Fatal Motorcycle Accidents in San Mateo

Fatal Motorcycle Accidents in San Mateo

Losing a loved one is always painful. It hurts even more to know the death was preventable. When you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle wreck, there is a high probability that someone else is to blame. Drivers often fail to look out for bikers—poorly maintained roads and defective bike parts can also contribute to accidents.

Medical bills, funeral expenses, and the loss of income can devastate a family. Plus, forcing people to pay for their wrongdoing is one way to improve safety. A lawyer who handles fatal motorcycle accidents in San Mateo could help you pursue compensation for your losses. Call Solution Now Law Firm today to consult with one of our motorcycle accident attorneys and learn more.

Wrongful Death Caused by a Motorcycle Crash

Under California Civil Procedure Code § 377.60, surviving family members can bring a wrongful death lawsuit if someone’s action caused the death of their loved one. The action had to be wrongful or negligent — if there was no negligence or no intentional wrongful act, then there is no action. However, if there was negligence, then survivors can file a claim for damages.

In a wrongful death lawsuit, the survivors can seek lost income, burial, and funeral expenses, and recovery for the decedents pain and suffering and medical bills. Additionally, they can file for loss of companionship.

Wrongful death claims compensate the family for their losses. Still, they may not be adequate to pay for what the motorcyclist experienced prior to death after a crash in San Mateo. A court also recognizes a decedent’s cause of action.

What is a Decedent’s Cause of Action?

California Civil Procedure Code § 377.30 provides for a cause of action that survives a person’s death. The estate brings the cause to compensate for losses the decedent experienced. It is often filed at the same time or alongside a wrongful death lawsuit.

Most significantly, it provides for the recovery of punitive damages. Punitive damages are not available in all cases. A defendant’s behavior had to have been egregious to support a punitive damages claim. However, in those cases, the family will want to file a survival lawsuit to ensure they get justice for their loved one. A San Mateo lawyer who handles fatal motorcycle wreck claims could explain the different roles of wrongful death and survival suits.

Limitations on Lawsuits

While wrongful death and survival statutes also have two-year statutes of limitations, they work differently than the limitations period in regular personal injury lawsuits. The effect is that the survivors have a longer time to file suit.

Families can file a wrongful death suit two years from the date of death. That is an important distinction because the event that caused the death can happen days, weeks, months, or even years before the person dies. The date of the event is unimportant — the statute looks at the date of death. Regardless of how severe the injury was, there is no wrongful death until a person dies.

Likewise, the clock does not start ticking on a survival lawsuit until death. The family can choose the later of the date of the injury or six months after a death. Since the injury will always occur before the death, the practical result is that the clock starts ticking six months after the death. That means a family can bring a survival claim for an additional six months after the expiration of a wrongful death claim, making it one of the most potent tools a family has to hold someone responsible for their loved one’s death. An attorney in San Mateo who handles deadly motorcycle collisions could ensure the family does not miss their filing deadline.

Consult a San Mateo Fatal Motorcycle Accident Attorney

Losing a loved one is always a tragedy. When someone else caused the loss, the tragedy is even more challenging to process. While money will never replace your loved one, it can help ease the mourning process and prevent the financial ruin that often accompanies the loss of a breadwinner.

The law has two ways to help families recover after a loved one’s death. Consult a lawyer who handles fatal motorcycle accidents in San Mateo. Our team at Solution Now could explain wrongful death and survival actions and describe which one may be right for your family. Call today to schedule a consultation.

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