Graduating high school is a significant accomplishment for a young person in Illinois and across the country. And it marks a milestone in their lives as they end the “compulsory education” chapter and turn the page to the “occupational preparation” chapter – where they start their careers, go to college, enlist in the military, or adopt some other pursuit which hopefully begins their journeys into adulthood.
So it’s especially disheartening when two teens who have only had a high school diploma for a short time lose their lives in a sudden tragedy.
This was what happened in Will County over the holiday weekend earlier this month. On the night of Friday, July 5, an 18-year old woman and a 19-year old man were riding a Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle in a parking lot of Crete-Monee High School in the village just south of Chicago. Both teens had graduated from the high school last year. Somehow, the driver of the bike lost control and crashed, and both teenagers were pronounced dead at the scene.
Although authorities are still investigating the motorcycle accident, it is believed that the man was driving and the woman riding at some point during the evening, but it’s not yet known which teen was operating the motorcycle at the time of the crash. This detail may be important as investigators attempt to determine who was responsible for the motorcycle accident, which will affect who might be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
If the man was operating the bike, the surviving family members of the woman would have solid grounds to file such a suit; but if the woman was driving, the man’s surviving relatives could file suit against the estate of the woman. A wrongful death lawsuit could allow the plaintiffs to collect reimbursement for burial expenses, monetary damages for pain and suffering and loss of companionship, and even estimated future wages that the passenger would have earned in his or her lifetime.