Depending on the severity of your car accident, you might be legally required to report the accident and any injuries to the authorities. Failing to do so on time might lead to legal consequences.
There is no hard deadline for reporting car accidents to the police. By law, drivers must report accidents as fast as possible. For many, this means reporting the crash immediately. Others might take a little time before they can report the crash. Reporting your accident to your insurance company is a different story, largely depending on your insurance company’s policies. Failing to report an accident might lead to legal consequences in addition to insurance issues. While you do not have to report every crash, you should speak to a Biloxi, MS personal injury lawyer.
If you were injured in a collision on the road and have not yet reported the accident, our Mississippi car accident lawyers can help you make the necessary reports and begin legal action against any negligent drivers. For a free case assessment, call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.
When You Must Report a Car Accident Injury to Law Enforcement in Mississippi
Drivers are legally required to report certain kinds of accidents. Under Mississippi Code § 63-3-411(1), the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident that results in injury or death or $500 worth of damage must report the crash. The law does not mention specific deadlines; only that drivers must report accidents immediately and by the quickest means of communication.
The law does not provide an exact timeline on when an accident should be reported. We know that accidents should be reported “immediately” and by the “quickest means of communication.” Exactly what these means for injured drivers might vary from case to case. Often, the quickest means of communication is a cell phone, and calls to the police can be made right away. However, some drivers might not have a phone with them, and they might not be able to report the accident until someone stops to help them.
One thing is for sure: you should report your accident and any injuries as quickly as possible by whatever means you have. Our Biloxi car accident attorneys can help you file a lawsuit for damages when you are ready.
How Long You Have to Notify Your Car Insurance About an Accident in Mississippi
The reporting requirements for insurance purposes might differ from those for law enforcement. It is difficult to say exactly how long you have to report a car accident and injuries to your insurance company because they might have their own rules and procedures to follow. Insurance companies are private entities that must adhere to strict legal codes but are free to promulgate their own rules and procedures. Essentially, how long you have to report a car accident to your insurance company depends on the company and your insurance policy.
Our Hattiesburg car accident lawyers have experience working with plaintiffs and their insurance companies or defendants’ insurance companies. We can help you figure out when you must report your accident, how you must make the report, and how to deal with potential consequences if a deadline has passed.
How Long You Have to File a Lawsuit for Car Accident Injuries in Mississippi
Not only are there restrictions on when you must report a car accident to the police and your insurance provider, but there are also restrictions on when you can file a civil lawsuit for your car accident injuries in court. In Mississippi, the statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits, including those for car accident injuries, is 3 years. This rule is established under Mississippi Code § 15-1-49(1).
The statute of limitations sets a time limit on when you may file a perianal injury lawsuit for something like an injury sustained in a car accident. Once the 3-year deadline passes, you might lose your ability to sue for your injuries. However, our Biloxi car accident lawyers can help you figure out if you may toll the statute of limitations and buy yourself more time to file your case. Tolling may only be done under very specific circumstances, and the amount of extra time you can get varies from case to case.
Potential Penalties for Failing to Report Car Accident Injuries on Time in Mississippi
If you did not report a car accident after it happened, you might face harsh penalties later on that our Macon car accident lawyers can help you with. These penalties might be legal consequences for failing to notify the police and get emergency help. They might also be penalties from your insurance company, making it more difficult to get your expenses covered.
Even minor accidents might need to be reported. The law required that accidents involving injury or death must be reported, and accidents involving at least $500 in damage must be reported too. In some cases, accidents involving only vehicle damage and no injuries are not reported because the drivers are afraid of getting in trouble with the police. However, leaving the scene of certain accidents before the police arrive on the scene might be considered a hit and run. If the other driver changes their story and claims you refused to report the accident and left, you might be in serious trouble.
You might also have trouble with the insurance company. Mississippi is a fault-based state regarding insurance and car accidents. To get compensation, drivers must file claims with the other party’s insurance company and prove they were at fault. If you do not report the accident, there is very little evidence the accident even happened other than your word, and insurance companies will need more. In some cases, drivers have had their claims denied by insurance companies because they failed to report the accident.
Do I Have to Report Every Car Accident Injury in Mississippi?
Although reporting car accidents is important, not every accident is required to be reported by law. As the statute above says, only accidents involving injuries, death, or at least $500 of damage must be reported. If your crash does not meet the criteria for reportable accidents, you do not have to get law enforcement involved. Even so, it is a good idea to report your accident just so your insurance company has some proof of the crash.
The law specifically mentions what to do in certain accidents that do not have to be reported. For example, under Mississippi Code § 63-3-409, a driver who hits a fixture on or adjacent to the road (e.g., signs, fences, parked bicycles) does not necessarily have to report the accident to law enforcement. However, the driver must take reasonable steps to locate or notify the owner of the damaged property. The accident should be brought to law enforcement’s attention if it meets reporting requirements.
Regardless of reporting requirements, it is a good idea to report any accidents to the police. Our Murfreesboro car accident lawyers can help you report your accident and take legal action to get compensation for your damages.
Call Our Mississippi Car Accident Lawyers for Help Today
If you were recently in a car accident and did not make a report to the police, call our Valdosta car accident lawyers for help right away. For a free case review, call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.