Understanding Helmet Law in IL

Whether you currently ride a motorcycle or intend to purchase one, it is important to know the laws involved. One such law regards the use of helmets. Most states require a helmet when operating a motorcycle or similar vehicle and may restrict the types of helmet permitted. Illinois currently does not require helmets, making accident claims involving motorcycles even more complex and necessitating the assistance of an experienced Chicago personal injury law firm in even minor accidents.

A Brief History of Illinois Helmet Laws

In 1967, states were informed that they must enact helmet laws in order to receive Federal funding for certain safety and highway construction. Illinois was among 49 states to enact helmet laws over the following year. Only California refused to require helmets. The Illinois statute was challenged by People v. Fries, in which a motorcycle accident questioned whether it was constitutional to require the use of a helmet. On July 1, 1970, the State Supreme Court repealed the helmet law. Since the repeal, there have been numerous bills attempting to reintroduce helmet laws. At this time, it is not required to wear a helmet for the following vehicles:
  • Motorcycles
  • Bicycles
  • Mopeds
  • Scooters
  • Motocross bikes
It should be noted that Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire are the only three states that do not have at least partial helmet laws.

The Consequences of Riding Without a Helmet

Helmets are designed to protect the brain from trauma during impact. While it cannot prevent brain injuries entirely, the risk of puncture or severe concussion is greatly reduced. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, four lives out of every 100,000 registered motorcyclists were saved in 2010 by the use of helmets. Furthermore, they estimated that the economic cost avoided that year through helmet use was eight million dollars.

Getting Legal Help After a Motorcycle Accident

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, navigating through the claims process alone can be difficult. Insurance companies will attempt to make you settle for less and may even focus on helmet use as a form of personal endangerment. A skilled Chicago personal injury law firm like the Law Offices of Marc J. Shuman & Associates, LTD are trained to deal with these insurance claims and the complications found in motorcycle accident claims. Contact Us today to see how they can help you get the money you deserve.

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