Stockton Man Killed in Motorcycle Accident
A Stockton man was killed in a Mendocino County motorcycle accident near Leggett on the afternoon of June 8, 2019. The motorcycle crash occurred along Highway 101 near Arnette Drive at approximately 1:45 p.m. According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), a man riding a 2017 Harley Davidson motorcycle applied his brakes when he saw a Ford F-250 pickup truck that had stopped to make a left turn at the Peg House restaurant. Unfortunately, he was not able to stop in time to avoid hitting the rear of the Ford. Sadly, the motorcyclist was pronounced deceased at the scene by emergency responders. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has identified the decedent as a 69-year-old Stockton man. His name has been withheld due to pending notification of his family members.
Why Are Motorcycle Crashes So Serious?
Motorcycle accidents tend to be more catastrophic than car accidents. This is due to a rider’s lack of physical protection, less braking power on a bike, and reduced control over the motorcycle. These crashes can result in road rash, spinal cord damage, chest trauma, brain injuries, and even wrongful death in some extreme cases. They are often caused by driver error, such as:
- Driving While Distracted: Being able to see motorcycles on the road requires a motorist’s full attention. When a driver is talking on a cell phone, texting, or adjusting the stereo, they can fail to see a motorcyclist and cause a collision.
- Drunk Driving: Motorists who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and cause a wreck may face both criminal and civil liability.
- Left Turns: Misjudgments of distance or failure to yield the right of way to bikers when making left turns are common causes of motorcycle accident injuries and death.
- Unsafe Passing: When a driver is overtaking another vehicle, the motorist may be speeding or focused on the car they are trying to pass. This can compromise the safety of an oncoming motorcycle rider, especially if they are lane splitting.
What Qualifies as Wrongful Death?
In California, wrongful death is defined as the loss of life caused by an unlawful act or negligence. A wrongful death claim may be filed by the survivors of the deceased to recover damages from the person who caused the death. The children, domestic partner, or spouse of the decedent are eligible to file for wrongful death under California Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60. Others may also file a wrongful death action if they relied on the deceased for at least half of their financial support. This includes stepchildren, parents, putative spouse, or children of the putative spouse.
What Damages Are Awarded in a Wrongful Death Case?
After losing a loved one in a motorcycle accident, you need an experienced Stockton wrongful death lawyer who can navigate the facts and circumstances of the incident and negotiate with insurance companies. An attorney will look at traffic collision reports and other evidence to properly determine fault. If it can be proven that someone else was to blame for the fatal motorcycle crash, a family may be entitled to wrongful death damages of the following:
- Costs of hospital care and medical treatment before death
- Expenses for a loved one’s funeral and burial
- Loss of companionship, love, affection, and guidance
- Loss of financial support for the family, including any reduced inheritance from the estate
- Loss of household services
- Punitive damages might be awarded to the family if the motorcycle collision was caused by an egregious act such as drunk driving
For more details on wrongful death claims, watch the below video.
Can You Sue for Wrongful Death After a Motorcycle Accident?
Wrongful death motorcycle accidents can be challenging cases to handle. Since a deceased biker is no longer alive to give his or her account of the accident, an experienced Stockton wrongful death attorney can help on their behalf by using crash reconstruction. This can examine damage and positioning of the vehicles involved, marks left on the pavement, and other evidence to help build a strong case for fair compensation.
Stockton Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Stockton personal injury lawyer. A fatal motorcycle accident caused by the negligence of another driver can leave surviving family members both emotionally and financially devastated. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a motorcycle accident caused by a negligent driver, please call me at (209) 227-1931 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 to receive my free, friendly advice.
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