One hundred eighty-one motorcyclists died in crashes in Pennsylvania in the year 2013, as reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. While some of these accidents resulted because of motorcyclist errors, many of them were wrongful death motorcycle accidents.
The family of a biker may file a claim for damages either with or without the use of a personal representative, dependent upon the statute of limitations. Keep reading for more information.
When can a wrongful death claim be filed?
Under Pennsylvania § Section 8301, an action for wrongful death damages can be filed anytime that the “wrongful act or neglect or unlawful violence or negligence” causes the death of another person (assuming an action for the same offense wasn’t already filed). Section 5524 of Pennsylvania Code stipulates that the action be filed within two years of the date of death.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
When a fatal motorcycle accident occurs, the only person who has the right to file a claim for wrongful death benefits is the personal representative of the deceased (Rule 2202 of the Pennsylvania Code).
In the event that the personal representative of the deceased does not bring an action for wrongful death against the at-fault party within six months following the deceased’s death, then an action for wrongful death may be brought by any other person “entitled by law” to recover damages (such as a spouse).
Damages Available in a Wrongful Death Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit
There are no caps on damages in a wrongful death lawsuit in Pennsylvania. Instead, it varies on a case-by-case basis. How wrongful death benefits are distributed is a topic that may also be of interest to the remaining family.
Generally, the spouse, children and then grandparents and grandchildren of the deceased receive payment, in that order. Sometimes, people who are also financially dependent upon the deceased may be allocated some funding.
Some types of damages that a deceased’s beneficiaries may be able to collect include the following.
• Mental anguish
• Loss of services
• Loss of guidance
• Loss of consortium
• Funeral and burial expenses
• Medical expenses
• Lost wages
A Bensalem Wrongful Death Advocate Can Help You
All of the statutes and legal limits surrounding a wrongful death claim can be overwhelming to someone unfamiliar with the legal system. To support you during this difficult time, and to handle all of the legal work, the attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC should be your go-to resource. Call us now at 215-642-2335 to learn more about what we can do for you.