Albuquerque Lawyers Serving Families of Motorcycle Accident Victims
If you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash, you may feel overwhelmed by strong emotions including grief, anger, worry and uncertainty. Your loved one’s death may have left your family financially stressed as well as emotionally devastated. You may be worried about how you will pay your household bills and have questions about your future. You need dependable legal guidance from a caring Albuquerque attorney. Our motorcycle accident attorneys at Parnall Law offer compassionate client service to families in Albuquerque who have lost loved ones in motorcycle crashes. Let us discuss your legal options during a free consultation.
Seek Justice for Your Loved One Through a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
If your relative was killed in a motorcycle crash due to another’s carelessness, you can hold the driver who caused the fatal accident accountable for his or her actions and claim compensation. When a motorcyclist dies in a crash caused by another motorist in New Mexico, the rider’s relatives may seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.
In New Mexico, motorists have a legal responsibility to drive with reasonable care so as not to endanger others on the road. An individual who engages in unsafe driving behavior that puts others at risk fails to uphold that responsibility and may be liable for injuries he or she causes. For example, a driver who is speeding, drunk or driving distracted may crash into a motorcyclist and cause a fatal accident. If the family of the deceased motorcyclist can show the other driver’s actions caused the motorcyclist’s death, the family may recover damages
The types of compensation that you may seek for the loss of a loved one include the cost associated with your relative’s medical treatment, future expenses and future earnings. If the deceased motorcyclist was your spouse, you also may recover for loss of companionship, or loss of guidance for any minor children. In cases in which a drunk driver caused a motorcyclist’s death, our attorneys aggressively go after punitive damages as well as compensatory damages.
Can I Get Compensation if the Motorcyclist Was Partly at Fault?
Even if the motorcyclist was partly responsible for the fatal accident, your family may still be entitled to seek compensation. In New Mexico, carelessness on the part of the accident victim does not automatically prevent recovery in a lawsuit. The state applies a legal standard of pure comparative negligence to motorcycle accident claims.
A victim’s carelessness will reduce the amount of the recovery in proportion to the degree of fault of the victim. For example, if a jury awards $100,000 in damages and finds that a motorcyclist was 25 percent responsible for a fatal accident and another driver was 75 percent responsible for the fatal accident, the family of the deceased biker would be entitled to $75,000 in compensation.
The portion of fault that each motorist bears in a fatal accident is often a matter of dispute during settlement negotiations and if the case goes to trial. In New Mexico, an adult motorcyclist’s decision not to wear a helmet cannot be used to show the rider negligently contributed to his or her own death, according to state law. You need an experienced Albuquerque motorcycle crash attorney who will stand up for your interests.
Common Causes of Fatal Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycles offer riders little protection, so motorcyclists are much more likely than passenger car occupants to be killed in a collision. Motorcyclists accounted for about one of every seven traffic fatalities in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Drivers of super sport motorcycles, which can travel at nearly 200 miles per hour, have death rates four times higher than other motorcyclists. Many serious multi-vehicle collisions involving motorcycles occur because other drivers overlook motorcyclists among the stream of automobiles, pickup trucks and SUVs on busy Albuquerque roads and interstates. When that happens, a motorcyclist may pay for the other driver’s error with his or her life.
Intersection Left Turn Collisions
Many fatal motorcycle accidents occur at Albuquerque intersections, when drivers try to make a left turn and pull into the path of a motorcyclist who has the right of way. Many drivers fail to see motorcycles, which are smaller and have a narrower profile than other vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 36 percent of fatal accidents involving motorcycle riders involve a left turn in front of a motorcycle.
If an automobile driver turns left across the path of the oncoming rider, the biker may have little time to react and strike the car or truck broadside. Automobile drivers also cause serious crashes by misjudging the speed of a motorcycle approaching an intersection. When the motorist violates the right of way of the biker, the motorcyclist may be unable to avoid a broadside collision with the vehicle. The impact of the collision may throw the motorcyclist from the motorcycle into the side of the vehicle or onto the pavement, causing fatal head injuries.
When automobile and trucks drivers fail to check for vehicles in the blind spots beside them and make unsafe lane changes, a motorcyclist may be struck and killed by the other car or forced off the road. A motorcycle responding to another car making an unsafe lane change may swerve into another lane and collide with another vehicle.
Distracted Driving Accidents
An automobile driver who is distracted by a cell phone or sending text messages may take his or her eyes off the road and let the car drift into another lane, causing a head-on collision with a motorcycle. Head-on collisions produce violent impacts and frequently cause fatal injuries to motorcycle riders.
How Can an Attorney Help After a Fatal Motorcycle Accident?
Drivers who cause fatal motorcycle accidents may be held legally liable if their negligence caused the death. The family of the downed biker may file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver and seek compensation for their pain and suffering and loss of their loved one.
Any death in a traffic accident raises the stakes of the outcome. Unfortunately, insurance companies often try to shift the blame for the fatal accident to the motorcyclist to avoid having to make a payout. You need an experienced Albuquerque attorney who knows how to negotiate effectively against insurance company tactics.
The share of fault is often a matter of dispute during settlement negotiations and if the case goes to trial. You need an experienced Albuquerque attorney who will fight for your interests.
In New Mexico, wrongful death claims must be filed within three years from the date of death. Special notification and filing rules apply if the party responsible for the motorcycle accident death is a government employee or a government agency. Our attorneys will keep track of the filing deadlines and make sure your claim is not barred by the statute of limitation.
At Parnall Law, our skilled injury lawyers represent families in Albuquerque and Central New Mexico who have lost loved ones in fatal motorcycle accidents. Our lawyers understand how the loss of a close relative can disrupt a family and have a tremendous impact on other family members. If you have lost a relative, we can discuss your rights and whether you may seek damages from the motorist who caused your loved one’s fatal injuries. We are committed to helping you pursue a claim against the at-fault party. Call us today at 505-268-6500 or contact us online for an initial consultation at no cost to you.