A majority of states have motorcycle helmet laws on the books. Some states have laws that apply to all motorcycle riders, regardless of age, while the majority of states have limited laws that apply to riders of a certain age group, usually those under 18. Illinois is one of only three states that do not have a law requiring motorcycle riders to wear a helmet.
Many states use the safety benefits of a helmet and the high cost of head injuries to support the existing helmet laws on the book. However, some states say wearing a helmet does not prevent or reduce the most serious of motorcycle injuries. Other points of support against a broad helmet law include no proof that wearing a bright helmet makes a rider more visible or that wearing a seatbelt is like wearing a helmet.
Although there is no helmet law on the books in Illinois, it is important to understand that if you choose not to wear one and you are involved in an accident, it could be used against you when you try to pursue the full compensation you deserve.
Helmets can certainly prevent or reduce head injuries in a motorcycle accident, but there are some injuries that may not be prevented by wearing a helmet. These can include:
In cases involving these types of injuries, your Rockford motorcycle accident attorney would argue that wearing or not wearing a helmet had no bearing on these injuries and that you should be awarded the full amount of compensation requested.
Now, if you sustained a skull fracture because your head hit the pavement and you were not wearing a helmet, it is up to the jury or judge to decide on whether or not they want to assign a percentage of fault to you. If they do, then any award you receive could be reduced by the amount of fault you are assigned. For example, if the jury awards you $100K and also determines you are 5% at fault for not wearing your helmet, then your total compensation would be $95,000.
If you need assistance pursuing a claim for damages in an Illinois motorcycle accident, contact Brassfield & Krueger, Ltd. to schedule an initial consultation.
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