People who operate motorcycles in Illinois know that they taking certain risks. After all, motorcyclists don’t have the physical protection that is afforded by passenger cars; plus, other drivers sometimes have trouble seeing motorcycles until it’s too late to avoid a collision. So bikers must rely on their own skill and vision to safely navigate the state’s roadways. But passengers on motorcycles have no control over their fate – and on occasion, they can be put in harm’s way if their driver is involved in a motorcycle accident.
Tragically, one passenger lost her life last week in an Illinois motorcycle accident in Marshall County. On Tuesday afternoon around 3:30pm, a 54-year old woman was riding on the back of a motorcycle that was being driven by a 49-year old Peoria man. They were traveling south on Route 26 which runs along the east side of the Marshall County State Conservation Areas. About 2 1/2 miles south of Lacon, a northbound car reportedly swerved to miss a deer and drove into the southbound lanes. The man operating the motorcycle lost control, and the bike slid to the pavement. The passenger was ejected, and she died the next day at a Peoria hospital.
The 55-year old Lacon man was cited for improper lane usage, which means that he will likely be held partially or completely responsible for the resulting death from the motorcycle accident. That means that the women’s surviving family members could choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver of the car. In addition, the investigation into the motorcycle accident could reveal that the Peoria man was partially liable for the woman’s injuries, which could mean he could be named a defendant in a suit as well.
A wrongful death lawsuit could allow the plaintiffs to collect reimbursement for hospital and burial expenses, damages for pain and suffering and/or loss of companionship and care, and lost future wages.