For motorcycle enthusiasts, riding a bike is a way of life. Unfortunately, the very attributes that make motorcycles so attractive also make them more dangerous to operate. The freedom a biker feels when riding, for example, is a result of the fact that a motorcycle is completely open, offering absolutely no protection in the event of a crash. If you recently lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident in Louisiana you are undoubtedly grieving the loss. You may also be experiencing a financial hardship if the decedent contributed to your family financially or otherwise. Although no amount of money will bring back your loved one, you may still be wondering “Can I file a lawsuit?” The answer depends on a number of factors.
In a wrongful death lawsuit in the State of Louisiana, in order to be entitled to damages for your loss another party must have caused, or contributed, to the accident that caused you to lose your loved one. In legal terms this is referred to as proving “negligence.” Therefore, the first issue is whether or not another party, usually another motorist, was negligent. More than one party can share in the negligence. In addition, the decedent may even share some of the negligence, or fault, for the accident. If several parties were negligent the damages will be apportioned among the negligent parties accordingly. If the decedent shared some of the blame for the accident, any damages to which the survivors are entitled will be decreased proportionately.
The other important factor is whether or not you are entitled to file as a claimant in a wrongful death lawsuit. In the State of Louisiana only certain survivors may file a wrongful death lawsuit. A surviving spouse and/or children of the decedent have priority in a wrongful death lawsuit. If the decedent was not survived by a spouse or children then the parents of the decedent are next in line to file a wrongful death lawsuit. After the parents come siblings and then grandparents of the decedent. In the event none of these people survived the decedent then only the estate of the decedent may file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Because every motorcycle accident occurred under a unique set of facts and circumstances it is always best to consult with an experienced Louisiana motorcycle accident attorney as soon after the accident as possible. While the law does allow certain survivors to pursue compensation for their loss in a wrongful death, the law also limits the amount of time within which legal action must be initiated or compensation is forever waived. Contact the Louisiana motorcycle accident attorneys at Broussard & Hart, LLC by calling 337-439-2450 to schedule your appointment today.