If you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run accident in Mississippi, you’re likely feeling incredibly frustrated—and just a little bit hopeless. Any time a vehicle leaves the scene of an accident—whether it’s a car vs. car crash, a vehicle vs. pedestrian crash, or an accident where a vehicle hits property—this is defined as a hit-and-run accident.
Leaving the scene of any type of accident is a federal crime. Federal and local laws in Mississippi both state that any driver involved in a crash must pull over and provide their insurance information. Hit-and-run drivers are punishable by law. During the aftermath of a hit-and-run crime, you may feel that the guilty driver may not be caught and punished, but the opposite is generally true. By remaining calm and doing everything you can to help the police, you can help ensure the driver is found.
Here are 6 steps you should take after a hit-and-run accident in Mississippi:
- Prioritize the health and safety of everyone around you. Ensure everyone gets medical attention who may need it. Every other step is secondary.
- Make sure a police report is filled out. One will often be filled out automatically.
- If any witnesses are nearby who saw the accident, speak to them and ask if they remember any distinguishing features about the vehicle that left the scene of the crime or its owner. Additionally, ask if they’re comfortable giving you their contact information if they might be needed later as an eyewitness. Eyewitnesses can be a huge asset if your case ends up going to trial.
- Ensure evidence is collected. Take pictures of anything that may seem useful later including the exact location where the accident occurred, the state of your vehicle, any debris on the road, or any skid marks on the road. Evidence like this doesn’t last forever and can be incredibly useful for finding the vehicle’s owner.
- Contact your insurance provider. Let them know about the accident and that it was a hit-and-run crime. Do not agree to any settlement offers at this time. If questioned, tell them that the case is under investigation.
- Consider contacting a personal injury lawyer. If you or a loved one was seriously injured and the investigation isn’t going as smoothly as you hoped or if the other driver was found and their insurance company is proving difficult to work with, you may need legal help from a Mississippi car accident lawyer.
A lawyer will be able to tell you the merits of your case and if any civil charges can be filed against the other driver. These charges can be filed in addition to any criminal charges in place and can help you and your family recover—both financially and emotionally. Leaving the scene of an accident isn’t acceptable behavior. Filing a lawsuit against the guilty driver ensures that individual learns their lesson.
For more information or for a zero-obligation case consultation, get in touch with Corban Gunn, Biloxi Attorney at Law, today. Our office is more than happy to assist you and tell you if filing a hit-and-run accident lawsuit is in your best interest. If it is, we will fight on your behalf and ensure justice prevails.