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Fatal Bicycle Accident
Please accept my deepest sympathies if you are looking at this because a fatal bicycle accident that happened to a loved one, family or friend. If you are an attorney researching co-counsel, please look at my “for lawyers only” section.
Let me simply state that for wrongful death claims there is no fair compensation for the taking of a life, even if unintentionally. By this I mean to say that obviously, money does not undo the loss or bring the person back to life. Money compensation does not cure or fix the loss of your loved one.
Personal Injury Attorneys know this but have to work within the civil justice system. Unless there are criminal proceedings brought against the negligent car or truck driver, our society settles such disputes by way of money compensation under the law. This is not retribution, it is not violent, it is the way our civilized society operates. The jury system is the best system in the civilized world for dispensing justice and an experienced trial lawyer is a proud part of that system.
Wrongful death for a fatal bicycle accident involves some different thinking than most people expect, in my experience.
Most of you naturally and correctly focus on the loss and death of the victim, how the victim was a good family man or woman, had a lot to live for, and had his or her life cut short. Yes, that is a big part of it… A huge part.
But, bicycle accident wrongful death lawsuits or settlements focus upon you, too.
Who you are, and who you were. Because if a loved one has died in a bicycle accident, your life has changed. You are now also a victim of that negligent driver. You are here, you remain and suffer.
There are so many different issues and twists and turns in evaluating a fatal bicycle accident lawsuit.
Here are just a very few items that will normally be discussed in a first interview, besides how and why the accident happened:
1. Who is left behind?
Are you a parent, a wife, husband, child of the deceased.
2. There will probably need to be an estate opened if one was not yet opened.
Was there a will? Is there an issue in Probate? Was someone already appointed to be head of the Estate, as administrator, executor, or personal representative?
Different jurisdictions use different words for those.
If there is no will, or if there is a will, you may need to have your personal injury lawyer discuss how a bicycle lawsuit or bicycle wrongful death claim is brought on behalf of the survivors.
3. Are all survivors given the same legal rights to claim, sue or settle?
Are they all able to get the same compensation?
In most jurisdictions the bicycle accident wrongful death case is something that is really dependent upon the State’s own wrongful death act. Whether it is the Oregon Wrongful Death Act or another State’s wrongful death act, there are usually limitations on who can sue for certain special kinds of money damages compensation.
For example, maybe if the accident victim died and left behind a single parent and grandparents… Can both make a claim for pain and suffering?
The Oregon Wrongful Death Act is a strange bird, an odd duck.
So a big point is for you to learn who is entitled to what kinds of damages, and also how the damages are split or dealt (apportioned is the legal term) between relatives.
4. What kind of contact did you or other survivors have with the bike accident victim?
Were you together day and night; sometimes visited one another; estranged; had lost contact or any other variety of contact and frequency.
5. Did the bicycle accident fatality victim have a documented history of earnings; file tax returns; own a business; have an education; was a student; between jobs but wanted to work and was unemployed; or any other variety of information?
These questions and topics are not even the tip of the iceberg, not even a thimble full of the first legal discussion in free consultation, but hopefully they will give you a flavor of some of the issues and questions.
Remember, this next section discusses the wrongful death claim, so it does not mention some key items to bring with you about the negligence and accident fault, such as the: Police Report; newspaper articles; TV news broadcast information; photographs; eyewitness contact information; and many other items and documents that will assist the bicycle wrongful death attorney in evaluating the wrongful death claim and the bicycle accident fatality facts and circumstances.
Some good items to have on hand, if you have them or are in emotional shape to find them, are:
– Birth Certificates of all persons claiming to be or wanting to be survivors.
– Marriage Licenses if you are a spouse of the departed, or if there is a spouse.
– Tax returns, if you have them, for at least the last three years.
– Death certificate if one is available.
– If an autopsy was performed, then there may be medical examiner authorizations needed for release of information.
– All the various kinds of insurances; life insurance policies; health insurance policies; pension plan funds; disability policies; social security information.
At the first meeting you may choose to bring a family album, videotapes of the deceased at a wedding, the funeral program and all other personal effects and memories that are important to give a sense of the life and times and love & personality of your beloved and lost one.
In short, it is the duty and responsibility of a wrongful death bicycle accident personal injury attorney to learn as much about you, your family, and the fatal accident victim as possible, and to advise you about your legal rights under the laws of Oregon.
If you need to consult with an attorney on these matters, please feel free to contact me at your best convenience for a free of charge consultation at: (888) 446-1999. You can also fill out our case evaluation form for a quick response and callback.
Even though Mark Leeds is a multi-tasker handling cases all over & all different areas of practice. With the assistance of his trusted team members & other office employees he is abbe to deliver that that first class personalized services....David
I had the unfortunate pleasure of getting into an auto accident while visiting family in POrtland, which can put a real damper on being festive (if you know what I mean) Luckily I found Mark Leeds while on my quest for representation. Mark is very knowledgeable, personable, and ...