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Back July 08, 2020

Your Family’s Rights after a Fatal Motorcycle Accident

Losing a family member in a motorcycle accident is tragic and unexpected. Legalities may seem like the least of your worries at this time, considering the amount of grief you and your family are enduring.

Your Family's Rights after a Fatal Motorcycle Accident

However, in some cases, you or your family members might have the legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit in North Carolina. Your best course of action after losing someone in a fatal motorcycle accident is to reach out to the experienced Matthews wrongful death lawyers at the Panchenko Law Firm.

Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Each state has its own laws regarding the litigation of wrongful death. North Carolina law defines a wrongful death as a death occurring “by a wrongful act, neglect, or default of another.” A personal representative of the deceased person’s estate may file a civil wrongful death claim to obtain damages for the wrongful death. This representative has the legal authority to pursue damages for both the decedent’s estate and surviving family members. 

If the deceased party had made plans for their estate before their death, they might have already named a personal representative. This person has the right to pursue a wrongful death claim. If a personal representative was not appointed, or that person is not willing to serve as a personal representative, the court will choose another person such as surviving spouses, parents, or adult children. Seasoned Matthews wrongful death attorneys can help you determine who can file a wrongful death lawsuit for your loved one.

The Right to Seek Compensation for Damages

A wrongful death lawsuit is a legal way of pursuing monetary compensation for the losses surrounding a death. These losses are different depending on the wrongful death case. Compensable damages for a wrongful death claim arising from a motorcycle accident might include:

  • Medical expenses incurred before the death such as hospitalization, surgery, pharmacy, and rehabilitation or hospice care for the deceased person
  • Pain and suffering endured by the injured victim before their death
  • Reasonable funeral and burial expenses
  • Income that the deceased person will not earn in their lifetime
  • Loss of the decedent’s services, protection, care, and assistance
  • Loss of society, companionship, comfort, guidance, and advice resulting from the loss of the deceased person

The court may also award punitive damages to the plaintiff in a wrongful death case. These types of damages apply when the defendant’s actions were the result of willful or careless conduct. You can ask your Matthews wrongful death lawyers if punitive damages might apply to your case.

Seek the Advice of Matthews Wrongful Death Lawyers

Even though it can be difficult to accept, death is a natural part of life. When your loved one faces an untimely death at the hands of a negligent party, such as another driver, it can be even more difficult to accept. You should know that you have legal rights during these difficult times. Call the Panchenko Law Firm today at (704) 900-7675 or complete an online contact request to booking your legal consultation with one of our compassionate Matthews wrongful death attorneys.

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