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Illinois Bikers Share Responsibility for Safety Despite No Helmet Law

Posted on in Personal Injury

Illinois Bikers Share Responsibility for Safety Despite No Helmet LawIllinois is one of three states in the U.S. that does not have any law requiring motorcycle riders to wear helmets. Some states mandate that all riders wear helmets, while others make the requirement only for people of certain ages. The lack of a law is legally beneficial for riders who may otherwise be ticketed for not wearing a helmet. In some ways, Illinois' legal situation also helps riders who are seeking personal injury compensation after a motorcycle accident. However, not wearing a helmet may affect the plaintiff's ability to receive full compensation.

No Legal Fault

In states with motorcycle helmet laws, failing to wear a helmet when required is negligence by the rider because he or she violated the law. The rider shares some of the fault for the accident, which may affect how much money he or she is awarded. Because Illinois does not have a law, there is no automatic assumption of negligence if the rider was not wearing a helmet. Thus, the rider has a better chance of not sharing fault for the accident, which will prevent deductions from his or her requested compensation.

Personal Responsibility

Although he or she did not break the law, a motorcycle rider can still be found negligent for not wearing a helmet during the accident. If a rider suffers a head injury as a result of the accident, the defense may argue that the rider could have prevented the injury by wearing a helmet. Plaintiffs in personal injury cases have a duty to exercise reasonable care for their safety. A court may rule that the rider shares part of the fault for the extent of his or her head injuries. Illinois is a comparative fault state, meaning that the percentage of the maximum monetary award that a plaintiff receives is equal to the percentage of fault that the defendant shared in causing the injuries.

Injury Risk

Even though there is no law requiring it, you are better off wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, helmets reduce the risk of fatality during a motorcycle accident by 37 percent and the risk of head injuries by 69 percent. This is because a helmet can protect you from:

  • Traumatic brain injuries;
  • Facial lacerations; and
  • Skull fractures.

The effects of head injuries can be long-lasting and difficult to treat. A McHenry County personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, knows the appropriate amount of compensation you will need to recover from a motorcycle accident. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.



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