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IL injury lawyerFor many Illinois residents, riding a motorcycle is one of the highlights of summer. Although a motorcycle can be an enjoyable mode of transportation, it is also one of the riskiest ways to travel. Statistics show that just under half of all motorcycle accidents result in serious injury. Motorcyclists are also 29 times more likely to die in an auto accident than drivers in passenger cars. Traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other life-changing injuries are commonly caused by motorcycle accidents. In many cases, wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of serious injury. If you or a loved one were hurt in a motorcycle crash in Illinois, you may have questions about how helmets influence personal injury claims involving motorcyclists.

Illinois Law Regarding Motorcycle Helmets

Illinois is one of a handful of U.S. states that do not have a mandatory motorcycle helmet law. Helmets are strongly encouraged, but a motorcyclist cannot receive a citation for not wearing a helmet. However, the law does require motorcycle drivers and passengers to wear eye protection. Glasses or sunglasses made of shatter-resistant material, goggles, or a transparent shield are all acceptable forms of eye protection. Although not required by law, research shows that helmet use significantly reduces the likelihood of serious injury to the face, head, and neck during a motorcycle accident. If an injured motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet or eye protection at the time of his or her accident, it is very possible that this fact will influence his or her personal injury claim.

Pursuing Compensation for a Motorcycle Accident

Motorcycle collisions can cause horrific injuries that result in massive medical expenses. An injured motorcyclist may also be unable to work for months or even years after his or her accident. Fortunately, it may still be possible for an injured motorcyclist to receive compensation for these and other expenses even if he or she was not wearing a helmet or other protective gear at the time of his or her accident. Personal injury claims in Illinois are subject to a legal doctrine called “modified comparative negligence.” If an injured party is found to be less than 51 percent responsible for an injury-causing accident, he or she may still pursue compensation through an injury claim. However, the amount of compensation that he or she is entitled to is reduced by his or her percentage of fault.


Illinois personal injury lawyer, Illinois car accident attorney, Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer, It is no secret that motorcycle accidents are among the most frequent and common severe vehicle accidents that occur on the nation’s highways. It has also been widely publicized in recent years that the number of serious motorcycle accidents continues to increase. This is due in part to the fact that there are more motorcycle drivers on the road than ever before. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, the number of registered motorcycles in the country has increased from about 4 million in 1997 to approximately 7 million in 2006. The number of registered riders has steadily increased from 2002 to the present. The increase in registered riders alone accounts for a 61 percent increase in the number of riders involved in accidents. The number of fatalities rose from 2,028 to 4,654 in the same time period—a staggering increase of 129 percent.

The most dangerous type of impact is a front-end impact on a motorcycle — more than 40 percent of these types of accidents resulted in an incapacitating injury to the driver and nearly 70 percent of these were fatal. The most common type of motorcycle accident injury is one sustained to the lower extremities, primarily the legs. The second most common type of motorcycle injury is one to the upper extremities or the head. Helmet laws, requiring motorcycle drivers to wear head protection, are enacted on a state-by-state basis. Illinois is one of only three states (alongside Iowa and New Hampshire) to not have a mandatory helmet law.

According to the Center for Disease Control, this costs Illinois a significant amount of money every year, and likely contributes to the high motorcycle fatality numbers in the state. The CDC reports that in 2010, only four lives were saved by helmet use per 100,000 registered motorcycles. In neighboring Michigan, to contrast, 27 lives were saved per 100,000 registered motorcycles in 2010. Michigan enacted a partial helmet law in 2012.

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