Steps to Take After a Mississippi Auto AccidentMississippi Legal News
If you’ve just been hurt in a Mississippi auto accident, it’s normal to feel stressed and overwhelmed. The first step you should take is to calm down. Once you have your bearings, you can start to gather evidence, and then follow these key tips to make sure you get out of your accident without jeopardizing your ability to file a claim or inadvertently committing a crime.
After an accident of any scale, you are legally required to stop and exchange information with the other driver. Even if your vehicle was only lightly scratched, you cannot simply drive off and act like nothing ever happened, or else you’d be committing a hit and run accident, which will net you severe penalties. Under Mississippi’s hit and run laws (Codes § 63-3-401 through 63-3-407), you must do the following after colliding with vehicles, property, or pedestrians:
- Stop, and move your vehicle to avoid obstructing traffic.
- Exchange names, addresses, and vehicle registration numbers.
- Arrange medical attention for any injured parties, usually by calling 911.
- If you hit an unattended vehicle, try to locate the owner. If you can’t, leave a note in or on their vehicle including your contact information and a short explanation of the crash/ where you struck their vehicle.
Seek Medical Attention
Regardless of how you feel, it’s vital that you seek appropriate medical attention promptly. If you’re clearly injured or in pain, this will usually involve a trip to the emergency room, but even if you’re symptom-free, you should still schedule an appointment with your doctor. Mississippi auto accidents of all severities can inflict subtle, delayed-onset injuries such as whiplash, which may only manifest after days or even weeks have passed. If you fail to seek medical attention, only to realize that you’re injured later down the line, you may be unable to receive compensation due to your lack of personal responsibility in the eyes of an insurance adjuster.
Open an Insurance Claim
You might not need to file an auto insurance claim at all if your accident involved nothing but minor property damage. However, if you were hurt, are unclear as to who’s at fault, or have significant expenses to cover, you’ll benefit from filing a claim. Once you have a decent sense of your damages and aren’t likely to encounter sudden medical or financial complications, you can go ahead and open an insurance claim through your own or the other driver’s insurance company. An attorney or your insurance adjuster can advise you as to which you should file through.
When you open a claim, be aware that you’ll immediately come under scrutiny by adjusters searching for sources of fault. Keep your commentary to a minimum, and don’t provide a formal statement unless the terms of your policy require it. As a general rule of thumb, you should talk to an auto accident lawyer before talking in any depth with an adjuster.
Talk to a Mississippi Auto Accident Attorney
Auto accidents are complex affairs, so it’s best to get the advice of a legal professional as early as possible. Germany law Firm, PLLC has extensive experience helping people get through these traumatic crashes, so give us a call at (601) 401-6884 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Mississippi auto accident attorneys. We’ll help you get back on your feet by handling the claims process on your behalf, simplifying your road to compensation.