The vast majority of states have statutes requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets. While Missouri has one of these statutes in place, Illinois is one of the few states that does not. But while it may not be illegal to ride a motorcycle without a helmet in Illinois, doing so could put you at risk of sustaining very serious injuries in the case of a motorcycle accident.
Aside from the safety concerns of not wearing a helmet, you may find it difficult to collect full compensation for your injuries if another vehicle hits you while riding your motorcycle. Both Missouri and Illinois have comparative negligence laws in place for personal injury claims – meaning your recovery could be limited based on how your own negligence contributed to your injuries. Additionally in Illinois, if the court determines you are more than 50 percent at fault for the accident, you could have no claim to compensation at all.
Determining negligence is a major factor of your motorcycle accident claim, and is subject to a number of factors. If it is clear your injuries were preventable by wearing a helmet, such is often the case with severe brain or cranium injuries, the court may determine that your negligence contributed significantly to those injuries.
In addition to the impact on your physical, mental and psychological health, your decision not to wear a helmet could leave you with few legal options in the case of an accident. While you may be entitled to some compensation for your injuries, it may not be enough to cover your full recovery. Next time you hop on your motorcycle without a helmet, take time to consider the not only the safety risks, but the legal ones as well.