Modesto Man Killed in Motorcycle Accident

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April 30, 2019
Edward Smith

Modesto Man Killed in Motorcycle Accident

A Modesto man was killed in a recent motorcycle accident in Merced County. The incident occurred shortly after 2:00 in the afternoon along Turlock Road halfway between Ballico and Snelling. For unknown reasons, a 2012 Volvo tractor-trailer was involved in a head-on collision with a 2009 Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Sadly, the motorcycle rider was pronounced deceased at the scene. The Merced County Coroner’s Office has identified the biker as 42-year-old Luis Sanchez of Modesto. I would like to take this opportunity to send my thoughts and prayers to the friends and family of Mr. Sanchez in their time of loss.

Who is Responsible for a Motorcycle Accident?

Depending on the circumstances of the collision, several parties may be held financially responsible for a motorcycle crash fatality. These include:

  • Other Motorists: Driver error is the common cause for most motorcycle crashes. This includes distracted driving, speeding, driving under the influence, and not signaling when turning or changing lanes.
  • Motorcycle Manufacturer: If faulty equipment on the bike caused the motorcycle collision, the manufacturer of the motorcycle or the manufacturer of the bike equipment that failed might be held financially liable for subsequent damages.
  • Government: If a motorcycle accident was caused by a road defect, a claim must be filed against the government entity responsible for maintaining that road. Conversely, a case may also be brought for an accident caused by the driver of a government vehicle.

Who Can Bring a Wrongful Death Claim in California?

After a fatal motorcycle accident, surviving family members of the deceased person can file for wrongful death on behalf of their loved one. In California, only specific individuals are eligible to bring a wrongful death claim. These include the children, spouse, or domestic partner of the decedent. If the parties as mentioned above do not exist, the parents, putative spouse, and stepchildren of the deceased may be eligible to bring a case. This is possible so long as these parties can prove they were financially dependent on the decedent. For more details on who can file for wrongful death, watch the below video.

What Can I Recover in a Wrongful Death Claim?

In California, compensation in a wrongful death claim includes economic and noneconomic damages. These include:

  • Costs of a funeral and burial
  • End-of-life medical care
  • Loss of benefits such as pension and other income
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of projected wages which would have supported the family of the decedent
  • Mental anguish and emotional suffering
  • Reasonable cost of household services that were provided by the deceased to his or her family

How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

There is a restriction on the amount of time that may pass between the date of a loved one’s death and the date by which a claim for wrongful death must be filed. This is known as the statute of limitations. In California, a family has two years to file for wrongful death. If the case involves government negligence such as a road defect, a claim must be filed within 180 days or 6 months from the date of loss. It is essential to retain an attorney after a wrongful death motorcycle accident to ensure that the statute is protected.

Why Should I Hire an Attorney?

The sudden loss of a loved one can be heartbreaking for the friends and family left behind. It is undoubtedly a time of confusion and grief if the death was unexpected. Coming to terms can be even more so complicated if the loss could have been prevented. A lawyer who is experienced in handling wrongful death cases understands how devastating this can be and can provide you and your family with the legal support and guidance you need.

Modesto Personal Injury Attorney

I’m Ed Smith, a Modesto personal injury attorney. A motorcycle accident can result in catastrophic injuries to a rider due to their lack of physical protection. Unfortunately, these injuries can prove fatal in some cases. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a motorcycle accident caused by the negligence of another driver or entity, you may benefit from the insight of an experienced lawyer. Please call me at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 to receive my free, friendly case advice.

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Photograph Credit: By “SplitShire” via Pixabay

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