Fatal Motorcycle Accident Reported in Pittsburg
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) reported a fatal motorcycle accident near the city of Pittsburg on the afternoon of Friday, July 24, 2020. The deadly incident occurred in an unincorporated area of Bay Point on westbound Highway 4 at Bailey Road shortly after 1:40 p.m. A motorcycle rider reportedly lost control of the bike and crashed into the center median wall before being ejected and landing on the roadway. Upon CHP and emergency personnel arrival, the motorcyclist was pronounced deceased at the scene. The Contra Costa County Coroner’s Office has identified the decedent as 41-year-old Michael Siscar of Antioch.
Loss of a Loved One to Wrongful Death
The loss of someone you love after a motorcycle accident is challenging to accept, especially if it was unexpected and caused by the negligence of someone else. In such situations, surviving family members may be able to seek justice and compensation for their loss. This is possible under California’s wrongful death law. However, specific criteria and filing deadlines must be met in such cases for the successful recovery of damages incurred.
How Can a Wrongful Death Claim Help After a Fatal Motorcycle Accident?
A wrongful death claim in California may be brought by the surviving family members of the decedent when their death was caused by the negligence of another. Financial recovery in a wrongful death case may be sought by the surviving spouse, domestic partner, or children of the deceased. In instances where the decedent was not survived by a domestic partner, spouse, or child, then the parents, stepchildren, or putative spouse and his/her children may seek financial compensation for their loss. To be eligible for wrongful death benefits under these circumstances, the survivor must be able to prove that they were financially dependent on the decedent for at least 50 percent. Some of the economic and non-economic damages that may be recovered through these types of cases include:
- Costs of reasonable funeral and burial services
- Expenses of a loved one’s medical treatment associated with their final injury suffered in the fatal motorcycle accident may be recovered through a survival action.
- Lost affection, companionship, and moral support
- Loss of lost income, benefits, and future earnings for the family if the decedent was the primary provider of the household
The video below contains additional details about the wrongful death claims process.
Can Punitive Damages Be Recovered in a Wrongful Death Claim?
In California, as in other states, wrongful death lawsuits may seek compensation for the negligence or recklessness of someone else that causes a fatality. However, economic and non-economic damages recovered through these types of cases are not intended to punish the at-fault party. Punitive damages may be awarded by a jury only where an individual has been determined to have acted egregiously in the sequence of events leading up to a loved one’s wrongful death. It must also be shown that the party displayed reckless disregard or gross negligence for the lives and safety of others.
Should I Talk to an Insurance Company After a Wrongful Death Accident?
Insurance companies representing negligent drivers often reach out to surviving family members and ask them questions before they have a chance to speak to an attorney about their case. Insurance claims adjusters may seem sympathetic about the loss of a loved one. However, they are trained to do so as a way of settling a wrongful death claim as quickly as possible before a family gets an attorney involved. Any family who finds themselves in this situation should consult with a lawyer before agreeing to any recorded statement or signing any document from an insurance carrier. At AutoAccident.com, our Pittsburg wrongful death attorneys have decades of experience overcoming the tactics insurance companies use to reduce the value of a case or deny it altogether. We have the resources necessary to prove a wrongful death claim to an insurance carrier and can take the case to court if needed.
Personal Injury Lawyer in Pittsburg
I’m Ed Smith, a Pittsburg personal injury lawyer. While coping with the loss of a loved one can be heartbreaking, and no amount of money can bring them back, an experienced attorney can help you and your family to obtain the justice and compensation you all need in your time of loss. To learn more about how an attorney can help you, call our law firm today at (925) 428-5200 or (800) 404-5400. We are available anytime to review the details and circumstances of your case and provide you with compassionate, free, and friendly advice on how to move forward in your situation.
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