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True or False? Motorcyclists Can Recover Damages if Not Wearing a Helmet

Posted on in Motorcycle Accidents

Plainfield, IL motorcycle accident attorneys, motorcycle accident, recover damagesPeople may presume that if a motorcyclist is in a car accident, then he or she is responsible for his or her injuries, even if fault lies with another driver. Additionally, they may reason that the motorcyclist assumed the increased risk that comes with riding a motorcycle and that the motorcyclist should be responsible for his or her injuries.

This is not true. If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault while on a motorcycle, you will likely be entitled to damages for your injuries. Motorcyclists have the same rights as motorists and passengers on the road.

Helmet Law in Illinois

Illinois is one of three states that does not require a helmet for motorcyclists. The other two states are Iowa and New Hampshire. Illinois does require that motorcyclists wear eye protection or that the bike has a windscreen.

Because Illinois does not require motorcyclists to wear a helmet, not wearing a helmet at the time of a crash cannot keep a motorcyclist from recovering damages for injuries sustained in the crash.

Wearing a helmet is still advisable because of the protection it provides. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated helmets to be about 37 percent effective in preventing fatalities.

Furthermore, helmets protect the head, which is susceptible to being injured in an accident. Head injuries can lead to cognitive and emotional issues that persist for years.

Injury Risk for Motorcyclists

Motorcyclists are 27 times more likely than car riders to die in an accident per vehicle mile traveled. They are also almost five times more likely to be injured.

Simply because the motorcyclist is at a greater risk for injury does not mean that he or she is at fault. According to the NHTSA, in accidents between passenger cars and motorcyclists, the motorcyclist was not at fault or less at fault than the other driver in 80 percent of accidents.

Contact a Will County Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Because injuries sustained by motorcyclists can be more serious than other roadway accidents, it is recommended that you hire a lawyer. So much is at stake, and an experienced motorcycle accident attorney will know how to look out for your best interests.

Contact the knowledgeable Plainfield, IL motorcycle accident attorneys at Flaherty Law by calling 815-577-7500. We offer free consultations and case evaluations.

Sources:

https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_x140.pdf

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/laws/helmetuse/mapmotorcyclehelmets

https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/809861

 

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