Modified: November 18, 2022

Knowing Your Legal Rights: Who Can Sue for El Centro Motorcyclist Death

On October 20, 2022, at around 7 PM, a motorcycle accident involving a 66-year-old El Centro man and a 53-year-old motor vehicle driver. The collision happened on the 800 block of South Fourth Street, resulting in fatal injuries to the El Centro rider.

The authorities received a 911 call prompting the dispatch of the first responders at the scene of the accident. When they arrived, there was serious damage to the vehicle and the motorcycle. Unfortunately, the motorcyclist succumbed to his injuries and died at the accident scene. The driver suffered minor injuries, for which he was immediately transported to El Centro Regional Medical Center for evaluation and medical treatment.

Currently, no information is available about the motorcycle accident’s cause. However, if the driver was negligent in his actions, the motorcycle accident could potentially turn into a wrongful death case. If that is the case, the question arises, “who can sue for El Centro motorcyclist death?” Let’s find out with Ehline Law and our motorcycle accident attorneys.

Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in El Centro?

Motorcycle lawyer helpEl Centro is a city in California which means California’s wrongful death law will govern the El Centro wrongful death case. The law allows surviving family members or the deceased person’s estate to sue for damages and seek compensation when someone dies due to someone else’s negligence.

Under the California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60, the following family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • Surviving spouses or domestic partners
  • Children
  • Grandchildren in case there are no surviving children
  • Minors who were financially dependent on the decedent
  • Others eligible under California’s intestate succession law.

Other people may also be eligible to bring a wrongful death action against the responsible party if they were financially dependent on the decedent, including the putative spouse, putative children, stepchildren, parents, and legal guardians.

Wrongful death action is not limited to motorcycle accidents. Even if the death occurred on someone else’s land, it would give rise to a wrongful death claim rather than a premises liability claim.

Contact our reputable law firm to learn more about your rights if you’re unsure whether you’re eligible to pursue a wrongful death claim.

When Is Someone Liable in Motorcycle Accidents?

Surviving family members could bring a wrongful death claim if the other party were negligent, grossly negligent, or reckless in their actions. They can also be liable if the act carried out was intentional or had malicious intent.

The type of accident does not restrict wrongful death claims. Whether it is motorcycle accidents, car accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and fall accidents, drowning, assault, murder, elder or child abuse, or medical malpractice, surviving family members can bring wrongful death suits against the responsible parties if they were negligent.

In cases with serious malicious intent, it can turn into a criminal case where the government will pursue legal action against the perpetrator. However, a criminal case does not stop the grieving family members from pursuing a civil lawsuit against the defendant.

What Damages Can the Deceased El Centro Motorcyclist’s Family Recover in a Wrongful Death Claim?

In California, eligible family members can recover compensatory damages in a wrongful death case against the negligent party for financial and mental support they would receive from the deceased if they were alive.

The damages the plaintiff in a wrongful death case can recover include economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

In California, there are no limitations on the economic damages a plaintiff may recover, as these damages are the actual losses the family incurs from the passing of their loved one.

It can include the following:

  • Medical bills left behind by the deceased
  • Funeral costs and burial expenses
  • Lost wages and future financial support equivalent to what the decedent would’ve contributed if they were alive
  • Loss of gifts or benefits
  • Reasonable household services.

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages are the emotional impact on the family members following the death of their loved ones, and these can include:

  • Loss of the deceased’s companionship, love, protection, and moral support
  • Loss of intimacy or sexual relationship for the decedent’s spouse or partner
  • Loss of training and guidance.

There are no limitations on the non-economic damages for wrongful death lawsuits in California, except in the case of medical malpractice.

Until the end of 2021, California law did not allow plaintiffs to recover damages for pain and suffering or disfigurement in wrongful death action. However, since January 2022, the plaintiffs may be able to recover these damages in newly filed actions.

Calculating Compensatory Damages in El Centro Motorcycle Accident Case

Economic damages are easily calculated by adding up the financial losses incurred following the death of a loved one. However, non-economic damages are more challenging to figure out, and no standard governs how much one can recover. It is up to a jury to award damages based on what they believe is reasonable according to the evidence provided.

Depending on the wrongful death case and the plaintiff’s preference, they may receive a lump sum wrongful death settlement or structured payments made over time. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help evaluate the damages arising from the El Centro motorcycle accident case and hold the liable party responsible for the loss.

Can Family Members File Survival Action for El Centro Motorcycle Accident?

A survival action is similar to a motorcycle accident claim. If the El Centro motorcycle accident victim were alive, they would be able to file a motorcycle accident claim to recover compensation for their injuries. Since they died in the accident, their surviving family members have the right to pursue survival action.

However, a survival action is for pain and suffering, and in the case of the El Centro deceased motorcyclist, it was an instant death which may not create strong grounds for survival action.

Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Motorcycle accidents can be devastating and can lead to severe injuries such as head injuries, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, or even worse, someone’s death. Having legal representation can increase the victim’s chances of obtaining compensation.

If you lost a loved one due to another’s negligence, contact us at (833) LETS-SUE for a free consultation. Our experienced motorcycle crash attorneys will help investigate the accident. If there is a valid wrongful death claim, we will file a wrongful death lawsuit and pursue the negligent party’s insurance company to get you and your family the compensation they deserve.

Top Notch American Injury Lawyer, Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline

Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.

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