August 2017 - Kamerow Law
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The Victim’s Family versus the Victim’s Estate in a Wrongful Death Case

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The Victim’s Family versus the Victim’s Estate in a Wrongful Death Case

When an individual dies because of another party’s negligence, the victim’s family may file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for their financial damages related to the death. These damages can include the victim’s medical costs before his or her death, his or her funeral expenses, and the losses of the individual’s income, employment benefits, and companionship felt by his or her family.

 

In a wrongful death claim, certain damages are compensable to the victim’s immediate loved ones and others are compensable to the victim’s estate. This is an important distinction to make – although the victim’s beneficiaries do receive much of the victim’s estate after his or her death, the compensation the estate receives does not go directly to them and may be used to repay the victim’s debts.

 

Which Assets Belong to the Victim’s Estate?

Through a wrongful death claim, the following damages may be compensated to the victim’s estate:

  • The victim’s medical expenses related to his or her final injury or illness;
  • The victim’s funeral and burial costs; and
  • Any pain and suffering, such as mental anguish, the victim experienced between his or her accident and eventual death.

 

Which Assets Can be Claimed by the Victim’s Family?

The victim’s spouse, children, and in some cases, other dependents can also recover compensation through a wrongful death claim. These individuals can receive compensation for the losses they experienced directly because of the victim’s death, such as the following:

  • Their own mental anguish surrounding the death;
  • The loss of the victim’s guidance, companionship, and love;
  • The loss of the victim’s noneconomic contributions to his or her household, such as domestic tasks and household management;
  • The loss of the victim’s regular income and employment benefits like health insurance; and
  • The loss of the inheritance the victim’s loved ones could have recovered if not for his or her premature death.

 

Work with an Experienced Alexandria Wrongful Death Lawyer

Losing a loved one to an accident is devastating. In some cases, you can avoid the financial losses associated with a loved one’s death through a wrongful death claim. To learn more about this process and the compensation you are entitled to receive, contact our team of experienced wrongful death lawyers at Kamerow Law Firm, PLLC today to set up your initial consultation with us.

Who is Most Likely to be Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?

When a motorcycle and another vehicle collide, one or more of the people involved in the crash can suffer a severe injury. There are many factors that can play into who is injured and which of the victims is injured worst, such as the angle of the collision, each victim’s health and fitness level, the speed at which the collision occurred, and whether the victims were using safety devices like a helmet for the motorcyclist or seatbelts for those in cars and other passenger vehicles.

 

Statistically, certain individuals are more likely to be injured in motorcycle accidents than others. Motorcyclists are more likely than motorists to not only be involved in collisions, but to be injured by them. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), for every 100,000 cars on the road, 13.1 are involved in fatal accidents each year versus 72.34 fatal crashes for every 100,000 motorcycles. Motorcyclists have an 80 percent chance of being injured or killed in accidents versus a 20 percent chance for motorists.

 

Different Injuries for Different Age Groups

Among motorcyclists, riders over the age of 40 are more likely than younger riders to be killed in collisions. Older riders are also more likely to suffer injuries, including severe injuries, than younger riders. This was attributed to a few factors, including:

  • Older riders’ slower reaction times;
  • Older riders’ more fragile bones; and
  • The increased likelihood of rollovers with larger motorcycles, which older riders tend to prefer.

 

Negligent Motorcyclists are Often to Blame for their Accidents

A motorcyclist’s age is not the only factor tied to an increased risk of injury. According to NHTSA from 2015, a significant percentage of motorcycle accidents can be attributed to motorcyclist negligence. A few statistics to support this include:

  • 33 percent of motorcyclists involved in fatal collisions were speeding at the time of their accidents, versus only 19 percent of passenger car drivers;
  • 27 percent of motorcyclists involved in fatal collisions had a blood alcohol content over the legal limit of 0.08 percent at the time of their accidents; and
  • 27 percent of motorcyclists involved in fatal collisions did not have valid licenses at the time of their accidents.

 

Work with an Experienced Alexandria Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident can have substantial expenses. If you are facing large bills because of your motorcycle accident injury, you could be entitled to receive compensation for these bills through a personal injury claim. To learn more, contact our team of motorcycle accident lawyers at Kamerow Law Firm, PLLC today to set up your initial consultation with us.

 

 

Granting a Loved One Power of Attorney

Estate planning refers to a series of designations to make, not just one or two legal documents. One of the numerous issues to determine through the estate planning process is to designate which individual or individuals have power of attorney for the party planning his or her estate. Power of attorney is the right to make legal decisions on another individual’s behalf, which can include medical and financial decisions. When an individual has power of attorney, it is his or her job to act in the incapacitated party’s best interest and according to his or her wishes.

 

Types of Power of Attorney

There are a few different ways to grant power of attorney. The party with power of attorney is known as the agent and the party who grants it is known as the principal.

  • Durable power of attorney. This permits the agent to make decisions on the principal’s behalf from his or her incapacitation to his or her death;
  • Non-durable power of attorney. With this arrangement, power of attorney is only granted for a specific period of time, often tied to a specific transaction, then ceases once the period of time expires;
  • Springing power of attorney. Springing power of attorney can be durable or non-durable. It goes into effect when a specific event occurs and the principal cannot attend to the event; and
  • Limited power of attorney. This type of power of attorney is even more narrow than non-durable power of attorney. It grants the agent the right to make choices on one specific transaction.

 

Power of Attorney is Not Automatic

A common misconception about power of attorney is that an individual’s spouse automatically has power of attorney for him or her. This is not true. An individual must designate another adult as having power of attorney for him or her, and this other adult can be anybody, such as the individual’s sibling or child.

 

Work with an Experienced Alexandria Estate Planning Lawyer

Designating a loved one’s power of attorney for you in the event you become incapacitated is an important part of the estate planning process. To ensure that your rights are protected and there is no room to dispute your choice, work with an experienced estate planning lawyer to complete this process. Contact our team at Kamerow Law Firm, PLLC today to set up your initial consultation in our office.