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Riding without a helmet complicates an accident claim

Here in the South, we take our personal freedoms seriously, so it is certainly understandable that many Mississippians who ride motorcycles may object to our state's mandatory helmet law. After all, the rider assumes the responsibility for his or her actions, so why should it matter if someone rides with a helmet or not?

While the issue of individual rights versus the responsibility of the government to keep citizens safe is complicated, the law is fairly clear on the matter. Riding without a helmet in Mississippi is not lawful, but the legal consequences of doing so are not really a motorcycle rider's biggest concerns. Riding without a helmet in Mississippi is not only dangerous, it may invalidate an accident claim.

If you choose to ride without a helmet, you are probably aware of the personal risks and fully accept them. Unfortunately, this is usually not enough when it comes to filing an injury claim after a helmet-less motorcycle accident.

Is riding without a helmet legally negligent?

There is no simple solution to this issue, but it is fair to say that riding without a helmet greatly decreases your likelihood of receiving full, fair compensation for your injuries and losses after a car accident.

Let's say that you are riding without a helmet when a car runs a red light and hits you, throwing you from your bike and leaving you with numerous injuries. The driver was clearly in the wrong and you now have many injuries that may require thousands of dollars in medical care and weeks or months of recovery. That should be a slam-dunk personal injury claim, right?

In normal circumstances, this scenario might yield a strong settlement easily, but riding without a helmet gives the other driver an advantage. The other driver now has the opportunity to claim that you acted negligently by failing to wear a helmet. This position makes the case that you may have suffered much less harm if you had acted in your own best interest and worn a helmet, therefore passing at least some of the liability for the accident to you.

Unfortunately, the courts tend to agree with this position. This does not mean that riding without a helmet invalidates all accident claims, but it puts ammunition in the other party's hands to fight back and shift blame for the severity of injuries, if not for the accident itself.

Build a strong claim now

If you face injuries and lost income after a helmet-less motorcycle accident, you need to understand the details of your circumstances through the eyes of the law. There is no one-size-fits all solution, so you must build a strong claim with supporting evidence if you hope to receive the compensation you deserve. A well-built claim helps keep your rights and priorities secure while you fight to recover a fair settlement and get back on the road.

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