An inordinate portion of the auto accidents in Illinois and across the country are caused by younger drivers – that is, those between the ages of 16 and 25 years of age. This statistic isn’t that surprising, given that people in this demographic tend to be the drivers with the least amount of experience in how to operate a motor vehicle.
However, when a younger driver and a more experienced driver are involved in a collision, you cannot always assume that it’s the fault of the least-seasoned individual. An incident last month in Aurora illustrates this point.
Around 6:30pm on the evening of Saturday, September 28, a 21-year old male motorcyclist was riding his bike south on Orchard Road about a quarter mile northeast of Jericho Lake Park. As he approached the intersection with Jericho Road, a northbound 2008 Saturn Vue sport utility vehicle attempted to make a left turn onto Jericho and crossed in front of the motorcyclist. The bike slammed into the passenger-side rear panel of the SUV and reportedly separated into pieces. The man had to be airlifted to a hospital in suburban Chicago with what were described as extensive injuries.
Witnesses indicated that the traffic light on Orchard was yellow when the motorcycle accident occurred. The 42-year old woman driving the SUV, who required treatment at a hospital nearby, was cited by Aurora Police for failing to yield while turning left.
Since any left-turning vehicle (absent a green protected left turn arrow) must yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic, it appears that the 42-year old woman will be held liable for the injuries to the 21-year old motorcyclist. That means that the man could elect to file a personal injury lawsuit against her. This suit could allow him to collect reimbursement for ambulance charges, hospitalization expenses, surgeries and medical treatments, medications, and physical therapy sessions. He may also receive monetary damages for pain and suffering an lost wages from work absenteeism due to the motorcycle accident.