When people think about auto accidents in Illinois, many of them tend to assume that the vehicle which collides with any other vehicles is automatically at fault. However, this is frequently not the case: drivers who run stop signs or red lights, or who fail to yield the right of way on left turns or when pulling out of driveways, are held responsible when a collision occurs even if another vehicle initiates the impact. This is especially true when it comes to motorcycles, because other motorists too often fail to see motorcyclists until it is too late to avoid a collision.
Let’s examine a fatal motorcycle accident which took place in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago last week. On Friday night around 11:30pm, a man was riding his motorcycle north on South Dorchester Avenue (which is a one-way street) just north of South Chicago Avenue and the Chicago Skyway when he slammed into the side of a passenger vehicle. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene, and the 52-year old male driver of the vehicle died about an hour later at a nearby hospital. Chicago Police are still investigating the crash and have not issued any citations as of yet.
Armed only with this information, it’s impossible to tell which man was at fault in the deadly crash. If the 52-year old man pulled out in front of the motorcycle without yielding the right of way, the motorcyclist’s family members could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the estate of the vehicle’s driver. However, if the motorcyclist ran a red light, ignored a stop sign, or otherwise failed to yield the right of way to the vehicle, the relatives of the 52-year old man could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the estate of the motorcyclist. Either type of suit could allow the plaintiffs to receive reimbursement of burial expenses, compensation for lost future wages, and monetary damages for pain and suffering or loss of care and companionship.