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Who Can Sue for Wrongful Death in a Bicycle Accident?

There has been an increase in bicycle accidents in the US. Most accidents result in severe injuries, while others are fatal. According to statistics, 1,230 bicyclists lost their lives in preventable accidents in 2021. 

Although monetary compensation cannot ease the pain of a tragic loss, wrongful death settlements can assist families in meeting their basic living needs while they mourn the demise of someone they cherish. Bicycle accident lawyers can help in filing a lawsuit for wrongful death.

In this article, we shall look at who can sue for wrongful death in a bicycle accident and the damages a bicycle accident law firm can recover from the lawsuit. 

What Amounts to Wrongful Death?

Wrongful death amounts to death caused by someone else’s negligence. For example, a car driver can hit a cyclist after failing to observe reasonable care and kill the cyclist. However, it is essential to note that wrongful death does not have to be immediate. 

Deaths that happen at a later date as a result of injuries suffered during the accident amount to wrongful death. For example, if a person is hit by a car and is hospitalized, then two weeks later, they pass away as a result of the injuries they suffered, a wrongful death can be said to have occurred. 

Who Can Sue for a Wrongful Death?

Not everyone can sue for wrongful death. People who can sue include:

  • Spouse of the deceased
  • Children of the deceased
  • The guardian or parents
  • The executor

If the plaintiff passes away while the wrongful death case is continuing, their representative may continue the claim. What this means is that the death of the plaintiff in a wrongful death case does not dismiss the claim.

Who Can Be Sued for Wrongful Death?

The defendant is any person who is responsible for the accident that caused the death of the cyclist. They can include:

  • The driver who hit the bicycle rider
  • Government entities are responsible for ensuring roads are in good condition. They can be held liable if the accident was the result of bad road conditions

For the suit to be successful, the bicycle accident attorney must show that the driver who caused the accident was negligent and breached the duty of care. A breach of duty of care occurs when the driver who caused the accident does the following:

  • Overspeed
  • Drives while intoxicated
  • Fails to check and observe the blind spots
  • Drives recklessly and aggressively
  • Runs a red light
  • Fails to give way
  • Drives an unroadworthy vehicle
  • Fails to apply turn signals and makes unsafe turns

If the bicycle accident attorney can prove that the above factors caused the fatal injuries, the plaintiffs will be awarded damages. 

Let us now look at the damages the plaintiff can be granted.

Damages the Plaintiff Can Be Awarded

Free photo crying man and woman embraced at the cemetery

The plaintiff has two years after the death of a cyclist to contact a bicycle accident law firm and file a wrongful death suit according to the statute of limitations. Failing to do so will bar the plaintiff from receiving compensation and damages. 

Bicycle accident attorneys will categorize damages into two: economic and non-economic.

Economic Damages

These directly affect the financial condition of the plaintiff. This means that they have monetary value. They include:

  • Medical expenses before the demise of the cyclist
  • Burial and funeral expenses
  • Lost income/ future income, which the deceased would be earning if the accident had not occurred

Your lawyer must compile the bills, receipts, pay slips, and other relevant documents to back your claim.

Non-economic Damages

Bicycle accident lawyers, in this case, will file non-economic damages to compensate the plaintiff for the harm and suffering brought about as a result of the bicycle accident. Such damages include:

  • Mental anguish 
  • Suffering and pain
  • Lost companionship


To sum things up, personal injury law has outlined specific people who can sue for wrongful death in a bicycle accident. Those include the deceased’s wife, children, parents, or court-appointed representative. 

The plaintiff must, however, prove that the death of the bicycle rider was a result of the defendant’s negligence and breach of duty of care. This is why contacting bicycle accident attorneys is crucial when filing such claims.

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