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Does motorcyclist's family have grounds for wrongful death claim?

Sometimes, surviving family members have time to adjust to the loss of a loved one who is elderly or spent a significant period of time suffering from an injury or illness. Other times, the loss is sudden, and the impact of that death devastates those left behind. When that loss results from the negligent actions of another party or parties, it may be appropriate to file a wrongful death claim in a Louisiana civil court.

The family of a 37-year-old motorcyclist may exercise that right in the aftermath of his death. Preliminary police reports from the Louisiana State Police, the victim was headed south on Louisiana 1249 when he encountered another vehicle headed north in his lane. Without time to take the appropriate action, the other vehicle careened head-on into the motorcycle.

A helmet was simply not enough to save the motorcycle rider from the injuries he suffered in the impact. The driver of the other vehicle managed to escape the crash with only minor injuries. The investigation continues as officials await the results of toxicology samples to help determine why the driver was traveling the wrong way, so it could be some time before the victim's family knows whether any criminal charges will be filed.

In the meantime, surviving family members may file a wrongful death claim against the other driver. If the evidence presented in civil court establishes that the other driver's negligence caused the death of their loved one, the court may award damages allowed by applicable personal injury law. Any restitution received could help with financial losses and provide some closure and justice for the family.

Source: nola.com, "Hammond motorcylist killed in head-on crash with SUV", Kim Chatelain, June 7, 2017

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