What Should I Do Immediately After a Mississippi Car Accident?
Car accidents can range from a seemingly innocent fender bender to having your car totaled and suffering extensive injuries. The outcome of a car crash can range from an inconvenience to a life-changing, harrowing experience. No matter what occurs, there are some things you’ll need to do in order to ensure that you get the maximum amount of damages from your insurance claim.
The main objective is to collect as much information as possible at the accident scene. You can use an auto accident checklist as well as follow these steps.
- Make sure that everyone is safe and OK. If you and your passengers are OK, try to move the car to the shoulder and put up hazard signs or flares. This will help prevent further accidents and injuries and keep traffic flow.
- Remain calm. You may be running on adrenaline and quite upset. You may want to lash out at the driver who caused the accident. Do not allow your emotions get the best of you. Losing your temper could end up hurting your damages claim and could end up landing you in jail. Let cooler heads prevail instead.
- Call the police.Even though Mississippi does not require you to file a police report, if the damage is under $250 or no one is hurt, a police report can be a part of the evidence you’re collecting. Get the police officer’s name and badge number and show him or her proof of vehicle registration and insurance. Make sure to obtain the police report later when it’s completed. A police officer may determine fault on the scene, which may or may not help your case. If a car crash results in more than $250 in damage or anyone was injured, then you have 10 days to file a police report. If you fail to do this, you can be charged with a misdemeanor and have your license suspended.
- Call the paramedics.You and your passengers may be visibly fine, but it’s always good to double-check. Injuries from a car crash could be internal, so it’s better to be on the safe side. Also, it lessens the chance that an insurance company will claim that you’re inventing your injuries just to make a damages claim.
- Do not admit fault.This could present problems for you later. It’s OK to see if the other driver and passengers are OK, but in general, keep conversations with them to a minimum.
- Write down the names and phone numbers of the other driver, passengers, and witnesses.Exchange names, addresses, license numbers, car tag numbers, the insurer’s name, phone number, and policy number with the other driver. Record the names and contact information from as many witnesses as possible.
- Take photos of the accident scene.Take pictures of the cars from multiple angles. Also take photos of the road or highway including skid marks and the road conditions. Take pictures of the general scene. You can take video if you want. Any evidence of the accident that seems relevant, you can document it. Using your mobile phone to document the accident and scene is fine.
- Record what you remember. This may be difficult if you’re in shock, but try to get as much down as you can while it is fresh in your mind. Ask the other passengers and witnesses what happened, if possible.
- Go to the doctor as soon as possible.Even if the paramedics checked you out after the accident, some injuries may also show up days later. Not only is this best for your own health, but it will help bolster your insurance claim. It will be easier to get compensation for your medical bills when your injuries are documented.
- Do not accept a settlement without consulting with an attorney first.The other insurance company may contact you in hopes of settling quickly. This may prevent you from obtaining the damages and compensation you deserve. If you feel like you are being pressured to settle, you should contact a personal injury attorney who has experience with car accident cases.
Car accidents are unfortunately a common occurrence, shattering the lives thousands of Americans every year. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, the experienced and aggressive auto accident attorneys at Gardner Law Firm want to help you recover and move on with your life. Contact us today for a free consultation so we can begin the process of securing the compensation you deserve. Our number is (228) 436-6555.