Motorcyclists are well aware of the many dangers they may face on the open road. First of all, they have to be careful on multi-lane roads in case other motorists try to switch lanes in front of them. They must remain cognizant while approaching red lights lest they be rear-ended after stopping too quickly. And they also should exercise extreme caution on highways where one errant maneuver can spell disaster at high speeds.
But it’s also important for motorcyclists to watch for hazards in residential neighborhoods. That’s what a tragic incident in Chicago illustrated last month.
On Thursday morning, September 26 around 6:45am, a 35-year old Chicago man was riding his motorcycle west on Devon Avenue in the Edgebrook neighborhood of Chicago (about a half mile west of Edens Expressway). A Honda CRV sport utility vehicle was driving south on Navajo Avenue when it struck the bike near the intersection with Devon. The motorcyclist was rushed to a nearby hospital, but died from his injuries less than 45 minutes later. The 67-year old Skokie man driving the SUV was cited for failing to yield the right of way. The intersection is regulated by a stop sign on Navajo, but no traffic signal on Devon at that spot.
It’s pretty apparent that the elderly man will be held primarily or completely responsible for the motorcycle accident and the death of the Chicago man. Should they choose to do so, the surviving relatives of the motorcyclist could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the Skokie man. This would allow the plaintiffs to collect monetary damages for pain and suffering and loss of care or companionship, reimbursement for hospital and burial expenses, and estimated future wages that the 35-year old man would have earned in his lifetime had the crash never taken place.