Any experienced motorcycle accident lawyer in Douglasville knows that motorcycle accidents result in severe injuries and vehicle damage. Sometimes, victims may lose their life at the scene or while undergoing treatment. The effects can be devastating, especially when someone else is at fault for the accident.
When your relative dies in a bike accident, you may be eligible to sue for wrongful death damages. If the accident happened in Georgia, a motorcycle accident lawyer could help.
Hiring an attorney lets you focus on grieving and healing instead of preparing a legal case. Our Georgia personal injury attorneys at Hartley, Rowe, and Fowler, P.C., can advise and represent you in filing a lawsuit against a negligent party.
Can You Sue if a Loved One Dies in a Motorcycle Accident?
Losing a loved one can be traumatic. But the law allows you to sue when the accident is due to another person’s fault. So if your relative dies in a motorcycle accident, you can file a wrongful death claim against the at-fault party.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Under Georgia law, “wrongful death” occurs when a person loses their life due to the reckless behavior or intentional, negligent conduct of another. When this type of death happens, there are resulting financial and intangible losses that the victim’s relations may successfully recover.
When negligence is the cause of death in a motorbike accident, the victims’ relatives can sue for wrongful death and claim damages. Even though the deceased is gone, compensation helps to relieve financial troubles.
Many people may feel the impact of wrongful death. Yet, few meet the criteria to claim damages. So, understanding who is eligible to sue and how to file a valid lawsuit ensures that successfully recovering damages is more likely.
Who Can Sue for a Wrongful Death in Georgia?
An accident victim may die before they recover damages from the at-fault party. However, it does not terminate their legal rights.
By law, another person can bring legal action against the at-fault party to demand compensation. But, it would be best if you qualified to commence this action.
So, who is eligible by Georgia law to file a wrongful death claim?
- The deceased person’s spouse
- Any surviving children (if minor, the surviving spouse can represent them)
- Parent(s) of the deceased person
Note that, in Georgia, grandparents of a deceased accident victim cannot file a wrongful death claim. When there are no living personal representatives of the deceased, a representative (administrator or executor) of the person’s estate can file the lawsuit. Then, the estate maintains possession of the damages for any other heirs of the deceased.
Damages You Can Recover in a Motorcycle Accident Case
When a wrongful death occurs in a motorcycle accident, the at-fault party is responsible for compensating the deceased person’s family for the “full value of life” of the dead victim. So, when you sue for the wrongful death of a relative, you can claim the following damages:
- Medical expenses from treating the deceased’s accident injuries
- The victim’s pain and suffering before death
- Costs for burial and funeral services
- Loss of the future income or financial benefits entitled to the deceased if they were alive
- Intangible benefits the deceased would have provided, such as loss of companionship, loss of care, loss of nurturing, or loss of consortium
So, all hope is not lost when your relative loses their life in a motorcycle accident. Compensation may not bring a person back to life, but it can reduce the burdens associated with sudden death.
However, you’ll need quality legal representation to get a fair chance. In addition, there may be other damages not listed above that you’re entitled to recover. So, it’s best to speak to a motorcycle accident lawyer in Douglasville.
Proving a Wrongful Death Claim
Suing for a wrongful death depends on your being able to establish liability in the accident. Else, you risk losing your chances of getting compensation.
So, you’ll need to prove that the at-fault party acted negligently and caused the accident resulting in the death of a relative. Depending on the accident, the at-fault party could be a person, company, or the government.
Establishing a valid claim can be difficult without the necessary evidence. That’s why you’ll need a lawyer to investigate your claim correctly. Additionally, whether you negotiate a settlement or go to trial, an attorney can increase your chances of a fair payout.
How Long Do You Have After a Loved One’s Death to File a Lawsuit?
It’s crucial to note the Georgia Statute of Limitations applies to your case. Exceeding it can mean losing the right to seek compensation.
When filing a wrongful death claim, the limit is two years from the person’s death. Yet, certain exceptions exist.
One, there may be a pending criminal case. Suing for wrongful death is a civil lawsuit and will be placed on hold until the criminal case concludes. Also, the deceased relative may not have a will or one acceptable by state law.
As a result, the Statute of Limitations may extend up to five years. Whatever your case, it’s vital to consult a motorcycle accident lawyer first. With legal advice, you can take the best possible course of legal action.
How Can a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Douglasville Help?
When death happens in a motorcycle accident, the deceased’s family and loved ones often feel helpless. However, a lawyer can advise and help in the legal process of receiving compensation.
A motorcycle accident lawyer in Douglasville can properly investigate the accident to establish the negligent party’s liability. Also, this legal professional can handle interactions with the at-fault party and insurance companies in settlement negotiations.
When suing for wrongful death after a motorbike crash, a lawyer in Douglasville will know and will comply with the applicable Statute of Limitations. From experience, they can also evaluate your case to estimate the possible compensation.
Sometimes, a wrongful death case may go to trial. Then, you’ll need an experienced injury attorney to fight for your right.
Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Douglasville, Georgia Today
Motorbike accidents often lead to unwanted pain and suffering and unexpected financial expenses for victims and their families. Sometimes, victims may even die, plunging their loved ones further into grief.
At Hartley, Rowe, and Fowler, P.C., we dedicate our time, resources, and knowledge to each case we handle. We treat every client uniquely to ensure everyone has a chance at getting justice. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you owe us nothing until we get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today to review your case at no cost. Our personal injury attorneys in Georgia are waiting to hear from you.