Motorcyclists are afforded all the same privileges and rights as drivers of other larger motor vehicles. With these rights comes the same legal responsibilities as any other motorist. It is not legal to ride a motorcycle without insurance in Mississippi for the legal and financial protection of everyone on the road.
In this article, we’ll explore insurance requirements for motorcyclists in Mississippi, licensure requirements, and what to do if you’ve been involved in an accident without insurance. The goal of Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law is to always provide rigorous legal representation without judgment or assumptions, so you can rely on us when you are unsure of your legal rights.
Motorcycle Insurance Requirements in Mississippi
Mississippi state law requires all motorcycle riders to carry what is colloquially known as 25/50/25 coverage. This means that a minimum motorcycle insurance policy must have:
- $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $25,000 property damage liability per accident
You are not required to have any coverage that extends beyond the requirements listed above. There are benefits to maintaining additional coverage, though. Underinsured motorist, uninsured motorist, and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage can provide additional protection in the event of a:
- Hit-and-run accident
- Collision with an uninsured or underinsured driver
- Severe crash that results in catastrophic injuries
If you suffer traumatic or catastrophic injuries that require extensive medical interventions, your medical bills may add up to more than the required insurance minimums. Having your own auto insurance coverage for underinsured drivers creates a safety net should you need additional compensation for your injuries.
Motorcycle Licenses and Permits
You must have one of the following permits or licenses to operate a motorcycle in Mississippi:
- Motorcycle license
- Driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement
- Motorcycle learner’s permit
How To Obtain a Motorcycle Learner’s Permit in Mississippi
You must first pass a written test to obtain a motorcycle learner’s permit. The Motorcycle Foundation Operator’s Manual will contain all the information you need to pass this test and can be accessed for free on the Mississippi Department of Public Safety’s website. There are 25 questions on the test, and you must correctly answer 20 to pass.
How To Obtain a Motorcycle License
Your motorcycle learner’s permit gives you the legal right to practice driving a motorcycle on Mississippi roads. However, you must be accompanied by another person who is 21 years of age or older and has either a motorcycle license or a driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement. This person may not ride on the back of your motorcycle and instead must follow behind or alongside you.
After practicing, you may proceed to the road test. During the road test, you will be evaluated on your ability to safely operate a motorcycle within the confines of the law. If you pass, you will receive your motorcycle license.
Mississippi Motorcycle Helmet Law
State law requires that all motorcycle riders wear a helmet regardless of age or experience. Select a well-fitting helmet that covers your face and replace it every three to five years or whenever it is damaged. Replace your helmet right away if you notice any of the following issues:
- The fit is no longer snug, or it starts feeling loose
- The interior of the helmet begins deteriorating
- The exterior shell begins deteriorating
- The strap or locking mechanism no longer functions correctly
Your helmet is the best line of defense against a serious head injury in a motorcycle accident. Never wait to replace a damaged or worn-out helmet.
What if I Got in an Accident Without Motorcycle Insurance in Mississippi?
It is illegal to drive a motor vehicle (including a motorcycle) in Mississippi without auto insurance. If you are found to be operating a motorcycle without insurance, you could be charged with a misdemeanor, fined $500, and lose your driving privileges for a period of one year.
Lack of insurance does not affect who was at fault for an accident, though. If you were involved in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you may still file a personal injury claim to recover compensation for your injuries. You may have fewer options if you were involved in a hit-and-run or were hit by an uninsured driver, as this is where you would normally turn to your own auto insurer for compensation.
What if I Was Partially at Fault for the Accident?
Mississippi state law follows pure comparative negligence rules. This means you may pursue compensation regardless of your role in the collision. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault.
For example, if you were 10% at fault for an accident in which you were awarded $10,000 in damages, your compensation would be reduced by 10%, or $1,000. Depending on your auto insurance coverage, you may be able to file a claim with your own insurer to make up for any additional compensation you need for your recovery.
Finding Hope After a Motorcycle Accident
Injuries associated with motorcycle accidents tend to be severe, which makes the road to recovery a long process that is physically, emotionally, and financially exhausting. If you were hurt through no fault of your own, you deserve to be fairly compensated for your damages.
Do not hesitate to contact our Biloxi, MS offices to schedule an initial case evaluation with a competent motorcycle attorney. We never charge for the first meeting, and there is never any obligation to move forward unless we both feel confident that our law firm is the right match for your case.
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