The National Highway Traffic Administration reported that 5,579 motorcyclists lost their lives in a motorcycle accident in 2020– and that 83,000 motorcyclists were injured across the United States. If you lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to recover damages for their death. If you are considering a wrongful death claim, the motorcycle accident attorneys at Regan Zambri Long, PLLC can help. An experienced attorney can help you navigate a wrongful death case, and will fight for your rights.
A wrongful death claim is brought by the family of a fatal accident victim. Wrongful death claims are tort claims, such as negligence or malpractice, and are brought on behalf of the victim. In the majority of states, the plaintiff in a wrongful death suit is the deceased person’s estate or immediate family. Each state has its own rules on wrongful death, but generally, only immediate family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit, and money or the wrongful death compensation award will go to the family members or the victim’s estate.
When a person is killed by the wrongful act of another person, their close family may have the right to file a wrongful death claim. Most states today have a wrongful death statute, which gives surviving family members a “cause of action” or lawsuit even after the death of the victim. In the majority of states, the beneficiaries of a wrongful death claim are spouses, parents, and/or children. If the victim was not married, the victim’s parents were no longer living, or the victim did not have children, another family member (either related by blood or by marriage) can recover damages if they were financially dependent on the victim.
Wrongful death is a type of tort law that requires proving negligence. To prove wrongful death, the following four elements of a tort claim must be established:
An estimated 53% of motorcycle accidents involve a motorcycle and another vehicle. Some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents are the same as vehicle accidents: distracted driving, reckless driving, speeding, and weather conditions.
There are risks involved with motorcycles specifically though. Motorcycles are small, less stable, and sometimes hard to see, which puts motorcycles at a greater risk for accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has even reported that motorcycles are 29 times more likely to be involved in an accident than a vehicle. Some risks specific to motorcycles are:
Damages in wrongful death cases are awarded to compensate the family of the victim for any expenses from the accident– and even sometimes for future expenses based on the loss of the loved one. These damages include:
Each state has its own limitations on how long you have to file a wrongful death claim. This rule is called a statute of limitations. You must work with a lawyer who understands these deadlines.
Regan Zambri Long, PLLC, practices throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. The statute of limitations in these three locations is:
A lawyer will help with a wrongful death claim in many ways, but the most valuable services that a lawyer provides in a wrongful death action are:
If you have lost a loved one and you are thinking about filing a wrongful death action, you should consult with a knowledgeable wrongful death lawyer. An experienced attorney will provide support, and they will advocate for your family’s rights.
Regan Zambri Long has the training, knowledge, and resources needed to effectively pursue wrongful death claims. Our lawyers have significant experience with motorcycle accidents and have been representing survivors in wrongful death suits for more than 30 years. We have recovered millions of dollars in wrongful death claims over the years, and take pride in providing the highest quality legal representation for families who have lost loved ones.
A lawyer from Regan Zambri Long will assist you in navigating the legal issues in wrongful death lawsuits. Call today to schedule a free consultation. Our attorneys handle cases in Washington, DC, Virginia, and Maryland.