Fatal Motorcycle Accidents: Wrongful Death Claims in Orange County

December 6, 2023

Ever wondered about the unsung stories of life’s abrupt endings on Orange County roads? Especially those involving motorcycles? You’re not alone. Imagine this: a peaceful coastal ride turned tragic. A loving family member gone in an instant due to someone else’s negligence. The aftermath? An emotional hurricane paired with a legal maze called wrongful death claims.

In this guide, we’ll navigate together through the winding path of wrongful death claims arising from fatal motorcycle accidents here in Orange County. 

You’ll learn what influences these cases and how they get filed. We’ll even talk about possible recoveries and common challenges you might face along the way, with insights from reliable sources such as a motorcycle accident attorney in Orange County from Kohan & Bablove Injury Attorneys.

Understanding Wrongful Death Claims in Orange County

If a family member or representative has been impacted by the passing of someone due to a motorcycle crash in Orange County, it is essential to be informed about wrongful death claims. The California law Code of Civil Procedure Section 377.60-377.62 allows certain family members or representatives to file these claims.

A wrongful death occurs when someone dies because of another person’s negligence or intentional harmful act, like reckless driving, causing a fatal motorcycle accident.

In motorcycle accidents, the concept gets more complex as several factors can contribute to the mishap: vehicle speed, road conditions, and driver behavior are some prime examples.

The Importance Of Negligence In Wrongful Death Claims

Negligence plays an integral part in proving wrongful death cases. It means somebody failed to behave with reasonable care, leading towards the tragic event. For instance, if someone runs a red light and hits your loved one riding their motorbike, that is considered negligent behavior, which could lead to filing for compensation under this claim type.

Determining Liability In Fatal Motorcycle Accidents

Finding who’s liable after such incidents often involves sifting through confusing legal nuances but remains vital for obtaining justice and potential financial restitution from those responsible. According to NHTSA, multiple parties might be held accountable, including drivers not paying attention on the roads or motorcycle manufacturers releasing faulty products.

Factors Influencing Wrongful Death Claims in Motorcycle Accidents

The elements that shape a wrongful death claim after a fatal motorcycle accident are complex. They typically hinge on factors like negligence, liability, and contributory issues.


In legal terms, negligence is the failure to exercise reasonable care. It’s crucial in wrongful death cases tied to motorcycle accidents because it can demonstrate fault. To win your case, you need to show that another party acted negligently and caused the accident. 


Liability is the legal obligation for any destruction caused by a mishap. This responsibility isn’t always straightforward, though. For example, if a defective part contributed to the crash, manufacturers may also bear some blame for the drivers involved in the incident.

Contributory Factors

Other elements can play into how much compensation gets awarded too – these are known as ‘contributory factors.’

  • If a rider wasn’t wearing proper safety gear, such as helmet or reflective clothing, at the time of the collision – this might impact settlement amounts.
  • Sometimes, road conditions factor into these cases, too; poor maintenance by local authorities could lead them to be held partly accountable.
  • Distracted riding or intoxication on behalf of the victim can also impact compensation.

The Process of Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Orange County

When you lose a loved one in a motorcycle accident, it’s more than just heartbreaking. It can feel like your world is collapsing. Filing for wrongful death claims can be complex and stressful, but knowing what to expect might help lighten the load.

Gathering Evidence

To start, gather all possible evidence that could prove negligence or fault on the part of another party. This may include photographs from the accident scene, witness statements, and police reports, which are accessible here. You should also collect medical records detailing injuries sustained by your loved one and any associated costs.

Hiring an Attorney

Once you’ve gathered this information, contact an experienced attorney specializing in wrongful death cases related to motorcycle accidents, such as those at Kohan & Bablove Injury Attorneys. They will guide you through each step, ensuring everything is done correctly and promptly.

Filing Your Claim

Your lawyer will then file a claim with the insurance companies stating damages suffered due to loss. In case negotiations don’t work out favorably or they deny liability outrightly, your legal team would prepare for trial – readying arguments and presenting proof before a court. 

Court Proceedings

If the case proceeds to court, your attorney will represent you and fight for a fair verdict. This can be emotionally draining, but it’s important to remember that they are there to help carry this burden with you. Remember, while compensation won’t bring back your loved one, it can help ease financial burdens caused by their untimely passing and perhaps give some sense of justice being served. 

Common Challenges in Pursuing Wrongful Death Claims

The path to justice after a fatal motorcycle accident is often filled with challenges. Families who decide to pursue wrongful death claims can face several hurdles, ranging from proving liability to dealing with insurance companies.

Proving Liability Can Be Difficult

To successfully pursue a wrongful death claim, it is essential to demonstrate that the other party was liable for the incident. But this can be challenging. Proving negligence or recklessness involves complex legal processes and requires strong evidence like police reports, eyewitness testimonies, and expert analysis.

In some cases, the defendant might argue that your loved one contributed to their demise – something known as comparative negligence. This can make things more complicated because if they succeed in proving this point, it could reduce your compensation.

Navigating Insurance Companies Is Tricky

Filing a claim against an insurance company? Brace yourself. Insurers are notorious for trying every trick in the book to deny or minimize payouts on claims. An insurer may dispute key facts of the case or even blame your loved one for causing their own death so that they don’t have to pay up fully.

Coping With Emotional Stress During Legal Proceedings

Apart from these practical obstacles while pursuing wrongful death claims, there’s another aspect that doesn’t get talked about much – the emotional stress. The process can be lengthy, and having to revisit details of your loved one’s tragic accident constantly can reopen wounds.

It’s a tough journey, but remember you don’t have to walk alone. With the right legal team, navigating these challenges becomes less daunting and justice for your loved one more achievable.


What is the average settlement for wrongful death in California?

In California, settlements vary widely. But many cases result in six or seven-figure payouts depending on factors like lost earnings and emotional suffering.

What qualifies for wrongful death in California?

A death caused by someone’s negligence or harmful intent qualifies as a wrongful death under California law.

Who gets the money in a wrongful death lawsuit in California?

The deceased person’s heirs usually receive the funds from a successful wrongful death claim. This typically includes spouses, children, and parents.

What are the damages in a wrongful death case in California?

Damages can include economic losses such as funeral expenses and lost income, non-economic damages like pain and suffering, and punitive damages if egregious conduct is involved.

Get a Legal Advice From Our Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

Wrapping up wrongful death claims in fatal motorcycle accidents can be a daunting task. But it’s essential to understand them.You’ve learned what they are and how negligence plays a pivotal role. You now know the key factors that influence these cases from gathering evidence to finding legal help. Remember: economic damages aren’t all you can recover. And while challenges might arise during your pursuit of justice, contact us today because you’re not alone.