Drivers often engage in reckelss or negligent behavior because their bodies are protected by the vehicle. This gives drivers a hightened sense of security and often drivers do not drive defensively or cautiously.
Frequently, drivers do not check for bicycle and motorcyle riders before merging or turning even where dedicated bike lanes are present. Unlike drivers, motorcyclists and bicyclists expose their bodies to the elements. As a result, even low speed collisions can result in major injury and death. Bicyclists and motorcyclists are acutely aware of the dangers posed by sharing the streets with cars, trucks and vans and learn to ride attentively and defensively.
Despite defensive riding practices, hundreds of bicyclists and thousands of motorcylists die each year. Often these deaths are the result of a car driver who was driving recklessly and without due regard for the bicyclists and motorcyclists who the driver should be sharing the road with.
A “wrongful death” claim is where a victims’s death is due to the negligent or wrongful conduct of another. When someone dies due to another’s negligence, the law allows their surviving spouse, family member, or their estate to bring a civil action for damages. Even where the deceased party was partially at fault for the collision, recovery is possible.
There is no amount of monetary compensation that can replace a loved one, particularly when the loss is a sudden and tragic result of a driver’s negligent act. However, in addition to grief and sorrow, the family suffers financial losses including funeral and burial expenses, loss of the decedent’s income and employment benefits, medical expenses incurred prior to death and a loss of household support. More significantly, the family suffers the loss of companionship and the surviving spouse loses a life partner. These losses are recoverable, as are non-economic damages for the pain and mental anguish brought upon the family by the negligent driver.
The bicycle and motorcycle accident attorneys at Shefman Law have the experience and knowledge to handle these difficult and often litigious cases. We will help you through these difficult times, by allowing your family to grieve and adjust while we handle your claim against the negligent party and their insurers. We have expertise in evaluating the financial loss a family suffers when a loved one is lost in a collision. As members of the cycling and motorcycling communities, we have experienced the deaths of our friends first hand and are aware of the emotional pain and loss the family suffers. We are effective at communicating this loss to a jury.
If your loved one has died in a bicycle or motorcycle collision, contact our office as soon as you are able. Evidence, witnesses and other information disappears quickly. The sooner we begin to investigate your claim, the better. Additionally, wrongful death claims are subject to statues of limitations, which can be as short as six months and usually never exceed two years. The limitations period begins to run on the date of the collision, and if the claim is not pursued within that period (again, sometimes as short as six months), you may be barred from bringing the claim. If you are unsure about the merits of your claim, do not hesitate to call our office. Our initial consultations are free and without obligation. We will give you an honest evaluation of your claim and leave the decision to you.
Should you retain our firm, we work on a contingency fee basis. This means we do not get paid until and unless you do. Nothing comes out of your pocket.