Can I Still Recover Damages If I Wasn’t Wearing a Helmet During a Motorcycle Accident?

Motorcycle Accident | June 8, 2021

Motorcycle accidents are often devastating for the motorcyclists involved. Unfortunately, the sheer size and weight of other vehicles on the roadway often mean that motorcyclists sustain significant impacts when a crash occurs. In the state of Illinois, the law does not require motorcycle operators or passengers to wear helmets. However, it is highly recommended that all motorcyclists wear helmets on the roadways across the state.

Here, our Chicago motorcycle accident lawyers discuss no-helmet motorcycle accident claims. In particular, we want to look at whether the non-use of a helmet can affect how much compensation a motorcyclist receives in the event they are injured due to the actions of another driver.

Motorcycle Accidents Occur in Illinois

According to data available from the Illinois Department of Transportation, we can see that there were 2,823 total motorcycles involved in collisions across the state during the latest reporting year. Out of these incidents, there were 2,093 total motorcyclist injuries and 138 motorcyclist fatalities.

Illinois does not require motorcyclists to wear a helmet at this time. There has been a push for the state legislature to pass a law requiring helmet use for riders 26 years of age and younger, but this does not seem to be anywhere close to passing. As of now, Illinois remains one of the few states in the country with no law regarding motorcycle helmet usage.

Regardless of whether or not a state has a law regarding helmet use for motorcyclists, we do want to point out that helmets save lives. While we understand the argument for freedom of choice, we also know that helmets will protect a person from sustaining a severe traumatic brain injury, open head wound, and facial wound.

Will Not Wearing a Helmet Effect a Motorcycle Accident Claim

In states where motorcycle helmets are required, injured motorcyclists may see reduced compensation in the event they sustain an injury that could have been prevented if they had been wearing a helmet, even if the other driver was at fault for the crash.

However, because Illinois does not have any motorcycle helmet law on the books, the non-wearing of a helmet when a crash occurs cannot affect how much compensation a motorcycle accident victim receives. That does not mean that the insurance carrier or the at-fault party will not try to argue that they should pay less.

For example, let us suppose that Roberto is riding a motorcycle without a helmet when the driver of a pickup truck runs a stop sign and hits him. If Roberto suffers from a traumatic brain injury as a result of the collision, the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier may try to argue that they should not be responsible for covering the compensation because, had Roberto been wearing a helmet, he would not have been as seriously injured.

This line of argument may work in other states where a helmet is required, but not in Illinois. In this scenario, Roberto would be entitled to full compensation for his injuries because the other driver was at fault for the incident.

Please Consider Wearing a Helmet

Even though Illinois does not have a mandatory motorcycle helmet law, we strongly encourage every rider to wear a helmet when they hit the roadway. We want you to remain safe, and we want you to live if an accident occurs. Helmets are the best way to prevent serious brain and head injuries in the event a motorcycle collision occurs.