As the arrival of spring brings warmer weather, many Massachusetts residents may hop on their motorcycles to go to work, school or to take a joy ride. Others even ride their motorcycle as a part of their job. Yet, the increase in the number of bikes on the road should bring about an increased awareness of their presence. Motorists who fail to notice motorcycles put riders at risk of suffering serious injuries that can lead to permanent disability or death.

Sadly, one such motorcycle accident happened recently, leaving a police officer dead. The officer was taken to the hospital following the accident with serious injuries, but he later died, leaving behind his wife and two children. Though the exact cause of the accident remains under investigation, there is always the possibility in these types of cases that a negligent driver’s failure to yield caused him or her to strike the motorcyclist and then flee the scene.

If this turns out to be the case, then the family of the fatal motorcycle crash victim may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent driver who caused the accident. Though one who is hurt in a job related accident, or his or her family if the crash is fatal, may recover workers’ compensation or survivor benefits, it often is not enough to cover all damages suffered. In fact, workers’ compensation cannot provide money for pain and suffering, which may help an injured individual or his or her surviving family find comfort and peace during a difficult time.

Succeeding on a personal injury or wrongful death claim is dependent upon showing certain elements. A motorcycle accident victim or his or her surviving family must adequately show the defendant was in fact negligent and that negligence caused the victim’s injuries or death. If a judge or jury is convinced these elements existed, then liability may be imposed on that driver and compensation may be awarded to the victim or his or her family.

Source: Boston.com, “Plymouth police officer killed in serious motorcycle accident,” Doug Saffir, April 1, 2014