Motorcyclists generally do not fare well when they collide with a larger vehicle. Inasmuch as most vehicles on the road are larger than motorcycles, motorcyclists assume a significant risk when they head for the open road. The relatively small size of motorcycles does not obviate the duty of other drivers to be alert for the two-wheeled vehicles. A recent fatal motorcycle accident in Waukegan is raising a number of questions about which driver failed to exercise the appropriate duty of care.

According to a report released by the Waukegan police department, at about 1:30 p.m., both a motorcycle and a semi-trailer truck were headed north on North Lewis Avenue when the driver of the semi decided to change lanes. The motorcycle was on the outside lane, and the semi tried to move from the inside lane to the outside lane. The semi struck the motorcycle on the cycle’s left side.

The driver of the motorcycle was pronounced dead at the scene. He did not appear to have been wearing a helmet. The driver of the semi remained at the scene and assisted police with their investigation. The results of drug and toxicological screens are pending.

The family of the motorcycle driver may have a claim for wrongful death if they can establish that the driver of the truck failed to use due care when changing lanes or that the truck was mechanically defective in a material way, perhaps inoperative turn or brake signals. In such cases, the assistance of an experienced accident attorney can be very helpful. A capable attorney can provide an evaluation of the evidence and the police accident report, suggest legal theories that can provide a basis for liability and provide an estimate of the likelihood of recovering damages for medical expenses, loss of income and loss of future comfort and support. The defendants may try to prove that the motorcycle driver was negligent in failing to wear a helmet or in failing to observe the truck’s impending lane change.