The way that most passenger vehicles are built today, many rear-end collisions can be survived without injury. This applies both to the driver of the rear-ending vehicle as well as the motorists in the vehicle that has been rear-ended. That’s because automakers have done an excellent job of providing additional protection to vehicle occupants in these types of crashes.
Unfortunately, even a little bump from the rear by a vehicle could have devastating consequences for a motorcyclist.
That’s what happened in a rural area of North Pekin in Tazewell County last week. On Friday afternoon around 4pm, a 56-year old woman and a 57-year old man were each riding motorcycles that were traveling side by side. At the intersection of Edgewater Road and California Road (a couple miles south of Interstate 474), the bikes slowed down for farm equipment driving in front of them. But a vehicle driven by a 67-year old woman bumped the female rider’s motorcycle from behind. Her bike crashed into the man’s bike, and the 56-year old woman was pronounced dead at the scene with what turned out to be a broken neck. The other motorcyclist had to be hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.
The 67-year old woman was cited for failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident. So it appears that she will be held fully or primarily responsible for the motorcycle accident, the injuries to the man, and the death of the 56-year old woman. That means that the surviving relatives of the female motorcyclist could elect to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the vehicle driver to collect reimbursement for burial expenses, monetary damages for loss of care and companionship or pain and suffering, and estimate future unearned wages. Also, the 57-year old man could file a personal injury lawsuit against the 67-year old woman in order to be reimbursed for his hospital costs.