Have you lost a loved one due to a motorcycle accident? You may be able to claim damages for your suffering.
Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents cause death at alarming rates. Because motorcyclists don’t have the same protection that passenger vehicle drivers do, their injuries can be more severe. Severe injuries often lead to complications, which can lead to death.
In 2018, out of the approximately 8.5 million registered motorcycles, there were 4,985 deaths associated with motorcycle accidents throughout the United States. On top of that, 82,000 people were injured.
That means that .05% of registered motorcycles were involved in fatal crashes in 2018, and almost 1% were involved in crashes that resulted in injury.
If someone you love has passed away because of a motorcycle accident, please contact one of our talented wrongful death attorneys for a free case evaluation.
What Is Wrongful Death?
Wrongful death occurs when someone passes away because of injuries sustained at the scene of the accident. They may pass away at the scene or later on because of complications with their injuries.
If your loved one passed away because of someone else’s negligence, you might be able to file a lawsuit on their behalf. They will likely face criminal charges on top of the lawsuit you serve against them.
Types of Fatal Motorcycle Injuries
Many different types of injuries can cause fatality, especially if they have multiple injuries after their accident. For example, broken bones alone likely won’t cause fatality, but broken bones combined with internal injuries could.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when the head is struck or penetrated with great force. This can occur if the victim is thrown from their bike or if they fall off their bike. Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of TBI, but TBI is still possible with a helmet on.
Traumatic brain injury can cause coma or brain death, resulting in death later on down the road. Traumatic brain injury may also cause death at the accident scene if the brain experiences too much trauma.
Spinal Cord Injury
A spinal cord injury occurs when there is a sudden, traumatic blow to the spine, causing it to fracture, dislocate, crush or compress one or more of one’s vertebrae.
Most people who suffer from spinal cord injuries and survive the first 24 hours are still alive 10 years later, approximately 85%. The first 24 hours are crucial, as that’s when most complications can arise.
Spinal cord injuries can cause paralysis, and while many patients don’t die from spinal cord injuries, death can occur because of complications associated with their injuries, such as:
- Pulmonary Emboli
Internal injuries are very common in motorcycle accidents, especially when the motorcyclist is hit from the side, causing damage to their abdomen. A victim may go into shock due to internal injuries, keeping them alive despite great damage to their body.
Once rushed to the hospital, doctors and surgeons can do everything in their power to fix the damage, but sometimes it’s beyond repair. Complications may also arise after or during surgery, causing death.
Causes of Motorcycle Fatalities
A motorcycle accident can occur for a variety of reasons, including:
- Distracted driving: texting, talking on the phone, looking for a playlist, looking for directions, grabbing something off the floor
- Aggressive driving: speeding, changing lanes quickly, road rage
- Driving under the influence: drinking and driving, driving under the influence of drugs
- Inexperienced driving: drivers who are unsure of themselves, don’t know to check for motorcycles, don’t use their blinkers
Engaging in any of these behaviors puts other drivers at risk. If an accident occurs because of one of these behaviors, the driver would be negligent and liable for the accident and subsequent injuries they caused.
Potential Damages in a Wrongful Death Case
In a wrongful death case, you are eligible to claim compensation for your own damages as well as the damages that your loved one experienced before they passed away. Those damages can include both economic and non-economic losses.
For economic damages, you can claim:
- Any wages you lost caring for the deceased
- Any wages the deceased lost before their passing
- Medical bills
- Funeral costs
- Burial costs
For non-economic damages, you can claim:
- Pain and suffering the deceased experienced before passing
- Pain and suffering you’ve experienced as a result of their death
- Loss of companionship, consortium, or caregiver
- Mental anguish
Who is Eligible to File a Motorcycle Wrongful Death Claim?
In Minnesota, any surviving family member who lost companionship and financial support of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim on their behalf. This includes:
- Parents (if there are no surviving children or if the deceased was not an adult)
- Sibling (if there are no surviving children or parents)
The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death case in Minnesota is three years.
Contact a Minnesota Motorcycle Wrongful Death Lawyer
If someone you love has passed away because of injuries associated with a motorcycle accident, please hire a talented personal injury lawyer to help file your claim. A motorcycle accident attorney will be able to help you get the compensation and justice that you deserve for your loved one’s death.