motorcycle-crash-wrongful-death

Why a South Carolina Wrongful Death Lawyer is Necessary For Recovering Motorcycle Accident Damages

In the event of a deadly motorcycle crash, it’s crucial to understand what legal recourse is available. This is a confusing and emotionally overwhelming time, coupled with added financial strain and fear of an uncertain future. Families grappling with such tragedies can turn to the compassionate South Carolina motorcycle accident attorneys at Pracht Injury Lawyers who offer specialized insight into these types of cases. 

With empathy, diligence, and a keen understanding of state laws, our wrongful death lawyers can fight for the justice and closure your family deserves. Allow us to explain the process of filing a motorcycle accident wrongful death claim and holding responsible parties accountable for their negligent actions. 

Defining Motorcycle Accident Wrongful Death Cases

While grieving such a terrible loss after a fatal motoring accident, you might understandably think you don’t have the emotional energy to get caught up in a legal battle. There may be a lot to process, including managing the complexities of your loved one’s final arrangements. At the same time, families shouldn’t have to shoulder the financial hardship stemming from the accident. 

A wrongful death claim can hold responsible parties liable for damages so they can pay for their harmful actions. If your loved one had survived their injuries, they would have this same right, only with the ability to file a personal injury claim. A fair settlement can help your family move forward and cover the bills and expenses they have to pay as a result of the fatal accident.

However, it’s critical to note that not all car and motorcycle accidents that result in death are eligible for wrongful death cases. South Carolina Code of Laws § 15-51-10 states that a wrongful death is one caused by the “wrongful act, neglect, or default” of someone else. Their intentional or negligent action directly caused the death of the victim. 

Recoverable Damages in a Wrongful Death Claim

If a beloved family member dies in a bike crash due to someone else’s negligence or intentional actions, you can work with an attorney to assess and pursue wrongful death damages, which are the economic and non-economic losses your family incurred as a result of the incident. 

Our South Carolina motorcycle accident lawyers can help your family calculate what damages are relatable to your case, such as:

  • Property damage, like the cost to repair or replace the motorcycle
  • Lost wages, plus lost financial support and benefits from expected future income
  • Value of household jobs the decedent did while they were alive, such as childcare
  • Medical bills and other related health care costs
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of consortium, experience, knowledge, companionship, protection, and care
  • Emotional pain and suffering experienced by surviving family members
  • Exemplary damages, sometimes also called punitive damages, are also awarded by the court in some cases

One vital characteristic differentiates wrongful death and survival action cases in South Carolina. 

  • Wrongful death claims account for damages after the death of the family member. 
  • Survival action claims are for damages incurred by the deceased before they passed away. 

For example, your loved one might have bills from their hospital stay before they ultimately succumbed to their injuries. Often, families file both civil claims simultaneously with counsel from their South Carolina wrongful death lawyer. 

Possible Causes of Fatal Motorcycle Crashes

On average, riding a motorcycle in South Carolina is more dangerous than driving a passenger vehicle like a car or SUV. Motorcycle accidents are significantly more lethal than car accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that motorcyclists accounted for 14 percent of motor vehicle traffic fatalities in 2021 even though they only made up 3.5 percent of registered vehicles. Similarly, the National Center for Statistics and Analysis reported that motorcyclists were 24 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than passenger car occupants in 2021 based on vehicle miles traveled. 

Enclosed vehicles afford passengers more protection than motorcycles in an accident. Even if some of the most common causes of highway crashes are the same, riders often sustain greater injuries and fatalities. 

Motorcycle accident deaths occur for several possible reasons. When the legal team at Pracht Injury Lawyers investigates your case, we’ll examine many possible causes, such as: 

  • A driver didn’t see the motorcycle when they turned or changed lanes.
  • A motorist was under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI/DWI).
  • The motorist engaged in reckless, aggressive, or dangerous driving maneuvers. 
  • The other driver failed to yield when the motorcycle rider had the right of way.
  • A commercial truck driver was overworked and overtired, impairing their reaction time. 
  • The other motorist was distracted by their phone or other device or activity.
  • The rider’s bike had a defective part or was repaired or maintained improperly.
  • The motorcyclist lost control when reacting to an emergency situation.

It may be possible to file a claim on your own, but you can increase your chances of proving fault with the help of an experienced car crash lawyer. The insurance provider and lawyers for the other party will fight tooth and nail to reduce their liability and even deny your claim. Strong legal representation is invaluable. 

What to Do After a Motorcycle Accident Death

After a catastrophic collision, victims often can’t follow the steps for what to do after a South Carolina motorcycle accident, as they’re rushed to the hospital right away. So, they may not be able to take photos of the scene, get the contact information of witnesses, or request a copy of the police report. 

If your loved one dies due to a motorcycle crash, the responsibility may fall on you to collect the pieces. An important first step is to schedule a free consultation with Pracht Injury Lawyers. We’ll listen to your story and explain your case options. Then, we can investigate to uncover and preserve critical evidence and start building your wrongful death case. Meanwhile, you can focus on: 

  • Reporting the claim to your family member’s insurance company.
  • Retrieving a copy of your loved one’s will.
  • Contacting the executor or administrator who can file the wrongful death lawsuit.
  • Identifying potential beneficiaries.

Even if a criminal case is pending against the negligent driver, a wrongful death civil case is completely separate. They have different goals, burdens of proof, and possible outcomes. The only way your family can recover damages is with a civil claim against liable parties. 

Benefits of Hiring Pracht Injury Lawyers for Your Motorcycle Accident Wrongful Death Case 

For the best chances of securing a fair settlement in your claim, it’s prudent to have an experienced motorcycle accident wrongful death lawyer in your corner. Local, state, and federal laws governing motorcycles and wrongful death are intricate. Get the legal support you need from a professional with specific knowledge in these areas.

Our team will work diligently to: 

  • Compile valuable evidence to prove liability.
  • Secure expert testimony to back your claim.
  • Speak with insurance companies on your behalf.
  • Advocate for fair allotment under South Carolina’s comparative fault rule.
  • Answer any questions you may have along the way.
  • File all the necessary paperwork with the correct authorities.
  • Assess the fair total value of damages in your case.
  • Negotiate for maximum compensation.
  • Represent your interests in court if the case goes to trial.
Christopher Pracht
Connect with me
Christopher Pracht is an experienced attorney at Pracht Injury Lawyers.