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What You Have to Know About Mississippi Automobile Accident Legal guidelines

Failure to bring your claim within this three-year deadline can result in losing your legal right to recover entirely.

According to the CDC, approximately three million people sustain non-fatal injuries in motor vehicle crashes each year. Even more concerning is the number of fatal car accidents that occur each year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 36,096 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2019. 

Unfortunately, the State of Mississippi is no exception to these types of statistics. Car accidents occur each and every day on Mississippi roads. 

Of course, there is no surefire way to prevent an accident from occurring. However, it is important to know what Mississippi accident laws exist. That way, if you are ever involved in an accident on Mississippi roadways, you know what to do and where to go from there. 

Mississippi Car Accident Statistics

According to the Mississippi Department of Transportation, below are some important car accident statistics to be aware of: 

  • There were 690 total fatalities on Mississippi roadways in 2016;
  • Half of the people killed in motor vehicle crashes in Mississippi are not buckled up; and
  • In 2016, 18% of all traffic deaths in Mississippi were the result of drunk driving.

A car accident can occur at virtually any time and in any place. But these types of statistics can inform trends on when, where, and how car accidents may occur more frequently. 

Important Car Accident Laws to Be Aware of in Mississippi

Being involved in a car accident can be frightening and overwhelming. And while nothing can really prepare you for being in such a scenario, knowing and understanding Mississippi accident laws ahead of time can at least bring you some comfort and peace of mind. 

If you are ever involved in a car accident on Mississippi roads, knowing these laws can help you understand what to do next. 

Car Accident Reporting Laws

Police officer leaning in window of car after accident; image by Matt Chesin, via Unsplash.com.

Immediately after an accident, it is important that you report it to the authorities. In fact, doing so may be a requirement under Mississippi law. 

Mississippi Code section 63-3-411 states that the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident must report the accident if the crash results in: 

  • Property damage of more than $500, 
  • Injury, or 
  • Death. 

Even if the accident was not fatal, nobody sustained visible injuries, and you’re not sure whether there was $500 worth of property damage, contacting the authorities is still a good idea.

Sometimes, injuries may arise later that weren’t visible at the scene of the accident. Further, having a formal accident report prepared by the officer at the scene can be great evidence if you do decide to pursue an insurance claim or civil claim for damages later on. 

Statute of Limitations

According to Mississippi Code section 15-1-49, the statute of limitations in Mississippi is three years for car accident injury cases. 

A statute of limitations is essentially the timeframe in which you must bring your legal claim. If you are injured in a car accident due to the actions of someone else, you may have a legal claim for recovery. However, you must file your complaint within three years of the date of the accident. In fact, according to one Mississippi car accident lawyer, failure to do so can result in being barred from seeking damages entirely. 

Failure to bring your claim within this three-year deadline can result in losing your legal right to recover entirely. Thus, even though three years may seem like a long time, it is important that you seek legal counsel well before your three years is up to determine whether you have a valid legal claim and begin the process of asserting your rights. 

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