Helmet Use by Motorcyclists
While wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of injuries and death, even riders using a helmet can suffer serious harm. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you need to reach out to a skilled Wheaton or Schaumburg motorcycle accident attorney who can help. At Therman Law Offices, we are committed to fighting for the compensation that victims deserve for their harm. Time is of the essence in these claims, so it is important to act as quickly as possible after your accident.The Impact of Use or Non-Use of a Helmet
According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, currently only 19 states and the District of Columbia have laws requiring all motorcyclists to wear a helmet. Laws requiring only some motorcyclists to wear a helmet are in place in 28 states. Illinois is one of three states that does not have any helmet laws. Illinois does require, however, that riders use eye protection, which can be as simple as shatterproof sunglasses, a windshield, or a windscreen.
In 2015, motorcycle accident deaths in the United States rose to 5,000, which represented a 10 percent increase and was the highest amount of deaths since 2008. In the state of Illinois, there was a 24 percent increase in motorcycle accident fatalities over those in 2014. While there are many factors for the increase, lack of mandatory helmet laws is believed to be one reason for the spike in deaths.
If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation even if you were not wearing a helmet. In Illinois, a person who causes a preventable injury due to carelessness or recklessness may be liable for the resulting harm under the theory of negligence. Negligence takes place when a person causes injuries by failing to use the level of care that a reasonably prudent person would have used in the same or similar circumstances. For instance, if a car strikes a motorcycle because the driver failed to take the motorcycle’s presence into account when making a left turn, that driver would likely be liable for the rider’s resulting injuries.
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. Since Illinois does not have a helmet law, by contrast, there is no automatic presumption of negligence if the rider was not wearing a helmet. However, a defense attorney may still argue that the rider could have reduced or minimized the injury by wearing a helmet. Illinois follows a modified comparative negligence system, which apportions fault between the parties to an accident. This means that if a plaintiff is considered to be partially at fault for an accident, his or her total damages award will be reduced by the percentage of fault. Plaintiffs in personal injury cases have a duty to exercise reasonable care. Thus, in cases in which a plaintiff is not wearing a helmet, a jury may find that the rider shared fault for the accident and reduce the plaintiff’s damages accordingly.
Riders and their passengers in motorcycle accidents in Illinois can recover a variety of damages, often including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, disability, costs of future care, property damage, and other losses arising from the accident. Each case is unique, and the exact amount of damages that a plaintiff will be entitled to receive will depend on the nature and extent of the harm suffered.Contact a Knowledgeable Motor Vehicle Collision Lawyer in Schaumburg or Wheaton
If you or someone close to you has been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, our experienced motorcycle accident lawyers can help. At Therman Law Offices, we can evaluate the facts of your case and provide the guidance that you need. While we aim to settle every case in a favorable manner, we are not afraid to vigorously advocate for you at trial if necessary. We proudly represent people in cities such as Wheaton, Schaumburg, Westmont, Oakbrook Terrace, Clarendon Hills, Downers Grove, Lisle, Darien, and Bolingbrook. For a free case evaluation following a motorcycle crash at an intersection or elsewhere on the road, call us at 312-588-1900 or contact us online.