Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience, but it can also be very dangerous. Even if a biker wears proper safety equipment and takes reasonable precautions while riding, motorcyclists in Omaha are still at a high risk of suffering catastrophic injuries if struck by a negligent motor vehicle operator.
If your loved one recently lost their life in a motorcycle crash caused by someone else, it may be a good idea to talk to an Omaha wrongful death lawyer about your legal options. Filing a wrongful death suit after a fatal motorcycle accident in Omaha could be key to ensuring you and your family do not suffer financially due to someone else’s reckless actions.
Recovering Damages after a Motorcyclist’s Wrongful Death
Nebraska Revised Statutes §30-809 allows for a civil lawsuit to be filed if the negligent or wrongful act of any person or entity causes a motorcyclist to lose their life. Neb. Rev. Stat. §30-810 specifies that only the legal representative of a deceased biker can file a claim for damages on behalf of that person’s estate. Additionally, the law states that a wrongful death claim may only be filed to recover the financial damages suffered by a motorcyclist’s immediate surviving family.
The damages available in a fatal motorcycle wreck case in Omaha vary depending on the circumstances, as does the value of certain losses. Wrongful death claims involving fatal motorcycle accidents typically seek compensation for the following damages:
- Expenses for medical care provided to the deceased party before their passing
- Funeral and burial expenses paid by the decedent’s surviving family members
- Loss of financial support the decedent would have provided their family in the future
- Loss of companionship and emotional support from the decedent
- Loss of household services from the decedent
- Pain and suffering of the decedent prior to their death
According to Neb. Rev. Stat. §30-810, wrongful death suits must be filed no later than two years after the decedent’s passing, otherwise they may be barred from recovering any compensation whatsoever.
The Potential Impact of Comparative Negligence
In many fatal motorcycle accident cases, comparative fault does not play a significant role, and the surviving loved ones of an accident victim are not impacted by any liability the decedent had for contributing to their own passing. However, defendants in Omaha may argue that a deceased motorcyclist behaved irresponsibility prior to the wreck in question in an effort to reduce the amount of compensation they are obligated to provide.
For example, a rider who fails to wear a safety helmet as required by Neb. Rev. Stat. §60-6,279 may be considered partially negligent in a subsequent civil case. Even if the accident in question resulted in the rider’s death, the compensation available to their next of kin could be reduced proportionally by the decedent’s assigned degree of fault, per Neb. Rev. Stat. §25-21,185.09. Furthermore, if the decedent’s share of fault equals or exceeds the defendant’s degree of liability, it may be impossible for their estate representative to recover anything for their wrongful death.
Talk to an Omaha Attorney about Legal Options Following a Fatal Motorcycle Crash
After experiencing the loss of a loved in a fatal motorcycle accident in Omaha, your first priority should be managing your own affairs and ensuring your family’s personal and financial interests are protected from the effects of such a horrific tragedy. It is important to be aware, though, that part of your strategy for securing your family’s future should involve taking legal action against the person or party responsible for your loved one’s unexpected death.
An experienced attorney at Berry Law can discuss your legal options and help you choose the best path for your case. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.