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Widow of victim in New Jersey motorcycle crash wins lawsuit

On Sept. 23, the widow of a 39-year-old motorcyclist who died in a 2011 accident in Bridgewater was awarded $2 million in connection with a wrongful death lawsuit filed in Essex County. The $2 million verdict included $500,000 in damages related to the 39-year-old motorcyclist’s fear of death, authorities reported.

According to the suit, the 2011 accident happened in the morning hours of Sept. 1, when the 39-year-old motorcyclist was heading south on Route 287 behind a pickup truck. Two trucks owned by an Essex County paving company cut in front of the pickup truck, causing its driver to brake in an abrupt fashion. Consequently, the motorcyclist also slammed on his brakes, which led to skidding as well his ejection from the bike. Lying on the roadway, the motorcyclist was struck by another vehicle, according to the suit.

According to the attorney representing the claimant in this wrongful death suit, the motorcyclist’s widow will receive $1.7 million of the final verdict. Reportedly, the $500,000 awarded for the motorcyclist’s ‘fear of dying” was an uncommon occurrence in New Jersey.

As this case exemplifies, certain family members of people who die in traffic accidents caused by another party may pursue a wrongful death claim as a means of recovering the damages suffered in relation to the crash. In order to have a viable lawsuit, claimants must prove the accident could have been avoided if not for the other party’s actionable behavior, such as negligence

Because this type of civil suit can be complex and adversarial, many bereaved family members retain a personal injury lawyer to represent them. The attorney may help claimants file the requisite paperwork and navigate the process of litigation if a settlement cannot be reached with the defendants.

Source: NJ.com, “Essex County jury awards $2M verdict in fatal motorcycle crash“, Bill Wichert, September 29, 2014

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