Serving Families of Victims of Fatal Bike Wrecks In Washington State
It does not matter how experienced you are at cycling – you still have no control over the vehicles sharing the road with you. Unfortunately, people from all experience levels and walks of life are struck by motor vehicles each day in the country. While you wear the proper protective gear, that gear may not always protect you from the road or sheer impact of the vehicle or truck that strikes you. Sadly, fatal bicycle accidents are becoming increasingly common in the United States, especially with the rising number of distractions that drivers now face.
If you have lost a loved one to a fatal bike accident, you may be experiencing a whirlwind of emotions. When that fatality is the result of negligent acts by another person, the loss can be even more devastating. In this case, however, you still have options for recovery. While there is no compensation amount that can replace the loss of a loved one, there are things that you can do to financially and emotionally recover (as much as possible).
Most bicycle accidents involve negligence by the driver who struck the bike. While there is the seldom occasion when a cyclist is the negligent party, it is important that you identify who was negligent before pursuing a claim. If the driver was issued a citation at the accident scene, then you are already one step ahead of determining liability.
Once negligence and liability have been established, you will need to speak with an attorney about filing a wrongful death suit in Washington.
Why File a Wrongful Death Suit?
When a person loses a loved one, he or she can actually experience significant stress and devastation. In addition to this stress, the mourning loved one can suffer economic losses. When these losses are the result of someone’s negligence, the person who caused the death of the cyclist should compensate the victim’s surviving relatives.
In general, wrongful death claims are applicable to bicycle fatalities – as long as there is a negligent, liable party. According to the law, if that individual had lived and would have brought a lawsuit against the responsible party him or herself, then the survivors of the deceased (typically a spouse) would bring a lawsuit against that party on his or her behalf. The lawsuit does fall victim to the statute of limitations; therefore, you have a limited amount of time to file your claim and collect compensation.
The surviving family members who bring the lawsuit to the courts must prove that their loved one’s death was the result of the defendant’s actions. They must show that those acts were that of negligence. If the plaintiffs can do that, then the burden of proof switches to the defense, where he or she will need to prove that he or she was not negligent.
In addition to proving negligence, the surviving family members must prove that they are suffering a loss. That includes economic (financial) losses.
Contact a Wrongful Death Attorney
Navigating the wrongful death laws of Washington is extremely complex. Instead of guessing which statutes apply to your situation, contact the team at Brett McCandlis Brown, PLLC. We understand what you are going through after the unexpected loss of a loved one. Allow yourself time to cope while we work on receiving compensation for your losses. Schedule a free consultation now with an attorney at 800-925-1875, or request your appointment online.