Motorcycles are required to follow specific guidelines when it comes to lighting and reflectors. That’s because it can be difficult to see motorcyclists on Illinois roads during the nighttime and overnight hours. It may also be challenging to estimate the speed of a motorcycle at night, especially if it is coming toward you. Nevertheless, it is the responsibility of vehicle drivers in Illinois to watch for motorcycles and give them the right of way when necessary.
This may not have been the case in a Will County motorcycle accident which occurred this week. On Tuesday night just before 10pm, a 20-year old man was riding his Kawasaki motorcycle south on Illinois Route 53 in Bolingbrook a couple miles north of Interstate 55. A 50-year old woman was driving a Toyota minivan north on the same highway when she tried to make a left turn on Boughton Road to go west. The bike slammed into the minivan, and the motorcyclist had to be rushed to a nearby hospital with critical injuries.
The story does not identify which vehicle had the right of way at the intersection. Given the nighttime conditions, it could have been hard for the woman to figure out how fast the oncoming motorcycle was traveling. But if both the woman and the man had a (solid) green light, then the minivan should have yielded the right of way to the Kawasaki before any left turn should have been attempted.
If this turns out to be the case, then the woman would be held responsible for the motorcycle accident and the injuries to the man. As a result, the victim would have solid grounds for a personal injury lawsuit against the 50-year old woman. The suit could allow the motorcyclist to collect reimbursement for medical expenses, compensation for any wages the man may not earn due to missed work, and possibly even monetary damages for pain and suffering.