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Victor C. Mitchener, Attorney

Joseph H. Downer, Attorney

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Driver arrested in deadly motorcycle collision

On Behalf of | Oct 19, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

A motorcyclist is dead after a car hit him last Friday morning on Fairview Road in Charlotte. According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, the accident occurred when the passenger car travelling eastbound on Fairview Road struck the motorcyclist while making a left turn onto Piedmont Road South. The motorcyclist was travelling westbound in the 5900 block when the collision occurred.

The car driver, Dante Ybarra, 22, has been charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle and unsafe movement. The motorcyclist, Taylor Stutesman, 28, was sent to Carolinas Medical Center where he later succumbed to his injuries. According to authorities, neither driver was speeding.

Tragic increase in motor vehicle accidents

The tragic rise in traffic fatalities last year appears to be continuing into 2021. Although there were fewer vehicles on the road in 2020, deaths on our nation’s roadways spiked by 24% when factoring in the total vehicle miles (TVM) travelled. The trend has continued into 2021, with a rise in fatalities of 16% in the first six months of this year. The chief causes appear to be distracted, impaired, reckless or careless driving.

Most motorcycle accidents are due to a collision with a passenger car, and usually it is because the driver either does not see the biker at all or does not see them in time to avoid a wreck. Motorcycle accidents often occur at intersections, and many times the other vehicle has violated the motorcyclist’s right-of-way.

Recovering damages after a catastrophic accident

Wrongful death claims are often an avenue for recovering monetary compensation for loss. Because criminal intent is much harder to prove, these cases usually occur in civil court, where it is easier to assess loss that will award compensation and closure to the victim’s family.

In a wrongful death suit, the personal representative (PR) of the estate of the deceased will file the claim. In order this to be successful, they must establish:

  • The death of a person
  • The other party’s negligent act or intent to harm, which has caused the death
  • That there is financial harm to the surviving family
  • The appointment of a PR to represent the estate

In North Carolina, with a wrongful death claim, the family can receive compensation for the victim’s medical costs, funeral expenses, pain and suffering as well as future consequences of a family member’s death. While this may not bring a loved one back, for the family it can bring a measure of closure.