Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
Unfortunately, some motorcycle accidents result in immediate death on impact or catastrophic injuries that eventually lead to a tragic loss of life. If a loved one was killed in a fatal motorcycle accident, you may be overwhelmed with loss and grief. However, there are also practical considerations, such as paying for the funeral, medical bills, a mortgage, and household expenses. The motorcycle accident lawyers at Feizy Law Office may be able to represent Dallas families in a wrongful death lawsuit against the person or entity responsible for their loss.Bringing a Wrongful Death Claim after a Fatal Accident
Under Texas Statutes section 71.001, a wrongful death lawsuit may be brought when someone's wrongful act, carelessness, unskillfulness, neglect, or default causes another person's death. Who can bring these claims? The surviving spouse, children, and parents of a decedent have standing to file suit, although surviving siblings do not.
For example, if your husband went out on the interstate on his motorcycle and was killed because a fatigued truck driver failed to signal while changing lanes, you likely can sue the truck driver and possibly also the company that employs the driver. Similarly, your children or a personal representative of your husband’s estate can bring suit.
Liability in a wrongful death action is compensated through monetary damages, rather than the jail time that might be imposed in a criminal homicide case based on the same accident. Even if the defendant is found not guilty in a criminal case, he or she might be liable in a civil case because the standard of proof for a criminal case is "beyond a reasonable doubt." This is a higher standard than "preponderance of the evidence," the standard of proof for personal injury or wrongful death cases.
The damages recovered in a civil suit may compensate bereaved families for lost earnings as well as lost love, care, and support from the decedent and lost inheritance because the victim did not live to his or her normal life expectancy. Once received, the compensatory damages can be split among surviving family members in proportion to what they have suffered due to the death.
Exemplary or punitive damages may be available in some cases, such as fatal motorcycle accidents caused by drunk drivers. A wrongful death must be caused by gross negligence, or a willful act or omission, in order to recover punitive damages. For example, in the trucking example above, if the truck driver had received a DUI before working for his current employer, and then drives the truck drunk and thereby kills your husband, you could consider requesting punitive damages against both the driver and trucking company. The purpose of exemplary damages is to punish someone who did wrong and deter future wrongdoing.Discuss Your Motorcycle Crash Case with a Knowledgeable Dallas Lawyer
If a loved one is killed in a fatal motorcycle accident, you may have concerns that are both emotional and financial. Insurers notoriously look for reasons that a motorcyclist was at fault for a serious accident or other reasons to offer insufficient settlements. To consult an experienced motor vehicle collision attorney in the Dallas area, call Feizy Law Office at (214) 651-8686 or reach us via our online form. We also represent family members in wrongful death cases in other Texas cities, including Fort Worth, Irving, Garland, Plano and Arlington.