In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, you may be feeling overwhelmed and anxious.
Perhaps you’re even stunned, and aren’t sure what steps to take next. Regardless of how jarring a car crash may be, though, there are a few things that you must do following a crash.
In addition to seeking medical care and letting your insurer know that you’ve been involved in an accident, you also must file a crash report with the police. After you have filed a report, you should request a copy of the report.
Here’s an overview of what you need to know regarding obtaining a Mississippi highway patrol (MHP) crash report.
The Importance of MS Highway Patrol Accident Reports
You may be wondering why an accident report is so important. Before you dismiss the critical nature of filing a report, consider the following:
- Reporting your accident is required under law – You must file a written accident report with the police within 10 days of an accident if anyone is hurt in the collision or if property damage costs total more than $250. You can read more about your duty to report an accident on the website of The Mississippi Bar.
- Reporting your accident shows correlation between your crash and damages. If you have been in an accident, chances are that you have suffered injuries to your person, damages to your vehicle, or both. As such, you will likely file a claim with the relevant insurance company in order to recoup damages. However, if you don’t have a police accident report to back up your statement that your injuries and property damage costs resulted from a car accident, the adjuster assigned to your case may doubt the validity of your claim. When you have an accident report, correlation will be clear.
- An accident report is a valuable type of evidence. Finally, you want to file an accident report–and then request a copy of your report–because an accident report is a valuable type of evidence. Not only will correlation between the accident and your injuries be highlighted, but the report may also contain the names of witnesses who saw what happened (and with whom you can follow up for a statement), the information of the other driver, and even the police officer’s opinion about what happened and whose negligence caused the crash.
Tips When Reporting Your Crash
When filing MHP crash reports, knowing what things to say–and not to say–to a responding officer is wise. You should provide all critical details to the reporting officer, including your name, vehicle make and model, driver’s license number, insurance and registration information, and contact information.
You should also provide the officer with a description of what happened; however, this description should be precise, and you should not make any guesses about what the other driver was doing.
Another important thing to remember about reporting your accident is that you should not admit fault. If you tell the police officer that you were at fault for the accident and this statement is recorded in the police report, it can–and almost certainly will–be used against you when you are filing a claim for damages. It is best to stick to the facts without making any declarations about negligence.
How to Obtain an MHP Crash Report
Obtaining MHP accident reports is easy, and can be done through the mail, online, or in-person. A mail-in or walk-in crash report is $15, whereas an online purchase of an accident report is $20 (the extra $5 is a handling charge). You can request a copy of your crash report in-person at a district troop station. If you are requesting your accident report by mail, you will send your request to:
Driver Records Division/Accident
PO Box 958
Jackson, Mississippi 39205
As found in Mississippi Statute Section 63-3-417, those who are legally allowed to obtain an accident report include police officers, any person involved in the accident, the next of kin of any person involved in the accident, or any person against whom an accident claim is made. If you have any difficulty in securing an accident report, do not hesitate to reach out to a lawyer.
How Our Mississippi Car Accident Lawyers Can Help
If you have been in a crash in Mississippi, we hope that you will take action to seek medical care and retain legal counsel quickly. If you have not already filed an accident report, we urge you to do so immediately. Our lawyers can represent you in this process if necessary.
Once you have filed a report, you need to obtain a copy of the Mississippi highway patrol accident report as a source of evidence; we can help you in doing this, too. Our lawyers know how to use police reports, and other sources of evidence, to build strong claims for our clients. To schedule a free consultation with our law office, please call us today or send us a message now.