Motorcyclists across the United States are at an increased risk of suffering life-threatening injuries compared to just about anyone inside an enclosed motor vehicle. Popular stereotypes about motorcyclists being reckless daredevils can make it unfairly difficult to seek fair financial recovery as the family member of someone who lost their life in a crash caused by someone else’s recklessness.
You deserve to be paid as comprehensively as possible for the harm your family has sustained due to someone else’s misconduct. While filing suit over a fatal motorcycle accident in Philadelphia is never easy, assistance from a compassionate lawyer can allow you to focus on spending time with your family. A dedicated motorcycle accident attorney can simplify the legal process and improve your chances of getting a favorable final result.
Holding Someone Else Liable for a Fatal Motorcycle Accident
In a typical motorcycle accident claim, an injured person must prove through a “preponderance of evidence”—in other words, show it is more likely than not—that their injury happened directly because of a specific person’s reckless or careless act. Surviving family members filing suit on behalf of someone who did not survive a motorcycle crash in Philadelphia must also prove that “negligence” was the cause of their loved one’s death and their own ensuing losses.
The right to take legal action against someone for causing a fatal accident does not disappear if they, too, pass away in a crash caused by their negligence. In this kind of scenario, legal counsel can help build a claim against the deceased person’s estate.
Special Rules for “Wrongful Death” Motorcycle Claims
It is worth noting that, in Philadelphia, only certain people have legal standing to file suit over a fatal motorcycle crash. For the first six months after someone’s wrongful death, only the “personal representative” for the decedent’s estate can pursue litigation in their name.
If the personal representative does not file suit within that six-month deadline, any of the deceased person’s “beneficiaries”—essentially, people who would inherit property from the decedent through intestate succession laws or based on a valid will—can file on their own behalf or on behalf of all beneficiaries. With virtually no exceptions, no one can sue over a fatal motorcycle crash more than two years after the decedent’s date of death, as per the “statute of limitations” codified in 42 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes § 5524. Anyone who is named as a personal representative or believes they are a beneficiary of someone who does not survive a crash should meet with an attorney about the possibility of holding the at-fault individual accountable through a civil claim.
A Philadelphia Attorney Can Help After a Fatal Motorcycle Accident
A successful lawsuit or settlement demand cannot possibly make up for a life being cut unfairly short. What you should know above all else, though, is that you have legal rights after losing someone you love in a fatal motorcycle accident in Philadelphia. You also have assistance from dedicated legal professionals when it comes to enforcing those rights.
This is far from a thorough review of every rule and restriction that applies to a wrongful death claim based on a motorcycle crash. A seasoned lawyer can discuss your options with you in detail during a private initial meeting. Call Lowenthal & Abrams, Injury Attorneys, today to learn how our firm can support you and your family through this difficult time.