According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle riders are around 28 times more likely to die in vehicle accidents compared with passenger vehicle occupants. A motorcycle accident can quickly become deadly. If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash, you may be entitled to sue for wrongful death damages.
Only certain family members can bring a wrongful death case in Georgia. But, if your motorcycle accident happened in Georgia, John Foy & Associates can help. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and discuss the details. Call us or fill out our online form to schedule yours today.
Death Doesn’t Stop You from Filing a Claim
The loss of a loved one due to a motorcycle accident is devastating. While money can’t fix or replace what you lost, it can help you and your family move forward with their lives. In addition, the compensation you receive can pay for several costs both leading up to and after death.
Remember, it’s not right that you and your family have to pick up the pieces of a motorcycle accident. Especially if the accident happened due to the negligence of another party, don’t let them get away with paying you anything. Instead, get closure and win a settlement covering all of the damages related to the accident.
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Individuals Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death After a Motorcycle Accident
Only certain people are able to file a wrongful death case. In Georgia, the laws for wrongful death actions are covered under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §51-4-2. Wrongful death claims allow certain individuals to file a lawsuit against the person or party who was legally liable for the motorcycle accident that caused the death.
Those eligible to bring wrongful death cases include, in order:
- The spouse of the deceased person
- Any minor children the spouse and deceased person had (represented by the surviving spouse)
- Surviving parents or the parent of the deceased person
- A representative for the deceased person’s estate
If a spouse brings a wrongful death case, they cannot receive less than one-third of the full financial recovery. It doesn’t matter how many minor children the couple has. The deceased person’s parents can only bring a wrongful death claim if the deceased had no surviving spouse or minor children.
What If There Are No Living Relatives of the Deceased?
If none of these parties exist or are living, a representative for the deceased’s estate can bring the case. If the estate representative recovers damages in the wrongful death claim, the estate will hold the damages for the deceased’s next of kin to receive.
Damages Available in a Motorcycle Wrongful Death Claim
If you file a claim for wrongful death in a motorcycle accident case, the type of claim you bring will depend on your relationship with the deceased motorcyclist. For example, if you are a surviving family member, you can bring a claim for the total value of the deceased’s life. This type of claim includes damages representing the deceased’s value of life like:
- Lost of expected income and benefits the deceased probably would have earned if they had not been killed in the motorcycle accident
- Loss of inheritance that resulted from the deceased’s death and
- Intangible benefits you would have otherwise received from the deceased, such as loss of companionship, loss of care, loss of nurturing, or loss of consortium
If the deceased’s estate is bringing a wrongful death claim, the claim is meant to recover losses the deceased’s death caused to their estate like:
- Medical costs from the deceased’s last injury or illness resulting from the motorcycle accident
- Pain and suffering the deceased experienced before they died and
- Funeral and burial costs
You will need to ensure you can prove the damages you’re claiming. Otherwise, your case will not be seen as valid, and you might have trouble getting compensation. You will also need to meet the same burden of proof that the deceased victim would have had to meet if they had survived the motorcycle accident.
It’s best to work with a wrongful death lawyer or motorcycle accident lawyer if you are bringing a wrongful death case after the loss of a loved one. Your lawyer can help you build a strong case and seek the recovery you need following your loss. In addition, they can work to show that the defendant owed the victim a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused the accident and the deceased’s death.
Liability for a Motorcycle Accident Death
There must have been a negligent party in the accident other than the deceased motorcyclist to have a valid wrongful death claim. The at-fault party is often another motorist that acted carelessly and caused the accident. Sometimes, the at-fault party is a government entity or business, depending on the conditions of the accident.
Get Help from a Lawyer
Most wrongful death cases, even ones that result from a motorcycle accident, don’t necessarily require that you file a lawsuit and head to court. In fact, the law entitles you to file a claim and negotiate for a settlement from there. As a result, the majority of wrongful death cases settle out of court.
However, this doesn’t mean that it’s easy to get financial compensation. Our lawyers can help you get the settlement you deserve by:
- Gathering evidence about the motorcycle accident and how it led to the death of your loved one.
- Negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf.
- Taking your claim to court if absolutely necessary.
Remember, insurance companies aren’t on your side. Even if you lose a loved one, that’s still not enough to get them to give you a fair settlement. So don’t let them cheat you out of compensation that properly covers the damages your loved one and your family sustained.
The Statute of Limitations to Sue for Wrongful Death in Georgia
Most states only allow a certain period of time for you to bring a wrongful death case. For example, in Georgia, you typically have to file a wrongful death claim within two years of the date the deceased died in the accident. If you wait any longer than the two-year mark, you will almost certainly lose the right to seek compensation.
In a wrongful death case, there are certain situations where the timeline is “tolled” or paused. For example, if the deceased’s estate is not probated, the statute of limitations can be tolled for up to five years. A case can also get tolled if there is a criminal case ongoing that is related to the same events as your case. The statute of limitations would begin on the day the criminal case completes.
Talk to a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer for Free Today
At John Foy & Associates, we dedicate ourselves to helping families receive the compensation they need and deserve after losing a loved one in a motorcycle accident or any other injury accident. We have been working on wrongful death and motorcycle accident cases for more than 20 years, and we know what it takes to win.
We don’t take any payment upfront. We only get paid if we win a settlement for you. If we can’t do this, you owe us nothing in return. To get started today, call or contact us online now. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to take your call and begin helping you with your case.