Whenever a victim dies in a motorcycle accident, it can leave surviving family members struggling with grief, not to mention unexpected medical or funeral expenses. In the direst of wrongful death cases, survivors might be left to fend for themselves without the financial support of a family's primary breadwinner. That is one reason that California civil law allows such families to file wrongful death lawsuits in the event of a fatal motorcycle accident that is deemed to have been caused by another party's negligence.
One such accident recently left a 47-year-old motorcyclist dead. Authorities believe that the crash occurred when the driver of a 2005 Dodge Neon swerved in order to prevent a rear-end collision with a Mini Cooper that had apparently slowed for traffic. Unfortunately, the Neon smacked into the motorcyclist, sending it spinning out of control. It hit the Mini Cooper before slamming into the rear of an SUV.
California Highway Patrol officials reported that the motorcyclist passed away at the scene. They also stated that the driver of the Mini Cooper is now wanted for felony-hit-and-run in the aftermath of this fatal crash. While the driver of that vehicle did initially stop after the accident, he subsequently drove off before speaking to authorities. He also failed to give any of the witnesses at the scene his personal information.
Now, this 47-year-old motorcyclist has likely left behind family and friends who must adjust to life without him. In some such cases, families pursue wrongful death lawsuits against hit-and-run drivers in order to obtain financial restitution for the loss of their loved one's life. While a monetary award can never replace a person's life, it can sometimes provide much-needed assistance for those who have been left behind. Nevertheless, the lawsuit must be based on evidence that the defendant caused or contributed to the fatal motorcycle accident.
Source: Culver City, CA Patch, "Update: Authorities Seeking Mini Cooper Driver in Felony-Hit-and-Run in Death of Motorcyclist on 405 Freeway," Oct. 17, 2012