When a driver violates the traffic rules and puts others on the road at unnecessary risk, pedestrians and bikers among others become vulnerable. Many pedestrians and bikers get hit by reckless drivers and die on the spot or eventually, due to the injuries sustained in the accident. If a loved one dies while in a crosswalk or bike lane, you can file a wrongful death claim against the individual responsible for the accident. In this post, we’ll help you understand how you can file a claim if your loved dies as a result of an auto accident while riding a bike or during their jog or walk on the road.
Wrongful Death Claims
One of the main reasons for pedestrian and bike accidents in the United States is distracted driving. Many people use their mobile phone while driving and this can impact their ability to concentrate on the road. After hitting a pedestrian or a biker, many motorists claim that they didn’t see them. This claim is used to hide their mistake. However, motorists can’t avoid lawsuits by claiming that they didn’t see the biker or pedestrian.
Another reason for pedestrian and bike accidents is driving under the influence of drugs (alcohol or prescription medicines). When a person takes drugs, their senses become weak and they aren’t able to concentrate on the road. This leads to fatal accidents and bikers or pedestrians mostly pay the price.
Usually, motorists have liability insurance. Therefore, compensation for pedestrian and bike death is obtained through the insurance company of the motorist responsible for the accident. Usually, insurance companies aren’t willing to provide a fair compensation. If that is the case, you can file a wrongful death claim against the person responsible for the accident.
Wrongful death claim in a pedestrian or bike accident is filed by the victim’s loved ones. Generally, the spouses, children or parents of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim. The claim must be filed within a specific time period. Otherwise, the victim’s family will lose their right to file the wrongful death claim. If you live in Florida, a wrongful death claim should be filed within two years from when the unfortunate loss occurred. You can’t file a wrongful death claim if two years have passed since the death of your loved one. A wrongful death claim may help you recover damages for:
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of past wages and future wages
- Medical expenses
In addition, you may also get compensated for non-economic damages like:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship, care, and emotional support as a result of your loved one’s death
If you file a wrongful death claim, it means that you are alleging that your loved one died because of another person’s negligence. In order to win the wrongful death lawsuit, you must establish that the defendant owed a duty of care to the decreased and it was the breach of that duty that led to the death of your loved one. Moreover, you must also show that you have sustained damages because of your loved one’s death.
In a bike accident or pedestrian accident wrongful death claim, you must prove that the motorist who killed your loved one was operating their car in a careless or negligent manner. This could include:
- Drunk driving
- Not stopping at a red light
- Texting while driving
Photographs of the accident site and witness testimony may be required as evidence to prove the negligence of the motorist. You may find it hard to collect this kind of evidence on your own. You should hire an experienced attorney to collect the required evidence on your behalf. The attorney will collect evidence like driving and criminal history of the at-fault driver, the location of the accident, eyewitness testimony, and testimony of the police officer who investigated the case.
In addition to the evidence required to prove the negligence of the motorist who killed your loved one, you must also provide documentation to help the court determine how much compensation you’re entitled to. This may include medical bills, paystubs of your loved one, etc. An experienced injury attorney can tell you everything you need to provide to the court to get a fair compensation.
A loved one may get hit by a commercial truck while riding a bike or walking on the road. In that case, the trucking company will likely be responsible for compensating you for your loss. Winning a wrongful death claim against trucking companies can be extremely difficult as they have their own team of experienced lawyers. Those lawyers can find holes within your evidence and turn the case in the favor of the trucking company. Therefore, it is always best to hire an experienced wrongful death attorney to fight your case.
Bikers and pedestrians are more vulnerable than other motorists on the road. When a pedestrian or biker gets hit by a motorist, they are more likely to die as a result of the accident. If your loved one dies while riding a bike or walking/running on the road because of another motorist’s negligence, you should file a wrongful death claim. A wrongful death claim will help you get a fair compensation for the losses you incurred because of the death of a loved one. You may be able to receive compensation for financial damage like funeral expenses, loss of wages and medical expenses. In addition, you may also be entitled to compensation for non-economic damages.