While many motorcycle riders in Jefferson are likely attracted to the freedom that motorcycles can provide, they also should be aware of the dangers that are unique to motorcycles. Often, drivers in cars find it difficult to see motorcycles, and this makes motorcycle wrecks more likely. This danger is compounded by the lack of protection that a rider has when riding a motorcycle. When motorcycle wrecks occur, the bike provides very little protection for the rider and injuries can be quite severe.
A woman from Hemphill, Texas, recently was involved in a fatal motorcycle wreck. The woman was killed when another car turned left in front of her. The woman did not have enough time to stop and crashed into the car. Although the woman was wearing a helmet, she was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.
The driver of the car was uninjured. Police charged the driver with improper turning and toxicology tests are pending.
When a person is tragically killed in an accident due to the negligence of another driver, the family of the victim may be able to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. A wrongful death case alleges that the victim's death was due to the negligent behavior of another person and may only be brought by the person that represents the victim's estate, which is typically a surviving close family member.
There are two basic types of compensation available in a wrongful death case. The first type of compensation, which is called "pecuniary" damages, is designed to compensate the victim's family for the financial cost of the victim's death. Typically, these financial losses include the victim's lost income, any loss of inheritance due to the accident, medical costs and funeral expenses.
The second type of compensation is referred to as "punitive" damages. Texas is one of a small number of states that allows family members to receive punitive damages in a wrongful death case. Punitive damages are designed to punish particularly egregious behavior that places people in grave danger.
Source: KSLA, "Texas motorcyclist killed in Sabine Parish crash," Willard Woods, Feb. 15, 2013