Fatalities from Norfolk, VA Motorcycle Accidents
Fatalities from Norfolk motorcycle accidents can have devastating effects on the emotional and financial wellbeing of families. However, if you lost a loved one due to another’s negligence, you have options available.
A claim against the responsible party can help you get the compensation you need and deserve for your loss. A compassionate wrongful death attorney from Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers can guide your family through the process so that you can have the help you need to begin moving forward.
Liability for Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
A motorcycle accident claim could become a wrongful death case if the person died as a result of the injuries suffered in the wreck. As with any other injury claim, if a party failed to uphold their duty and that failure resulted in the fatal injuries, they can be held liable. This is also referred to as negligence which simply means the responsible party did not use ordinary care in their operation of a motor vehicle.
In addition to proving that the responsible party’s negligence caused the wreck, the plaintiff also must show that the motorcyclist who died was not at fault in causing the wreck. Virginia has a very harsh rule about contributory negligence that applies to motorcycle wrongful death cases in Norfolk. If the insurance company for the at-fault driver can show that the motorcyclist also was partially at fault in causing the collision, then their family may not be able to recover compensation.
Typically, in Norfolk traffic fatalities, the cases are against the insurance company for the other motorists who caused the wreck. Claims against the manufacturers of motorcycles are somewhat rare but can occur in certain scenarios. For these cases, the plaintiff must show that the manufacturer either caused the wreck by some defect in the product or that they made the fatality significantly more likely to happen because of a manufacturing or design defect with the motorcycle.
Any manufacturer of a product is required to have the product be reasonably safe for the ordinary purposes for which it is used. The manufacturer or seller of a motorcycle can be sued under products liability if they breach that warranty of merchantability. Warranty of merchantability is the term for when the manufacturer or seller has put a product out on the market that is not reasonably safe because of some defect. The two main types of defects are manufacturing and design defects.
A manufacturing defect is an issue that occurs in creating the product. There was no issue in the design of the product, but an issue in its building made it unsafe. On the other hand, a design defect is where the product was made as it was intended, but something in the way it was designed by the maker makes it inherently unsafe. There is also a third type of product liability claim, which is the failure to warn. This occurs when a manufacturer fails to disclose the dangers a product could pose to the user.
What Damages Are Available to Families in Norfolk?
The surviving family members of a motorcyclist killed due to someone else’s negligence in Norfolk are entitled to the statutory damages put forth in Virginia Code Section 8.01-50. However, only certain family members are entitled to compensation, and different family members fall into different categories of priority. The first category is the decedent’s spouse and any children, whether adult or minor. If there is not anyone in that first category, a parent or a sibling would be entitled to collect money from a motorcycle wrongful death case.
Those entitled to compensation can recover for several types of damages. The main categories are economic and noneconomic damages. Economic losses can include funeral expenses, medical bills, and lost wages. The emotional harm and grief caused to those family members can be covered by noneconomic damages. A well-versed attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers can help your family determine who is entitled to compensation and what compensation you are entitled to.
An Attorney Is Here to Help Families Following Fatalities from Norfolk Motorcycle Accidents
When you lose a loved one in a motorcycle wreck, there is help available. An experienced attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers can work with you throughout the claims process. From determining who is responsible for the crash to outlining the damages available, an attorney can handle the details so you can focus on grieving. To learn more, call today to set up a free consultation.