Fatal Louisiana Motorcycle Accidents
Like any other type of accident, under Louisiana law, motorcyclists injured or killed in accidents can make insurance claims and sue to recover compensation for their injuries. Sadly, motorcycle crashes are all-too common on Louisiana roads and highways. For example, over the most recent New Year’s holiday, a man riding a motorcycle was killed on LA 27 when his bike was struck by a Ford SUV. See news report here. According to the police investigation, the driver of the SUV failed to yield at a posted stop sign and traveled through the intersection in question, and was struck by the motorcycle. The biker was thrown from the motorcycle, suffered severe injuries, and died later at the hospital. The biker was wearing a helmet but still sustained fatal injuries. The report indicates that the driver of the SUV was not injured in the crash. Reports also indicate that impairment was not suspected as a cause of the crash.
In this case, the estate of the motorcyclist and his family will have two legal causes of action against the driver of the SUV — a survival action and a claim for wrongful death. In Louisiana, these are separate and distinct legal causes of action, and both are permitted by Louisiana Civil Code articles 2315.1 and 2315.2.
In a survival action, the right to recover compensation is a legal claim for compensation for the victim who experienced pain and suffering from the time of the injury until death. The insurance claim and/or the lawsuit are filed by the Estate of the victim (as represented by a family member or heir). Compensation can be recovered for medical bills and other expenses, apprehension and fear of impending injury and/or death, mental distress, compensation for the victim’s pain and suffering, property damage and more.
By contrast, the right to recover compensation for wrongful death is a right possessed by the family and heirs of the person killed. The right to make a claim for wrongful death arises when the victim dies. The family and heirs can recover money damages as compensation for their losses such as loss of consortium, affection, companionship, support, and more.
Legal liability will likely be imposed on the driver of the SUV through Louisiana statutes and theories of negligence. To succeed in obtaining compensation under the doctrine of negligence, a victim must prove duty, breach of duty, causation, and injury/damage. Among the duties owed by drivers in Louisiana is the duty to obey traffic laws. If the reports are proven true, then the driver of the SUV failed to stop at a stop sign. This is a violation of Louisiana traffic laws and is also a violation of the driver’s duties owed to others on the road. If proven true, then the driver of the SUV breached his or her duties to the motorcyclist who was killed. It seems clear that the driver’s breach of duty caused the accident and caused the motorcyclist’s suffering post-accident and caused his eventual death.
If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident or if a loved one has died in a motorcycle accident, you should seek justice and contact experienced Louisiana personal injury and wrongful death attorneys like the ones at Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC.
Our Attorneys Can Help
For more information, contact the Louisiana personal injury lawyers at Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC. We have a proven track record of success handling many types of Louisiana personal injury cases, including car accidents, boating accidents, motorcycle accidents, premises liability accidents, and cases involving nursing care facility abuse/neglect. Contact us by calling one of our offices: New Orleans at (504) 500-1108, Baton Rouge at (225) 612-0800, or Lafayette at (337) 409-0003. You can also request a free consultation by using our “Contact Us” page.