A wrongful death case is your family’s own personal injury action when your loved one is killed while on a motorcycle. Your personal injury, in this case, is the tragic loss of your loved one in an accident. If the deceased person played a critical role in your family unit, there are costs resulting from the lack of their continued presence.
The person to blame for the motorcycle crash that caused your loved one’s death is responsible for paying full compensation to your family for their actions. First, you would need to prove that they were negligent. The Wilmington wrongful death attorneys at Horton & Mendez will vigorously represent you throughout the motorcycle accident lawsuit process.
North Carolina Motorcycle Accident Statistics
In 2021, there were 3,712 motorcycle accidents in North Carolina. There were fatalities in 210 of these crashes.
Although the number of fatalities fell in the state in 2021, the figures are still historically grim.
There are more motorcyclists on the road today than ever. At the same time, drivers exhibit less care that could keep motorcyclists safe.
In 2023, there have already been numerous fatalities in Wilmington area motorcycle crashes, including an October 2023 crash when a motorcyclist struck a sedan. Cars often cut in front of motorcyclists or otherwise impede their right-of-way.
Motorcyclists are likely to be seriously injured in a crash. There is practically nothing to protect them from impact with a car or when they are thrown from their bike to the ground.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in North Carolina?
The personal representative is the one who can file the wrongful death lawsuit. They would be the ones working with the lawyer to make decisions about the case, preferably in consultation with the rest of the family and those who may be impacted by the outcome of the case.
The division of the wrongful death case would follow the rules in North Carolina’s intestacy statute. The proceeds of the wrongful death case are divided between the spouse and the children:
- If there is a spouse and no children, the spouse will receive the entire proceeds
- If there is a spouse and one child, each would receive half of the proceeds
- If there is a spouse and two or more children, the spouse would receive one-third, and the children would split the remaining two-thirds
If there is no spouse or children, the parents would receive the money from the case.
Survival Actions for Fatal Motorcycle Accidents in North Carolina
In addition to the damages that the family has suffered, the estate can also recover compensation for what the deceased person endured between the time of the accident and their death. The personal representative would file the survival action, and the proceeds would be divided amongst the beneficiaries if the case is successful.
Proving Your Motorcycle Accident Wrongful Death Claim
In any personal injury case, you must demonstrate that someone else was negligent as a prerequisite for financial compensation. Negligence means that the driver took some sort of wrongful action that a reasonable driver would not have done under the circumstances. You must have evidence that shows what occurred to cause the crash.
For example, if the driver made an illegal left-hand turn that cut off a motorcyclist, it would be considered negligence. You should be prepared for the insurance company to argue that your loved one was partly to blame for the crash because it could reduce or eliminate what the insurance company would need to pay in compensation.
Why You Need a Wrongful Death Lawyer for a Motorcycle Accident
When you have suddenly lost a loved one, you are already besieged by things such as intense grief and major details. Although the legal process may seem like one more detail, it is simply something that you cannot afford to ignore. The insurance company is already focused on your case and how they can reduce their own financial burden.
In addition, the time after a motorcycle accident is critical. Someone needs to undertake an immediate investigation of the accident before you lose valuable evidence. This task is the last thing that you want to do, or often can do, when you are in the midst of the grieving process.
Your attorney’s job is to secure the maximum amount of financial compensation. In your case, money represents justice. Further, your family would need the money to replace the contributions that your loved one would have made to the family. The lawyers at Horton & Mendez work to protect your legal rights throughout the claims and lawsuit process.
Here is how our motorcycle accident wrongful death attorneys can work for you:
- Investigate the accident and compile evidence for the claim
- Assess and explain your legal options for financial compensation
- Determine how much your family may be due in damages
- File the wrongful death claim or lawsuit
- Negotiate a settlement with the insurance company or argue your lawsuit in court
The Statute of Limitations for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
North Carolina law only allows your family to file a lawsuit for a limited amount of time. State law gives you two years from the date of death to bring a legal claim.
Realistically, you should know that the legal process can take a considerable amount of time from start to finish. Even if you theoretically have two years to file a lawsuit, you should never wait that long. Calling an attorney is the first step in a process that could lead to financial compensation.
Call Us to File a Motorcycle Accident Wrongful Death Lawsuit
You should not try to tackle the legal process alone after a fatal motorcycle accident, but you also cannot afford to delay. The law firm of Horton & Mendez Injury Attorneys routinely secures large settlements and awards for riders and their families who have suffered an injury or loss because of someone else’s actions. You can speak with one of our attorneys during a free initial consultation by calling us today at 910-405-7751 or sending us a message online. You do not need to pay anything out of pocket for legal help.