, and handle negotiations to ensure you receive the maximum compensation available.
How Long Does a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Take?
The time that it takes to settle a wrongful death lawsuit can vary significantly as many factors can play a role in the case. Each case is unique to the specific parties involved. However, working with an attorney can sometimes help things move forward quicker, especially if you have a lawyer who is skilled at quickly negotiating settlements.
It’s also important to note that while there is no time limit on how long a case can take once the claim is filed, there is a time limit on when you can initially file the claim. In California, the statute of limitations for wrongful death lawsuits is two years. This means that loved ones have two years from the date of the death to file a claim.
Sally Morin: California Wrongful Death Law Firm
If you have lost a loved one in California due to a wrongful death motorcycle accident, our team can assist you in filing your claim. We will ensure all necessary evidence and information is provided to support your case, will make sure all the right parties receive the compensation they are owed, and can help you settle the case as quickly and efficiently as possible.