Motorcycles are not inherently dangerous. Although they may be riskier than a traditional car or another motor vehicle, when operating safely, they can be an exciting hobby for many motorcyclists across Mississippi. Sadly, no matter how safely motorcyclists drive, bikers can suffer life-threatening and fatal injuries when other motorists are not safe.
Contact a reputable Southaven personal injury lawyer at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC for a free consultation and learn more about the wrongful death claims process and the steps you take must take to demand justice for your cherished relative.
How Fatal Motorcycle Accidents Happen in Southaven
Fatal motorcycle accidents can happen in several ways. Figuring out the cause of the accident will help your fatal motorcycle accident lawyer in Southaven, MS determine who is responsible for causing your loved one’s death.
Some of the most common causes of fatal motorcycle accidents include:
- Failure to use a turn signal
- Failure to stop
- Making illegal turns
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Failure to yield
- Drowsy driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs
- Lost cargo loads
- Dangerous road conditions
- Defective motor vehicle or motorcycle parts
A thorough investigation into your family member’s death will reveal the cause of the collision and present your legal options for justice.
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Who to Sue for Fatal Motorcycle Accidents Damages
There are several parties who could be held accountable when your loved one passes away and a fatal motorcycle accident. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for multiple parties to share liability. Although your case may be more difficult with various defendants, your chances of recovering the compensation your family deserves will increase.
Your fatal motorcycle accident attorney in Southaven, MS, will work tirelessly to identify these at-fault parties so you can move forward with your case. Some parties who are often held accountable for fatal motorcycle accident damages include:
- Irresponsible drivers
- Government agencies
- The Mississippi Department of Transportation
- Local municipalities
- Safety inspectors
- Motorcycle maintenance technicians
- Motorcycle parts designers, distributors, and manufacturers
- Government-contracted road construction workers
- Contractors, subcontractors, and independent contractors
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Legal Options After a Fatal Motorcycle Accident
When you learn your loved one has succumbed to their injuries after a devastating motorcycle crash, you may be devastated and anxious to make the liable party pay. Fortunately, there are multiple ways you can demand justice. These could include:
- Filing a claim with the liable party’s insurance company
- Filing a claim with the decedent’s insurance company
- Filing a wrongful death action against those who caused your loved one’s death
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Mississippi Wrongful Death Laws
Wrongful death claims are some of the top ways for surviving family members to demand justice after an accident. Your Southaven fatal motorcycle accident attorney will determine whether a wrongful death action is appropriate after reviewing the specific details of your case.
Generally, the law stipulates that a wrongful death claim can be filed anytime the decedent would have filed a personal injury claim if they had not passed away from their fatal motorcycle accident injuries.
However, if you believe a wrongful death action is appropriate, it is essential to consider the other requirements. There are several elements of the wrongful death laws you need to be aware of before you can move forward with your claim.
The Authority to File the Claim
First, we must determine whether you have the authority to file a wrongful death action. According to Miss. Code §11-7-13, only specific parties can file a wrongful death claim in Mississippi, including:
- The decedent’s surviving spouse
- The decedent’s surviving siblings
- The decedent’s surviving parents
- The decedent’s surviving children
- The decedent’s personal representative or executor
One or more of these parties can come together to pursue your fatal motorcycle accident wrongful death claim seeking damages and justice for your loved one’s passing.
Statute of Limitations
Your fatal motorcycle accident lawyer will ensure your wrongful death claim is filed before the statute of limitations runs out. Generally, if you are filing a wrongful death claim, it needs to be done within three years of the decedent’s death. Otherwise, the court system will refuse to hear your case.
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Recoverable Damages for Fatal Motorcycle Accidents in Southaven
Unlike criminal court, where the defendant will face criminal penalties such as incarceration and fines, in civil court, when you file a wrongful death claim, you are seeking compensation to cover the decedent’s losses and the surviving family member’s damages. Examples of the types of losses that surviving family members could recover include:
- The decedent’s medical expenses related to their fatal motorcycle accident injuries
- The surviving family member’s loss of the decedent’s income, employee benefits, and potential future earnings
- The decedent’s devastating physical pain and suffering
- Restitution for any personal property that was damaged or destroyed
- The decedent’s funeral and burial costs
- The surviving family member’s loss of the decedent’s companionship, society, protection, advice, love, and support
It should be noted under Miss. Code § 11-1-60, there is a limit on the total amount of compensation plaintiffs can win in a wrongful death action. Under the law, there is a limit of $1 million for non-economic damages. These include the losses that do not have a fixed monetary value and have impacted the surviving family member’s or the decedent’s life.
There is no cap on the amount of damages that plaintiffs can win for economic losses.
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Reach Out to a Southaven Fatal Motorcycle Accident Attorney For Help Today
Are you devastated over the loss of your loved one? Are you ready to fight for justice? With help from a knowledgeable Southaven fatal motorcycle accident lawyer at Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC, you can be proactive with your civil claim and ensure the liable party pays. Please fill out our secure contact form or call our office to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today.