Motorcycle Accidents: Wrongful Death

Motorcycles can be very fun, but they are inherently more dangerous than passenger cars due to their lack of protection for the driver and passenger. When motorcycle accidents happen, there is a much greater chance for those involved to sustain serious or fatal injuries compared to passenger vehicle accidents.

Typically, when a person is injured in a motorcycle crash with another vehicle, the injured party can file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver responsible for the crash. However, if the victim dies, their surviving loved ones will need to pursue a wrongful death claim instead.

Michael R. Kaiser understands how devastating wrongful death cases can be for the surviving family members. He also understands how complicated it can be to determine liability for a fatal motorcycle crash. If you or someone you know recently experienced a death in the family due to a motorcycle accident you believe resulted from negligence, the Law Offices of Michael R. Kaiser can investigate your case and determine your right to file a wrongful death claim.

Why Hire the Law Offices of Michael R. Kaiser?

When you are facing a wrongful death claim in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, or anywhere in the Inland Empire, you need a reliable personal injury attorney with the experience and skills to guide you toward a positive outcome. It can be very challenging to deal with the legal aspects of a wrongful death claim after losing someone you love in a motorcycle accident. Michael Kaiser can provide the legal representation you need so you can take time to grieve in peace.

  • Michael R. Kaiser believes in client-focused representation, and will take the time to get to know you and your family to provide individualized legal representation through every phase of your case.
  • Michael R. Kaiser understands California’s wrongful death statutes and can uncover the evidence and documentation necessary for building a solid claim.
  • Our office has a vast network of professional contacts including expert witnesses, medical professionals, and other legal experts who may provide valuable insights into your wrongful death claim following a fatal motorcycle accident.
  • We know how to navigate mediation, but we are also unafraid of litigation if your case demands a courtroom presence.

A wrongful death claim can be one of the most difficult situations you ever face, and the right legal representative can help make the recovery process easier for you and hold the responsible party accountable for their actions.

Personal Injury Claims Vs. Wrongful Death Claims

An individual can file a personal injury lawsuit when another party’s negligence causes physical harm, psychological damage, or any type of tangible economic loss. If the victim of negligence dies due to their illness or injury, then a wrongful death claim filed on behalf of the victim takes the place of a personal injury claim.

A wrongful death claim proceeds very similarly to how a personal injury claim works. The legal team for the plaintiff must offer proof the defendant failed to act with reasonable care and directly caused the death in question. In a wrongful death case for a fatal motorcycle accident, this likely requires identifying the responsible driver and proving their liability for the death in question.

Who Files for Wrongful Death Claims in California?

California state law is clear when it comes to the people with the legal right to file wrongful death claims. Typically, the parties with the right to file wrongful death claims include the deceased’s spouse, domestic partner, children, or parent. California law also allows for a putative spouse or putative spouse’s children and stepchildren of the deceased to file wrongful death claims. If the deceased has no such kin, then state law allows for anyone with a legal claim on the contents of the deceased’s estate to file a wrongful death claim instead.

Potential Damages in a Motorcycle Accident Wrongful Death Case

Wrongful death statutes in California divide the damages in a wrongful death case into two main categories: damages that compensate the deceased’s estate for losses incurred as a result of the death, and damages that compensate the deceased’s surviving loved ones for their personal losses resulting from the death.

Losses to the deceased’s estate generally include:

  • Lost income the deceased would have reasonably expected to earn in the future had they survived.
  • Expenses relating to funeral or burial.
  • Medical expenses related to the treatment of the illness or injury that resulted from the accident.

 Compensation for the deceased’s surviving family members may include:

  • Suffering, the loss of companionship or consortium, love, affection, moral support, and guidance the deceased provided.
  • Loss of household services the deceased provided.
  • Loss of the anticipated financial contributions the deceased would have reasonably expected to make for their household.

Anyone who may have grounds for a motorcycle accident wrongful death claim in California should seek legal representation and pursue a claim as soon as possible, as state law only allows a two-year statute of limitations or time limit for filing wrongful death claims.

Determining Fault for a Wrongful Death in a Motorcycle Accident Case

Similar to personal injury claims, wrongful death claims in California revolve around negligence, or one party’s failure to exercise reasonable care in a specific situation. If another driver caused a motorcycle accident due to a moving violation, inattention, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, these would all be potential grounds for the deceased’s surviving loved ones to file a wrongful death claim against the negligent driver.

Michael R. Kaiser understands a wrongful death is an unexpected and devastating incident for any family. He will work diligently to uncover all available evidence including witness testimony, traffic camera footage, and vehicle computer crash data to compile the strongest possible case in a motorcycle accident case for wrongful death.

Our office has the experience to help you and your family secure the financial compensation you need following a wrongful death. Discuss your case with us during a free consultation about your motorcycle accident wrongful death claim in Palm Springs and throughout the Coachella Valley. We also accept clients in the High Desert, Morongo Valley, and throughout the Inland Empire.