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Illinois woman loses husband, daughter in motorcycle crash

The emptiness left behind by a loved one's sudden death is partially filled with care provided by relatives. Long-term emotional support might be necessary to aid the recovery of grieving spouses, children or parents.

Suffering Illinois families may also need financial aid for lost income, funeral or medical expenses that even well-intentioned family members cannot supply. Settlements and jury awards from wrongful death lawsuits allow families of car or motorcycle accident victims to regain financial strength.

Criminal charges and civil litigation force at-fault drivers to own up to the responsibility of negligent actions. Evidence determines the outcome in the separate legal actions.

Authorities in the village of Brooklyn, Illinois, just outside St. Louis, are compiling evidence from a recent fatal accident. An 18-year-old woman was driving a vehicle involved in a head-on collision with a motorcycle. The occupants of the bike, a 44-year-old father and his daughter, died from crash injuries.

Illinois State Police said the 44-year-old bike operator and his wife were five-year members of a local, family-inclusive motorcycle club. Friends of the victim said the man's 11-year-old daughter was a frequent, enthusiastic passenger on her father's bike.

The teenage driver was interviewed after the accident and released by authorities, at least temporarily. A crash reconstruction crew will issue a final report within two months. Charges could be filed at that time, depending on the evidence uncovered.

As state police carefully complete the accident investigation, a woman is left behind to cope with a tragedy no wife or mother ever wishes to bear. The simultaneous deaths of a husband and child are a cataclysmic event.

Wrongful death claims address the pain and suffering accident victims endure prior to death. Compensation is also possible for a surviving family member's emotional trauma. Additional damages may be awarded for economic hardships, such as absence of future income and extraordinary expenses resulting from a negligent driver's behavior.

Source:, "Funeral services held for man, daughter killed in motorcycle accident" Carolyn P. Smith, Apr. 23, 2013

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