If a motorcycle accident resulted in the death of a loved one, you could hold the party who caused the crash financially liable. Of course, no amount of compensation will make up for your loss. However, monetary awards can ensure your family does not suffer further due to the costs of the collision.
A Dallas wrongful death attorney can assist you with an insurance claim or lawsuit to recover accident damages. They will fight for the economic justice your family deserves so that you can focus on grieving and healing.
Seeking Wrongful Death Damages for a Fatal Motorcycle Accident
According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 71.002, if another party’s “wrongful act, neglect, carelessness, unskillfulness, or default” caused your loved one’s fatal collision, you could hold them liable for the resulting damages. Most wrongful death cases in Texas involve two separate claims for compensation.
A survival action allows the deceased’s family to recover expenses incurred by the deceased or their estate before their death. It might help to think of survival actions as an opportunity to recover personal injury compensation your loved one could have sought had they lived.
Compensation you can pursue in a survival action includes the following:
- Your loved one’s medical expenses, including emergency transportation and medical treatment, surgeries, hospitalizations, in-home health services, and palliative care
- Income lost from the time of your loved one’s injury until their death
- Motorcycle repair or replacement costs
- Your family member’s pain and suffering
Wrongful Death Actions
A wrongful death action seeks compensation for losses incurred by the deceased’s family members due to their death. In general, a wrongful death lawyer can pursue the following on behalf of qualifying survivors:
- Loss of the deceased’s income and financial support (including future savings and inheritance)
- The value of household services your loved one would have performed had they lived
- Loss of your family member’s comfort, companionship, society, and love
- Mental anguish and emotional pain
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Who Can Seek Damages After a Wrongful Death Motorcycle Accident?
Unlike some states, Texas allows family members to file a survival action or wrongful death lawsuit directly. You do not need the assistance of the deceased’s personal representative (executor of the estate).
Compensation recovered in a survival action goes to your loved one’s estate and its heirs. Damages secured through a wrongful death action can only benefit the deceased’s spouse, children, or parents.
How Can You Prove Someone Is Liable for a Fatal Motorcycle Accident?
To establish liability for a wrongful death motorcycle accident, you must show that another party’s negligent actions caused the crash that resulted in your loved one’s fatal injury. Proving negligence involves demonstrating the following four elements:
- Duty of care: In a motor vehicle collision case, the duty of care is the responsibility of all drivers to obey traffic laws and act safely behind the wheel.
- Breach of duty: You must prove the liable party breached the duty of care by breaking state laws or behaving carelessly, recklessly, or wrongfully.
- Causation: You must show the driver’s breach led to your loved one’s fatal injury. For example, you could establish a driver ran a red light, causing them to hit your family member’s motorcycle as they traveled through an intersection.
- Damages: You must establish your loved one’s fatal injury led to economic and noneconomic damages.
Common Causes of Motorcycle Crashes
According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), 562 motorcyclists died from crash injuries in Texas in 2022, up 8 percent from the previous year.
Motorcycles are smaller than passenger vehicles and lack the protection of a vehicle cab. Therefore, drivers of larger cars and trucks must be especially cautious when sharing the road with bikers.
Negligent driving actions that can lead to a collision with a motorcycle include the following:
- Making an improper turn
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Distracted driving
- Texting and driving
- Drinking and driving
- Following a motorcycle too closely (tailgating)
- Making an improper lane change
- Traveling down the wrong side of the street
- Failure to heed road or weather conditions
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How Long Do You Have to File a Wrongful Death Motorcycle Collision Case in Texas?
The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit or survival action in Texas is two years, according to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003. The clock starts on the day your family member passed away.
You could resolve your fatal motorcycle accident case through an auto insurance claim. However, the statute of limitations will still affect you. If the deadline to take legal action expires, you can no longer sue an at-fault party or their insurer, significantly reducing your settlement bargaining power.
Do You Need a Wrongful Death Lawyer After a Fatal Motorcycle Crash?
There is no law requiring you to hire a wrongful death lawyer. You can pursue your loved one’s fatal motorcycle accident claim by yourself. However, an attorney with our law firm can provide you with experienced and compassionate legal representation, so you do not have to cope with the stress of seeking compensation in addition to your grief.
We will handle these tasks for you:
- Investigate your loved one’s collision and collect evidence proving negligence.
- Identify the survival and wrongful death damages owed to you and your family.
- Draft and file your insurance claims and manage all related paperwork.
- Track and adhere to deadlines.
- Handle phone calls, emails, and meetings with insurance agents and opposing counsel.
- Tirelessly negotiate for the maximum compensation possible.
- Prepare a lawsuit and represent you at trial if needed.
We do not want the cost of a wrongful death lawyer to prevent you from taking legal action for your loved one. We serve clients on contingency, meaning we never charge upfront or out-of-pocket fees. Instead, we only collect attorney’s fees if we obtain compensation for you and your family.
Contact a Wrongful Death Motorcycle Accident Lawyer With Loncar Lyon Jenkins
Did a motorcycle accident result in the death of your loved one? If so, Loncar Lyon Jenkins can help you seek financial justice. Contact us 24/7 to schedule a free consultation.