Wrongful Death Claims from Fatal Motorcycle Accidents

Wrongful Death Claims from Fatal Motorcycle AccidentsMotorcycle accidents are unfortunately becoming more and more common. With an increase in riders, we’re also seeing an increase in accidents—and fatal ones at that.

The National Safety Council found that motorcycle accidents account for 14% of all traffic fatalities, while death rates have increased 29% over the last 10 years. Losing a loved one in a tragic motorcycle accident can be devastating for families. In light of the lasting impact losing a loved one can have, many want to seek justice if the motorcycle accident was caused by a negligent third-party.

Fortunately, wrongful death claims play a vital role in holding responsible parties accountable for their actions and helping families navigate the aftermath of such accidents. These claims not only help serve justice, but they also provide a means to address the financial and emotional burdens that arise from the untimely loss of a loved one.

What are wrongful death claims?

Even though a loved one has passed away, it does not mean that their family members are left without legal options. When a person tragically loses their life in a motorcycle accident due to someone else’s negligence or wrongful actions, their family members may have the right to pursue what is known as a wrongful death claim. In simple terms, a wrongful death claim is a legal action that seeks to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions. By filing a wrongful death claim, family members can bring a lawsuit against the party or parties whose actions contributed to the accident, seeking compensation for the losses they have endured.

Who can file a wrongful death claim in Tulsa?

In the state of Oklahoma, the laws regarding wrongful death claims are outlined in the Oklahoma Code §12-1053. These laws define who is eligible to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of the deceased, outline the legal process for pursuing such claims, and provide a legal avenue for family members to seek justice and obtain compensation for the loss of their loved one in a motorcycle accident. According to the Oklahoma Code, only one specific individual is legally able to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased: the personal representative of the deceased’s estate as outlined in their will. However, the court will appoint someone as the representative if the decedent died intestate, or without a will.

The personal representative is oftentimes a family member, although it is not mandatory that a relative serve in the role.  The personal representative, or PR, will control the case on behalf of all the parties who have a stake in the claim.  Generally speaking, Oklahoma law allows surviving spouses, children and parents of a decedent to share in, or make a claim to, wrongful death proceeds.

Determining who’s at fault for an untimely death

When filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Oklahoma, you must first determine who is legally responsible for the motorcycle accident that resulted in the loss of your loved one. This means identifying the person whose actions or negligence contributed to the accident. It could be the driver of another vehicle, a manufacturer of a defective motorcycle part, or even the entity responsible for maintaining the road where the accident occurred. By quickly exploring and identifying the potential responsible party/parties the scope of applicable insurance and potential recovery can usually be determined.

Damages you can be awarded for a wrongful death action

When pursuing a wrongful death claim in Oklahoma, the legal system recognizes that the family of the deceased has likely suffered significant losses and provides several avenues for compensation. These compensatory damages aim to alleviate the financial and emotional burdens imposed by the tragic loss of a loved one. There are three main types of damages that may be awarded in a wrongful death claim:

  • Economic damages. These are the tangible financial losses incurred as a result of the wrongful death. They may include medical expenses related to the accident, funeral costs, and the income that the deceased would have provided to their family. Economic damages aim to cover the actual monetary burden caused by the loss.
  • Non-economic damages. These damages address the emotional and intangible losses experienced by the family. They encompass pain and suffering endured by the deceased before their passing, as well as the emotional distress and loss of companionship suffered by the family members due to the loss of their loved one. Non-economic damages recognize the emotional toll caused by the wrongful death.
  • Punitive damages. In certain cases where the responsible party’s conduct is found to be particularly reckless, intentional, or egregious, punitive damages may be awarded. Punitive damages serve as a form of punishment and are intended to deter similar behavior in the future.

Seeking legal representation for a wrongful death claim is important

When dealing with the complexities of a wrongful death claim, it is crucial to get help from a qualified Tulsa wrongful death lawyer. At Biby Law Firm, we possess the knowledge, experience, and legal expertise to guide you through the process. Hiring a lawyer is an important step in pursuing a successful wrongful death claim and obtaining the compensation you deserve.

If your loved one was involved in a fatal motorcycle accident, contact us for help. At Biby Law Firm, we have the experience and resources to hold all negligent drivers accountable and can fight for you and your family. After all, the last thing you should have to worry about during this time is learning, understanding and navigating the legal process. To speak with an experienced, respected Tulsa trial attorney, call us or fill out our contact form to schedule a free case evaluation.