Tragedy struck recently in Fort Wayne, Indiana when a crash between a motorcycle and a car turned deadly, killing the motorcyclist. According to a news report covering the incident, the crash occurred on Sunday, May 24, around 2:40 p.m. at the intersection of Illinois Road and Thomas Road. The motorcycle was driving east on Illinois Road and struck a car that was turning into its path. When authorities arrived on the scene, they found an adult female laying on the ground in critical condition. She was immediately transported to the hospital, where she died shortly after.
Cases like this highlight the dangers that motorcyclists face when involved in accidents. While any motor vehicle accident is of concern, motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable because there is less protection between their bodies and the road, or with other vehicles. Because of this, accidents involving motorcycles are more likely to result in severe injuries or death.
The incident in Fort Wayne is still under investigation, so it is not yet clear who was at fault. If, however, the driver of the car was at all negligent or responsible for the accident, the deceased cyclist’s family members may be able to file a wrongful death suit against them. Indiana law allows the estate of a deceased accident victim to file such claims, and damages may be awarded to the estate or to individual family members, such as the deceased’s spouse, children, or parents. To be successful, the estate typically must prove that the other driver was negligent in some way—for example, that they were texting while driving, or that they failed to follow basic road safety—and that their negligence was the direct and proximate cause of the accident and the victim’s death. If the defendant was texting while driving five minutes before the crash, but then was driving perfectly safely when the accident occurred, it may be difficult to prove causation. If, however, the defendant was texting while driving when the crash occurred, causation will be easier to prove.