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Jackson & New Orleans Workers' Compensation / Blog / Car Accident / Do This Immediately After a Vehicle Accident!

Do This Immediately After a Vehicle Accident!

What Paperwork Do I Need to Obtain After a Car Accident?

According to Mississippi law, you are required to notify police if you have been in a car accident where someone was injured, someone was killed, or there was more than $500 worth of property damage. But it’s still a good idea to file reports for minor incidents, as there may be as yet undetermined injuries, hidden vehicle damage, or differing accounts of the event from each driver.

If you’ve been in a car accident, the very first thing you need to do is call 911 and get everyone involved the medical treatment they need. Once the police arrive and if you are able, you’ll need to file a police report with the officer who comes to the scene. Even if you are in a minor fender bender and choose not to call the police, you should still file an accident report within 10 days of the incident.

The report should contain:

  • The exact location, time, and date of the accident
  • Names, addresses, and contact information for anyone involved in the accident
  • Names, contact information, and statements of any witnesses
  • Statements taken by the responding officer from you and the other driver
  • A narrative description of how the accident happened
  • The policy number and the name of the insurance company for both you and the other driver
  • A description of any injuries to people involved, damage to each of the vehicles, or any property damage to signs, guard rails, or buildings
  • A diagram of the accident scene, debris patterns, skid marks, and relevant photos
  • If the officer issued a ticket to either you or the other driver

How Do I Obtain My Police Report?

If you are not given a copy of the report at the scene, you will need to request it from the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. You can request it online for $20.00 or by mail for $15.00.

The address is:
Driver Records Division/Accident
P.O. Box 958
Jackson, MS 39205

Note that in Mississippi, car accident reports are not public information, and only the person involved in the accident, their next of kin, a representative of the involved party or their estate, or an insurer of the involved party or their estate can legally request the report. A police report is crucial if you want to claim damages from your or the other driver’s insurance company after the fact.

It provides important facts, details, and contact information that lawyers, insurers, and law enforcement can use to help determine how much you are entitled to. Mississippi is a fault-based state, so the amount you recover depends on how much you are ruled at fault by your insurance company. If anything in the police report is wrong, let law enforcement know immediately to get the report corrected, as this report may be relied on in court later on. (Police reports are technically considered hearsay and therefore not admissible in court, but factual details such as injuries or damage sustained would be important info from the report that your attorney can use to make your case.)

We Handle the Negotiations

At Lunsford, Baskin, & Priebe PLLC, we know that negotiating with insurance companies is one of the most stressful aspects of a claim. We will handle all negotiations. If discussions break down or there’s an impasse on liability, we will prepare to file a lawsuit on your behalf. If it becomes necessary to take your case to trial, we have the resources and experience. We aren’t afraid to back down from an aggressive court battle.

To learn more about how we can help you after being injured in a car accident, contact Lunsford, Baskin, & Priebe, PLLC today to schedule an initial consultation. Please call (601) 203-4552, or contact us online.

 

Video Transcript
The first thing you need to do after you’ve been involved in car accident if you’re able, you need to call 9 1 1 and get the police out at the scene of the accident.
When the police or law enforcement respond to an accident scene, they prepare a written accident report that contains crucial information that’s helpful to your lawyer and getting your personal injury claim started. The accident report will contain the names, addresses, contact information for anyone involved in the accident. It will contain the names and contact information for any witnesses, and it will contain statements taken by the responding officer from the drivers, and a narrative description of how the accident happened. Those are obviously important in the event that someone tries to change their story about how the accident happened down the road. At that point, we have a written report contemporaneously prepared by the law enforcement officer, as well as the contact information for witnesses so we can reach out and figure out what really happened.
An accident report will also have the policy number and the name of the insurance company for the at fault driver, which is very helpful in allowing us to go ahead and reach out to that insurance company, open up a new claim and put them on notice that we’ll be working on a personal injury claim against their company.
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