The Texas Department of Transportation says in 2019, 412 motorcyclists were killed in Texas and over 1,800 were seriously injured. In Louisiana, a similar percentage died in motorcycle crashes. But if you’re reading this because you lost a loved one, you’re not here for statistics. You’ve lost a critical relationship and your heart is broken. Our motorcycle accident attorneys are here to help you through the days ahead.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
One person’s death can impact countless lives, but only family can file a wrongful death claim. Whether you live in Louisiana, you’re eligible to file a claim if you are one of the following:
- Surviving spouse
- Surviving children
- Surviving parents
- Surviving siblings
- Surviving grandparents
If more than one of the above wants to file a claim, the right to do so is in that order. The spouse has first priority, but if the deceased never married or had children, parents have first right. If parents are also deceased, brothers and sisters have the right before grandparents do.
Things are a little different in Texas. In the Lone Star State only the spouse, children, or parents of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim.
What Kind of Damages Exist in Wrongful Death Claims?
Fatal motorcycle accidents often result in higher payouts because the emotional, physical and financial toll is higher than in an injury case. There are a variety of damages for which you might receive compensation. We can help you pursue compensation for the following:
- Funeral costs
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering if the decedent received an injury in the accident that affected him or her before death
- Loss of parental guidance for decedents with minor children
- Loss of future income
- Loss of future inheritance
- Loss of companionship
- Emotional trauma to survivors
If your loved one died because of someone’s deliberate or hateful actions, for example in the case of road rage, we can also pursue punitive damages.
There’s no way to put a dollar amount on what you’ve lost. In wrongful death cases, damages and settlement amounts are often calculated using the decedent’s past earnings, how they contributed to their family member’s lives, their age, health and life expectancy if the accident hadn’t occurred and other factors. We can help you collect and present evidence to show what losing them has and will continue to cost you.
When to File After a Fatal Motorcycle Accident
In Texas, there is a two-year statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death claim. That means you only have two years from the date on your loved one’s death certificate to file a claim. In Louisiana, that time frame is even shorter. The state requires you to file a wrongful death lawsuit within one year.
No matter which state you live in, it’s best to talk to an attorney as soon as you are able. We’re here to help when you schedule your free consultation today.