Motorcycle Accident Fatalities/Death
Approximately 5,000 people die each year due to motorcycle accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) monitors and reports the trends and statistics regarding motorcycle accidents across the United States. Deaths are not concentrated in any one age group. Approximately have of the deaths involve a person under 40 years old with the other half, of course, being a population over the age of 40 years old. It is estimated that approximately 40 % of the deaths involved a motorcyclist or rider who was not wearing a helmet. While this is a troubling statistic, it does not mean that the wearing of a helmet would have prevented the death of the motorcyclist or rider. Getting this particular statistic would require additional research and the review of information and data that may not be otherwise readily available to NHTSA and other reporting agencies.
According to NHTSA, there are over 8,000,000 (8 million) motorcycles on the road every year. Along with the approximate 5,000 deaths, NHTSA reports that approximately 90,000 motorcyclists are injured every year as a result of motorcycle accidents. Of the deaths reported, over 25 % involved a motorcyclist who was not properly licensed.
These statistics show, in part, the breadth and depth of the tragedies in the form of motorcycle accident injuries and deaths. However, the rise, fall, or status quo of statistics really do not mean much to the family of the motorcyclist who lost his or her life as a result of the negligence of another driver.
In the State of Florida, the pursuit of a wrongful death case involving the passing of a motorcyclist in a motorcycle accident is governed by Chapter 768, Florida Statutes. The purpose of the Florida Wrongful Death Act is covered by Section 768.17, Florida Statutes:
It is the public policy of the state to shift the losses resulting when a wrongful death occurs from the survivors of the decedent to the wrongdoer.
As noted above, the wrongful death act puts the responsibility on the negligent for the losses sustained by the survivors of the motorcyclist who died as a result of a motorcycle accident. In most cases that are pursued through a claim or case, insurance companies acting on behalf of the negligent driver or acting on behalf of the Uninsured Motorist coverage will be involved as part of the process.
Certainly, no amount of money or insurance can ever satisfactorily compensate a grieving family member when there is a loss of life resulting from a motorcycle accident; however, our civil justice system does provide a method and mechanism to pursue such claims. It should be noted that even though there are laws in place in the form of the Florida Wrongful Death Act - there is no exact formula or numerical calculation mandated in order to set the compensation or value of a wrongful death case on behalf of the statutory survivors. Each case or claim should be evaluated on its own facts and merits and then presented accordingly. Even when a death occurs from a motorcycle accident, insurance companies still step in and defend the case and take steps and actions to attempt the limit the recovery of the surviving family members.
Wrongful death cases are complicated even when the liability or fault is clear of the negligent driver. As such, the family of the deceased motorcyclist should seek out advice, guidance, and legal representation to make sure that the respective rights of each surviving family member per Florida Statutes and the Estate are properly protected and enforced.
David A. Wolf is a personal attorney with over 30 years of experience. He understands the challenges and issues that arise in a motorcycle accident and wrongful death case. Contact David A. Wolf today for a Free Consultation. Get D. Wolf - On Your Side - At Your Side.