Two dead in Illinois Quad Cities motorcycle crash

On a Friday afternoon, according to Quad Cities Online, a 2005 Harley Davidson ridden by a father and his 10-year-old son was traveling west on US 6 near Colona. A 2004 Buick driven by an 81-year-old woman was traveling east when the Buick turned north onto Illinois 84 directly in front of the motorcycle. The father could not stop in time and crashed into the passenger side of the Buick, throwing both operator and passenger from the bike.

The father was declared dead at the scene of the accident by the Henry County Coroner. The son was flown to Peoria Hospital in critical condition. The son later died at the hospital.

This tragic motorcycle accident illustrates the peculiar vulnerability of motorcycle riders. If the father and son had been in a car, they would have been protected by a host of safety features, including air bags, seat belts and a passenger safety cell. On the motorcycle, all they had, at most, was a helmet.

Driver of Buick charged with making improper turn

State police did not indicate whether the driver of the Buick was injured. She has been charged with making an improper left turn and may face additional charges, pending an investigation of the motor vehicle accident.

The alleged improper-turn violation by the Buick driver could be used to demonstrate the driver's negligence in a civil action for damages. Making an improper turn in violation of state safety laws may be negligence per se.

Liability for wrongful death

The Buick driver may be facing liability for the wrongful death of the bike operator and passenger. A wrongful death action may be brought by the surviving relatives of the father and son. Which relatives may bring a wrongful death action and the types of damages available are governed by the Illinois statutes.

Damages for wrongful death may include:

  • Money, goods and services that would have been received by next-of-kin from a deceased.
  • When there are surviving children, the value of the instruction, moral training and superintendence of education that the children would have received from the deceased parent.
  • Loss of consortium by the surviving spouse.
  • Loss of a minor child's society by the surviving parent(s).

Punitive damages cannot be recovered in an Illinois wrongful death action.

A survival action could be brought by the minor child's estate

The family of the car accident victim may also want to explore a survival action. In this potential case, a survival action may be brought by the personal representative of the minor child's estate. The child's estate can then recover damages for the fatal injuries suffered by the child, including his conscious pain and suffering between the time of the accident and when he passed away at the hospital.

Due to the vulnerability of bike riders, motorcycle accidents frequently result in death or serious bodily injury. If you are injured or lose a loved one in a motorcycle crash, you should contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney who can obtain full and fair compensation for your injuries or loss.