Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

Posted On: March 21, 2012

Chicago motorcycle accident lawyer working on deadly left turn case

Illinois motorcycle crash attorneys at Abels & Annes are currently representing the family of an accident victim who was tragically killed in a September, 2011 collision.

The motorcyclist, a wife and mother of two small children, was driving her bike eastbound on Montrose approaching its intersection with Kostner in Chicago, Illinois. At that time the defendant was driving a 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee westbound on Montrose approaching its intersection with Kostner. There was plenty of light, the road was straight and flat and visibility was good. The driver intended to make a left hand turn at the intersection to proceed southbound on Kostner. Both vehicles entered the intersection on a green light and the defendant proceeded to make a left turn into the motorcyclist's lane of travel when it was not safe to do so.

After the crash, the at fault driver told the investigating Chicago police officers that he did not see a motorcycle rider until the last moment prior to the collision. The driver of the Jeep was issued traffic citations for failing to yield when making a left turn and for failing to reduce speed to avoid a collision.

Police interviewed an independent witness who was eastbound on Montrose waiting to make a left turn to go northbound on Kostner. He saw the defendant approaching westbound and initiated a left turn without yielding to oncoming traffic. He stated the driver of the Jeep started his left turn before reaching the actual intersection. To his right the witness saw a motorcycle pass by traveling with the flow of traffic and not speeding. He then observed the motorcyclist have to lay the bike down in an attempt to avoid the collision and strike the passenger side of the left turning SUV.

The defendant failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to yield to oncoming traffic when making a left turn, was driving at an excessive rate of speed, failed to reduce speed to avoid a collision, and failed to exercise due care for the safety of those in the area, including the plaintiff. Based upon the facts and circumstances surrounding the occurrence at issue, it is clear that the sole proximate cause of the collision was the negligent conduct of the SUV driver.

Following the crash it was obvious that the motorcyclist had suffered severe, life threatening injuries. She was rushed to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center's Emergency Department. While extraordinary efforts were made to save her life, they were ultimately unsuccessful. She had suffered severe head injuries, a severed spine, a lacerated liver and other injuries. She was pronounced dead later that day.

A postmortem examination was performed shortly after the accident. The medical examiner found that the victim had died as a result of multiple injuries suffered in the collision at issue.

This case demonstrates the importance of following the rules of the road and paying attention while you drive. Here, the simple act of a left turn had tragic consequences. In my experience as a Chicago accident lawyer, too often drivers keep a proper lookout for other automobiles, but then fail to care for the safety of more vulnerable users of the roadway, such as motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians.

Other motorcycle articles:

Insurance policy limits settlement reached in motorcycle accident claim

Illinois Governor supports motorcycle safety campaign