Motorcycles provide little protection to riders from the forces involved in a high-speed traffic collision. Sadly, motorcyclists are at high risk of serious injuries in traffic accidents compared to people inside commuter cars or trucks. They are also more likely to sustain fatal injuries in accidents, as data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows.
If you recently lost a loved one in a fatal motorcycle accident in Allentown, reach out to Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers. We can take legal action against the negligent parties and demand justice for your family. From start to finish of the proceedings, an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer at our firm will work tirelessly to support you in this difficult time.
Proving Someone Else Liable for a Fatal Motorcycle Crash
Typically, a person injured in an accident is the only one who can file suit against the parties who caused it. However, claims built around fatal motorcycle crashes work differently, as victims cannot take legal action on their own behalf.
The basic legal principle at the heart of both types of claims is “negligence.” Someone who meets all the following four criteria is legally “negligent” and can be held financially liable for losses suffered by the person or people suing them:
- They had a “duty of care” to act responsibly and lawfully under specific circumstances—something that everyone who drives on public Pennsylvania roads automatically owes to everyone else around them
- They “breached” their duty by doing something specifically reckless or careless
- That breach of duty was the main cause of an accident which led to someone else suffering an injury that needed professional medical treatment
- The injured person suffered compensable losses as a direct result of the accident
Support from our experienced Allentown attorneys can make all the difference in your ability to build a strong claim after a fatal motorcycle crash.
Special Rules for Wrongful Death Motorcycle Crash Claims
The only person who can file a wrongful death claim for the first six months after someone passes away due to another person’s negligent conduct is the deceased person’s personal representative. This is usually someone nominated in the deceased’s will to manage their affairs after death. If the personal representative doesn’t file suit within that time, the deceased person’s spouse, child(ren), and parent(s) have until two years after the initial date of death to file a claim.
After a fatal motorcycle accident, wrongful death litigation is mainly meant to compensate surviving family members for losses they will experience due to their loved one’s premature death, such as:
- Costs of funeral and burial services
- Medical expenses for care the deceased person received between their accident and their eventual death
- Costs of estate administration services
- Lost future financial support and benefits, including things like health insurance coverage through the deceased person’s job
- Lost household services, guidance, comfort, and companionship
If there are no surviving family members eligible to seek recovery through this sort of claim, the deceased’s personal representative can still seek reimbursement for financial losses suffered by the deceased person and their estate, such as medical bills and funeral costs. Your Allentown lawyer can further explain what losses you can recover compensation for in a fatal motorcycle collision claim.
An Allentown Attorney Can Help After a Fatal Motorcycle Accident
Even motorcyclists who do everything right and act responsibly while riding can lose their lives when others are careless on the road. In a situation like this, demanding civil compensation in your loved one’s name may be vital to protecting your family’s future and gaining a sense of justice.
After a fatal motorcycle accident in Allentown, you and your family are not alone. Ostroff Godshall Injury and Accident Lawyers have decades of experience helping people like you rebuild their lives after tragic incidents. Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.