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How Can a Wrongful Death Claim Help Me After Losing a Loved One in a Motorcycle Accident?

Posted on in Motorcycle Accidents

Waukegan wrongful death lawyersIllinois is known for its icy, windy, and often snow-covered winters. When spring finally arrives, many people are eager to get back to the warm-weather activities they love. For motorcycle enthusiasts, little compares to the excitement of the first ride of the season. Unfortunately, riding a motorcycle can be a risky mode of transportation. Because the vehicle offers virtually no protection to the rider in the event of an accident, many motorcycle accidents result in catastrophic injuries or death. Just under 5,000 riders lost their lives in fatal motorcycle accidents in 2018 alone. If your loved one passed away in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent party, you may be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.

When is a Motorcyclist’s Death Considered a “Wrongful Death?”

There are two criteria in Illinois law regarding wrongful deaths. A death is considered wrongful when:

  • The death was caused by “wrongful act, neglect or default” and
  • If the deceased person would have survived his or her injuries, he or she would have been entitled to bring an action to recover damages

Wrongful deaths are often caused by the negligent actions of another party. A motorcycle accident may be caused by negligent motorist who is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, texting and driving, driving in a dangerous or reckless manner, or violating traffic laws. It is also possible that fault for the accident lies with a company such as the company that manufactured the motorcycle or constituent motorcycle parts. Because so many different factors can contribute to the severity of a traffic accident, determining fault for a fatal motorcycle accident can be a highly complex process. Therefore, legal guidance from a wrongful death attorney experienced in motorcycle accident cases is essential.  

What Types of Compensation Can I Receive After Losing a Loved One in a Wrongful Death Accident?

There is no amount of money that could ever make up for the tragic loss of a family member. However, a wrongful death lawsuit can provide surviving family members with significant financial relief. The Illinois Wrongful Death Act permits a special representative of the deceased person to bring a court action for damages for the benefit of the “next of kin.” The next of kin may be the deceased person’s spouse, children, siblings, or parents. If your loved one died in a motorcycle accident caused by another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Pecuniary injuries including the loss of the income and services provided by the deceased person
  • Medical expenses incurred by your loved one’s emergency room treatment and other medical care
  • The deceased person’s pain and suffering
  • Funeral and burial expenses 
  • Loss of consortium meaning the loss of companionship, support, love, and affection provided by the deceased person

If the at-fault party’s behavior was especially contemptible, the next of kin may also be entitled to punitive damages. These damages are supplementary compensation intended to punish the wrongdoer and discourage similar acts in the future.  

Contact a Waukegan Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

When the wrongful, negligent, or reckless actions of a party result in someone’s death, the surviving family members have a legal right to pursue compensation for their losses. If you have lost someone in a motorcycle accident, contact Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. to discuss the possibility of bringing a wrongful death claim against the responsible party. Call our office at 847-662-3303 and schedule a free, no-obligation, confidential consultation with a Lake County wrongful death attorney.

 

Sources:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/motorcycle-safety

https://courts.illinois.gov/CircuitCourt/CivilJuryInstructions/31.00.pdf

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