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Can I Sue for a Motorcycle Injury If I Did Not Wear a Helmet in Illinois?

 Posted on June 27, 2024 in Motorcycle Accidents

Champaign, IL motorcycle accident lawyerMotorcycle accidents are typically much more dangerous than car accidents. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data from 2022, motorcyclists were four times more likely to be injured in a crash than car passengers. They were also 22 times more likely to die. Even though motorcycles are a small minority of vehicles on the road, they accounted for 15 percent of all traffic deaths in 2022 with 6,218 fatalities.

The main reason why motorcyclists experience more injuries and deaths in collisions is that they are less protected. Drivers and passengers in cars have airbags and seatbelts and are surrounded by a metal frame. Motorcyclists, on the other hand, have only protective gear to shield them in an accident. Failing to wear that gear is dangerous and can affect your ability to claim compensation for injuries in a crash.

If you failed to wear a helmet while driving your motorcycle and were injured in an accident, speak to an Illinois motorcycle accident attorney about your legal options. Your compensation may be affected by Illinois’ modified comparative negligence law.

What Is Modified Comparative Negligence?

Modified comparative negligence means three things:

  • More than one person can be at fault for the injury, including the victim. This is called contributory fault.

  • If it is determined that you, the victim, contributed to at least half of the injury, you are not eligible to receive any compensation.

  • If it is determined that you are responsible for less than half the injury, you may bring a claim for damages, but your compensation will be reduced by the amount of your fault. For example, if an insurance company finds that you were 30 percent negligent, your payout will be 30 percent less than it would have been if you had not been at fault at all.

Am I Being Negligent If I Do Not Wear a Helmet?

Failing to wear a helmet is a recipe for serious injury and will likely be seen as an act of negligence. If it can be demonstrated that your injury would have been less severe had you worn protective headgear, you will probably be considered to be at least partially at fault. At that point, the question becomes how much fault can be attributed to you. If you caused 50 percent of the injury or more by not wearing a helmet, you will not be able to bring a claim. If you caused less, then you may receive limited compensation.

Contact a Decatur, IL Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you claim damages for a motorcycle accident injury, the insurance company will try to show that you were at least partly at fault. That is why you should hire a competent Champagne, IL motorcycle accident lawyer to represent you. At Kanoski Bresney, our excellent attorneys are knowledgeable in modified comparative negligence laws and will investigate your case thoroughly. We will fight to make sure you receive the most compensation possible. Call 888-826-8682 for a free consultation with an experienced attorney today.

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