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Personal Injury / 11.16.2023

Does Mississippi Have a Helmet Law for Bikers?

Motorcycle Helmets Reduce Injuries in an Accident

It has been proven that helmets reduce the severity of injuries in an accident, and because of this most states have some sort of motorcycle helmet law. There is some misinformation about helmet laws in Mississippi on the internet, with some sites claiming that there is no such law in place. 

Here, we aim to clear up the confusion about Mississippi helmet rules and other laws that motorcyclists must follow. In the meantime, if you were injured in a motorcycle accident, contact us today for more information.

What is the Mississippi Motorcycle Helmet Law?

Mississippi is one of 18 states to require all bikers to wear a helmet regardless of age. This law also applies to passengers. This law was enacted in 1974, and is one of the earliest universal motorcycle helmet laws.

The motorcycle helmet law can be found in Mississippi Codes Section 63-7-64. It states that all riders must wear a helmet approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The only exception to this rule is bikers in a parade traveling at less than 30 miles per hour. 

What is the Penalty for Riding a Motorcycle Without a Helmet in Mississippi?

Section 63-7-64 allows for failure to wear a helmet to be punishable as a standard traffic offense under Section 63-9-11. This section allows the penalty to be a fine of up to $100 or up to 10 days in jail. The second conviction of the same offense within one-year results in a fine of up to $200, and a third conviction within one year of the first conviction will result in a fine of up to $500 or up to 6 months in jail. 

Although the law allows for jail time, this is not likely in the case of not wearing a motorcycle helmet. However, if you do not pay the fines of a ticket for not wearing a motorcycle helmet you could spend some time in jail.

How Does Not Wearing a Helmet Affect My Personal Injury Case?

Not wearing a helmet cannot be the cause of an accident, and it is not a crime of negligence against anyone other than the rider themselves. As such, not wearing a helmet does not impact your ability to file a personal injury claim.

However, you should be aware that if you are not wearing a motorcycle helmet at the time of your accident, your award or settlement could be decreased in value. If it is found that your injuries would have been less severe if you were wearing a helmet, your award will be somewhat diminished. At the same time, not wearing a helmet will only impact your personal injury claim if you sustained head injuries. 

What Other Motorcycle Laws Must I Follow in Mississippi?

There are several other laws that pertain specifically to motorcycle riders in Mississippi.

  • All motorcycle riders must have a motorcycle endorsement on their license.
  • To get the endorsement, all riders must go through a motorcycle safety course, regardless of age.
  • The minimum age to get a driver’s license in the state of Mississippi is 16 years old. There is no additional age restriction for motorcycle riders.
  • There are no laws in Mississippi regarding the age of passengers.
  • Mississippi requires motorcycle riders to carry minimum insurance coverage of: 
    • $25,000 for death or injury of one person
    • $50,000 for death or injury to two or more people
    • $25,000 for damage or destruction of property
    • Contrary to what other legal sites claim, there is no legal requirement to carry uninsured motorist coverage as a motorcycle rider.
  • Lane splitting is now legal in Mississippi, which allows you to ride between lanes to ease congestion and speed travel for bikers.

Motorcycle riders must also follow all other traffic laws and rules of the road.

You May Be Entitled to Compensation Regardless of a Helmet

Whether or not you were wearing a motorcycle helmet doesn’t impact your ability to file a personal injury claim when someone else’s actions caused your accident. If you were injured through someone else’s neglect, you may be entitled to at least some compensation.Richard Schwartz & Associates has years of experience handling motorcycle accident cases, including cases in which the biker was not wearing a helmet. We will fight for your right to compensation, especially if your injuries were not related to the head. Contact us today at (601) 988-8888 to schedule a free consultation.

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