A man from Canada touring Washington State along the Columbia River on his motorcycle collided with a dump truck and was killed. The accident happened on U.S. Highway 395 near its intersection with State Highway 20 early Tuesday, June 4, 2019.
According to the Washington State Patrol, the dump truck crossed the center line and struck the motorcycle head on. The truck then turned over and slid off the road. EMS declared the motorcyclist dead at the scene, and the truck driver was taken to Sacred Heart Medical center in Spokane.
A WSP spokesperson said that the accident was still under investigation and that charges could be pending but it was too early to tell.
A motorcycle rider is 25 times more likely to be killed in a crash than the driver of a passenger car, and when a dump truck and any other vehicle collide, the occupants of that vehicle are at much greater risk of death and serious injury.
Motorcyclists are largely unprotected as they ride their bike, and even a seemingly insignificant bump can send a rider off the bike and onto the pavement. So, it’s no surprise that many motorcycle crashes end tragically.
Out of Country Wrongful Death Claims
When someone dies in an automobile accident, family members can file a claim for a wrongful death. The claim is based on the death of a family member and all the financial losses that come from it. However, what if the deceased’s family are citizens of a foreign country and don’t reside in the U.S.?
Citizenship is not a requirement to sue someone in the U.S., but jurisdiction is. So the fact that the family members are foreign nationals doesn’t keep them from suing someone in the U.S.
Residence Does Matter
However, jurisdiction is based partly on residency, and where the parties live will make a difference. If the incident happened in the U.S., the state where the defendant works or lives can form the basis of jurisdiction, and the lawsuit can be filed there.
For example, if the family of the deceased is from Canada, and their loved one is killed in Washington state, then the suit can be filed in the state where the defendant lives or works. If he or she lived in Idaho and worked in Washington, then the suit can be filed in either state.
However, since Canada won’t have jurisdiction over the defendant, the suit can’t be held there. If the case goes to a trail, the plaintiffs (the ones claiming compensation) will have to come to the U.S. to pursue the claim.
Foreign Citizenship Advantage
There is one advantage that a party from another country has and that they have the option to file the case in federal court as well as whichever state has jurisdiction. This is called diversity jurisdiction and it comes from a federal law and the Constitution which allows the federal government to have jurisdiction over a case where the parties are not from the same state.
This can be an advantage as it gives the foreign party to the suit another option which may turn out in their favor.
How do I sue if I’m a Non-Citizen?
You need to talk to a U.S. attorney and it would be best if that attorney practices in the area where the suit could be filed. This way that attorney can give you advice on that state’s laws and jurisdiction. The attorney should also be experienced in wrongful death cases so they know things like what damages can be sought and what the filing deadlines are.
The attorneys at Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S., practice law in both Washington State and Idaho and are experienced in personal injury and wrongful death claims. Chances are, the case will settle with the insurance company, but to have a chance at getting a good settlement, the firm you choose must have experience in dealing with insurance companies.
At Crary, Clark, Domanico & Chuang, P.S., we have years of experience dealing with the U.S. insurance companies are well aware of the delaying and lowballing tactics. Call us today and get someone on your side. You can call us at (509) 926 4900, or send us a message by clicking here.