What Happens If You Get Into An Accident Without a Seat Belt?

What Happens If You Get Into An Accident Without a Seat Belt?

Mississippi’s seat belt laws are simple—all vehicle occupants, barring special medical or technical exceptions, are expected to wear a seat belt (or appropriate child restraint device). This simple measure saves a multitude of lives annually, yet many people choose to drive without a seat belt regardless, whether situationally (such as while making short, local trips) or as a matter of fact. Regardless, if you do get into an auto accident in Mississippi while you aren’t buckled up, you might be worried over what comes next for you, for better and for worse.

The Consequences of Not Wearing a Seat Belt

Failing to wear a seat belt is illegal, but what does violating that law actually entail? Despite significant social and financial consequences, the actual civil penalties enforced by the state of Mississippi are thankfully light:

  • Failure to wear a seat belt qualifies as a misdemeanor under Mississippi Code Ann. § 63-2-7, which will net drivers a $25 fine without any marks against their driving record. This fine remains at a static $25 even if passengers fail to wear a seat belt, and passengers cannot be penalized for this offense (drivers will shoulder the cumulative misdemeanor on their behalf, even if they’re wearing a seat belt themselves). 

What Happens If You Get Into An Accident Without a Seat Belt?While the legal penalties of failing to wear a seat belt can be deceptively minor, the real price of failing to buckle up stems from the injuries you’ll sustain. It goes without saying that you are drastically more likely to sustain crippling injuries or a fatality if you fail to wear a seat belt; at best, you’ll strike your airbag harder, and at worst, you’ll become a projectile and crash through a windshield, collide with another vehicle occupant, or otherwise pose a threat to yourself and others. 

Things don’t end with the actual content of your injuries, however. Medical bills are extremely expensive, and will only compound upon other losses. Normally, you’d turn to auto insurance to cover the majority of your expenses, but if you failed to wear a seat belt, you’ll be at fault for a significant portion of any wounds you sustain according to Mississippi’s pure comparative fault system. Failing to take measures to protect yourself makes it extremely difficult to receive fair compensation, as many adjusters and courts will view such a decision as reckless and negligent.

You Can Still Seek Accident Compensation in Mississippi

Even if you got into an accident without a seat belt, you can still seek (and receive) compensation. As mentioned prior, your injury-related bills are likely to be reduced, yet you’ll still be able to receive partial compensation on that front since fault will be shared by the driver who caused the accident; additionally, your auto-repair bills and other losses that have nothing to do with a seat belt should still be things you can recover for in full. 

Don’t let a single decision come between you and reasonable compensation. If you’ve been hurt in an accident in Mississippi while not wearing a seat belt, call us at (601) 401-6884 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Mississippi auto accident attorneys today. Germany Law Firm, PLLC can help you receive as much as possible while simultaneously relieving you of a burdensome claims process, giving you time to focus on rest and recovery in the wake of a terrible accident.