It is an unfortunate fact that many motorcycle accidents end in the tragic death of a motorcyclist. After all, a motorcyclist wearing a helmet is simply no match for a car weighing thousands of pounds. Many times, these deaths are the result not of mistakes made on part of the motorcyclist but on the negligence of the person driving the automobile. When motorcycle fatalities happen in Los Angeles, the motorcyclist’s loved ones may be interested in pursuing a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death claims
Under California law, if a motorcyclist’s death was caused by the wrongful or negligent act of a motorist, certain family members may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim against the motorist. This claim will be brought by a personal representative of the decedent’s estate. The following people may be eligible to pursue a wrongful death claim through a personal representative: the decedent’s surviving spouse, domestic partner and children. If there is no surviving children or spouse or domestic partner, who have a right to the decedent’s estate will be determined per California law of intestate succession.
Statute of limitations
If you believe you have a wrongful death claim following a loved one’s death in a motorcycle accident, you need to act within a certain time period known as the “statute of limitations.” The statute of limitations is dictated by California law. Once the statute of limitations has passed, it is no longer possible to pursue a claim against the responsible party. Under California law, the statute of limitations for motorcycle fatalities caused by another motorist’s negligence is two years.
Learn more about wrongful death claims
Losing a loved one in a motorcycle accident can be devastating. The situation is only made worse with the knowledge that but for the other motorist’s actions, the motorcyclist may have survived. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those who wish to learn more about wrongful death and motorcycle accidents are encouraged to explore our firm’s website for further information.