Riding a bicycle for enjoyment or as a primary mode of transportation comes with many advantages. Not only can it save significant money over using a car, truck, or SUV, but it also cuts down on pollution and provides a great workout.
Unfortunately, riding a bicycle around Elgin’s roads can be dangerous. Despite laws that exist to protect bike riders, collisions with other vehicles are common. Wearing a helmet can significantly reduce the frequency of head injuries that result from these crashes. Even so, there is no law in Elgin or Illinois that requires a bike rider of any age to wear a helmet. Additionally, defendants and insurance companies in bike accident cases may attempt to use a lack of a helmet to decrease their liability for a collision. An experienced bike accident attorney at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. could provide more knowledge about the Elgin bicycle helmet laws and how they may impact a demand for compensation following a personal injury.
Elgin Has No Laws Requiring Bikers to Wear a Helmet
Bike riding can be a dangerous activity. Especially for those who choose to ride their bikes on city streets, the threat of an accident is always present. But neither the state legislature nor local city officials have chosen to enact a law that requires bicyclists to wear a helmet. This is despite statistics stating that wearing a helmet reduces the rate of head injuries after an accident by 85 percent.
Despite the lack of laws, well-versed attorneys at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. recommend that all adults and children wear a helmet while on a bike. This helps reduce the severity of potential injuries and works to shield injured people against allegations of shared fault for an accident.
The Choice to Wear a Helmet Could Affect Accident Liability
Every person who gets on a bike has the right to choose whether to wear a helmet. Even though an accident does not depend on a person’s helmet choice or which party was to blame for the incident, defendants and their insurance companies may point to this choice as an excuse to avoid paying full compensation by citing the biker’s perceived irresponsibility.
A knowledgeable Elgin lawyer at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. could demonstrate how a driver’s negligence resulted in the collision and that a bike rider had the right under the law to forgo wearing a helmet.
Modified Comparative Negligence
This is possible because of the state’s law called modified comparative negligence. According to 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/2-1116, courts must evaluate the actions of all parties present in an accident and assign blame based upon those actions. Defendants may argue that a bike rider’s failure to wear a helmet constituted an acceptance of the risk inherent in choosing this mode of transportation. If a court accepts this argument, it may limit or even negate an award at trial.
Call an Attorney to Learn More about Elgin Bike Helmet Laws
The choice to wear a helmet while biking in Elgin and elsewhere in the state lies entirely upon the rider. There is no law at the state or local level that mandates this important step towards protecting yourself. Nevertheless, we recommend the wearing of helmets and all other protective gear whenever you ride a bike.
Not wearing a helmet while on a bike exposes you to a greater risk of serious harm. It may also allow a defendant and their insurance company to argue that you accepted the risks inherent in bike riding. A dedicated lawyer could provide more information about the lack of Elgin bicycle helmet laws. Reach out to the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. now to learn more.