Fatal Motorcycle Accidents in Schaumburg

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Many people think of motorcycles as exceptionally dangerous. However, millions of people drive motorcycles every day without incident. Wearing helmets and other safety gear further reduces the risk of injuries. Still, when a bike encounters a larger vehicle or even other obstructions in the road, the resulting wreck can cause serious injuries or even death.

If your loved one died in a motorcycle collision, you may wonder if you have any recourse. The loss of a loved one is devastating. Most people focus on the emotional aftermath of the death of a family member. The financial hardships can be equally challenging. A family who loses a breadwinner can quickly find themselves struggling to survive. The state of Illinois allows survivors to file wrongful death lawsuits after fatal motorcycle accidents in Schaumburg.

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim After a Fatal Motorcycle Wreck

740 Illinois Compiled Statutes § 180 is the state’s wrongful death statute. In many states, survivors can bring wrongful death suits in their name. However, in Illinois, that is not the case. Only the personal representative of the victim’s estate can bring the lawsuit. Furthermore, the statute also outlines who can benefit from the lawsuit—the surviving spouse and next of kin.

One of the benefits of this statutory scheme is that there will not be competing wrongful death claims. However, that can be challenging in situations where the surviving spouse and next of kin may not have the same interests. For example, if the deceased had biological children with someone other than the surviving spouse, they may have different interests.

If the decedent left a will, that document will guide how the personal representative distributes any proceeds from a lawsuit. If not, there could be conflict over the proceeds. A Schaumburg attorney at The Kryder Law Group could help advise people who may have opposing interests in a lawsuit over a fatal motorcycle accident.

Potential Damages Following the Loss of a Loved One in a Motorcycle Crash

While many people speak of the person in the accident as the victim, the reality is that the entire family is victimized when they lose a loved one. The damages available in a wrongful death claim are not solely on behalf of the decedent—they also try to make the family whole.

In most instances, the decedent will have expenses. Many people are transported to hospitals and receive care prior to death. Even if these treatments are ultimately unsuccessful, they can be costly. Furthermore, a person may experience tremendous pain and suffering during their last moments. The personal representative can seek compensation for those injuries.

Families go through their own challenges. From a strictly financial perspective, the loss of an adult usually means the loss of an income. Even if the person was not the family’s breadwinner, they almost certainly contributed non-paid labor, which the family must pay for after their death. Those losses are direct economic damages.

Furthermore, families experience emotional loss. They can recover from loss of companionship, pain and suffering, and other emotional damages through a successful wrongful death claim. The goal is for the money to compensate people for their loss. It is an imperfect system, but it attempts to recognize the pain families experience.

Shared Fault in Fatal Motorcycle Collisions

In many cases, both parties are at fault for a motorcycle crash. The state does not require motorcyclists to wear helmets; however, that does not change the fact that failure to wear a helmet dramatically increases an individual’s risk of death or severe injury in a motorcycle accident. That is just one of the factors that a factfinder might consider when determining fault.

Just because a loved one may have contributed to an accident does not bar their estate from recovering in a wrongful death suit. The state uses modified comparative negligence to determine fault. If a person is less than 50 percent at fault for an injury, they can recover from the other involved parties. The recovery is adjusted to reflect the percentage of fault. A qualified Schaumburg attorney could help explain the role of comparative negligence in a fatal motorcycle accident lawsuit.

A Schaumburg Attorney Could Help You Seek Justice After a Fatal Motorcycle Accident

Not every family wants to file a wrongful death claim. Some people feel like it is capitalizing on the death of a loved one. However, it is crucial to think about what the decedent would want for their family. In most cases, they would want their family to have at least the same level of financial comfort after their death.

The more information you have, the better prepared you are to make good decisions. So, schedule a free consultation with a compassionate legal professional at The Kryder Law Group. They could provide more information about surviving family members’ rights after fatal motorcycle accidents in Schaumburg.

Britt C.

Andrew Kryder went above and beyond to help me out with a case that I brought to him. He was prompt, attentive, and extremely thorough. It was a pleasure to work with him!

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