Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
When a motorcyclist collides with a larger vehicle, there is very little to protect the rider against the force of the crash, particularly if both drivers are moving at high speeds. An accident that a car or truck driver can walk away from with a few scratches can kill a motorcyclist. After a serious accident, the motorcyclist may survive for a few days or weeks with severe injuries before passing away, or he or she may die on impact. At Sharifi Firm, our motorcycle accident attorneys can represent residents of Los Angeles who have lost a loved one due to a careless driver.Take Legal Action after a Fatal Accident in Southern California
In California, a victim’s survivors or the personal representative of his or her estate can sue for wrongful death in civil court if the decedent died due to the misconduct or negligence of somebody else. Unlike a criminal case, establishing fault can result in monetary damages. The standard of proof in criminal cases is "beyond a reasonable doubt," whereas the standard of proof in a civil personal injury case is the lower "preponderance of the evidence" standard. This means a decedent's family may be able to recover damages from the responsible party even if a criminal court acquitted him or her of an offense related to the crash.
Under California Code of Civil Procedure section 377.60, the following people can bring a wrongful death lawsuit: the surviving spouse of the decedent, the domestic partner of the decedent, or the surviving children of the decedent. However, if there are no survivors in the decedent's line of descent, a wrongful death lawsuit can be brought by anybody who would be entitled to the decedent's property under the rules of intestate succession, such as parents or siblings. Others who can potentially seek damages are those who are financially dependent on the decedent, a putative spouse, stepchildren, or stepparents.
Generally, one person brings the claim, and then any resulting damages are divided among the relevant parties. The estate often has paid for medical bills and funeral and burial expenses, and it may be able to recover reimbursement for them. Surviving family members suffer their own losses after a loved one's death, such as the value of household services, the loss of love and guidance, and the loss of anticipated financial support. The types and quantities of damages that may be recovered will depend on the quality of the relationship between the victim and the survivor.
You have only two years from the date of a fatal accident to bring a wrongful death claim in California. Failing to file within the appropriate time limits can result in the loss of your right to sue.Discuss a Wrongful Death Claim with a Los Angeles Attorney
If a loved one dies in a fatal motorcycle accident in Los Angeles or the surrounding communities, the wrongful death lawyers at Sharifi Firm can compassionately guide you through the process of seeking the compensation that you deserve. We are aggressive advocates for people and families throughout Southern California, including in cities such as Riverside, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, and Temecula. Contact us at 1-866-422-7222 or via our online form for a free, no-obligation consultation.