Being involved in a car accident comes with a lot of paperwork and reporting to deal with. After a crash, you’ll need to report the crash to the police, go see a doctor, report it to your insurance company, and maybe even take the case to court, but everything has different deadlines and requirements.
Generally, you need to report a crash involving injuries or death to the police right away. You should not delay, as this is a legal requirement. You should also call an ambulance and thus report it to a doctor as soon as you can, too. Your insurance policy will tell you how long you have to report it to your insurance company, but if you were not at fault, then you might be better off filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance or taking the driver to court. Both of those claims also have a filing deadline of 3 years.
Contact Howe Law for a free case evaluation with our Mississippi car accident lawyers by calling (844) 876-4357 today.
Deadline for Reporting a Car Accident to the Police in Mississippi
Miss. Code Ann. § 63-3-401 requires all drivers to stop at the scene of a car accident that involves injury. Then § 63-3-405 picks up with requirements about what information you need to exchange with the other driver and the need to get aid to anyone injured (usually by calling 911). In addition, § 63-3-411 gives the requirements for when and how to report a car accident to the police.
Under this statute, any crash involving injury, death, or $500 or more of vehicle damage needs to be reported. The deadline for this reporting is literally written in the statute as “immediately.” It also says you should use the “quickest means” to communicate the accident to the police. If the driver cannot report the crash because they are incapacitated, then § 63-3-413 allows a passenger to report it instead.
Usually, the police officer will then write up an accident report and file it, but the law does give room for the local police to require a supplemental report from the drivers. The deadlines and requirements for filing these reports – if they are even necessary – is something our Jackson car accident lawyers can help you with. We can also help you obtain any reports the police file in your case.
Deadline for Reporting Your Car Accident to Insurance in Mississippi
If you caused the crash, then your insurance company will need to know. Most car insurance policies include a requirement to report the crash to the insurance company and allow them to investigate the cause. Generally, insurance companies will raise your rates if you cause a crash, so it is a contractual obligation to report the accident to them.
If you were an innocent victim of the crash, the terms of your policy might still require you to report the crash to your own insurance company. Our lawyers can help you review the terms of your policy and make reports.
However, when you are injured in an accident and need payments for injuries, you usually do not need to work with your insurance company under Mississippi law. Mississippi is a fault state for car insurance. This means that the at-fault driver’s insurance company pays for damages, not your insurance company. In some cases, your own insurance will be willing to pay you then seek damages from the at-fault driver’s insurance, but a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance policy is a more straightforward way of getting the damages you need.
The deadline to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance is going to be the same as the deadline for filing a lawsuit: 3 years under Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49. Even so, insurance companies usually make claims much harder to file as time goes on, so file as soon as you can. Delaying your filing also means delaying payment.
Deadline for Reporting Your Case to the Courts for a Mississippi Car Accident
When you file your case with the courts as a lawsuit, it isn’t really “reporting” the accident, but this is another important deadline to keep in mind. While you might try to go through an insurance claim to get the damages you need, insurance companies are often reluctant to make full payments or to accept that the accident was their driver’s fault. This can make it hard to get damages through insurance, requiring you to ultimately file the case in court to get the damages you need.
When filing a lawsuit, you usually have 3 years from the date of the accident under § 15-1-49. However, you should begin acting on your case much sooner than this. It can take months or even years to build a case before filing it. It also behooves you to act quickly, as cases can take months to work their way through the court to trial. Any initial delays in filing will delay when your case starts and ultimately delay when your case ends as well. If you are injured and can’t work and need damages now, contact a lawyer and file your case as soon as you can.
Note that this deadline is merely the deadline for getting your case filed in court. There are additional deadlines for when you need to serve process on the defendant and give them notice of the case. From there, the court case can take some time, but the case does not need to be resolved within that 3-year deadline – just filed.
Call Our Mississippi Car Accident Attorneys Today
If you were hurt in a crash, call Howe Law’s Biloxi car accident lawyers today at (844) 876-4357 for a free case assessment.