Car accidents can be a shocking experience, especially if the person who caused it leaves the scene. Usually there’s property damage, and there might even be physical damage, so it’s important to report the accident in a timely manner. That way, the person responsible can be caught quickly and correctly. So then how long do you have to report a hit-and-run accident?
Mississippi Hit-and-Run Laws
After a hit-and-run, you might not know what comes next. You might not even be sure that what they did was illegal. Rest assured because Mississippi code requires a driver who causes damage to another driver or their property to pull over and exchange information. If the damage looks like it costs over $500, it must be reported to the police.
The law also requires the accident to be reported by the liable party immediately, or within 10 days, and failing to report is a misdemeanor, according to The Mississippi Bar. If you don’t report the hit-and-run within 10 days of the collision, then your driver’s license could be suspended. If your car was the one hit, you have until the statute of limitations for car accidents is over, which state code outlines as three years.
The first thing you should do after a hit-and-run is get medical attention if you feel like you might be injured at all. You should go to the hospital even if you don’t feel injured because your adrenaline could be taking over and masking any pain you have. Going to the doctor is the first step to your recovery, but also gives you documentation of your injuries for a potential claim.
Right after that is when you should report the car accident to the police. Immediate action is the best way to deal with a hit-and-run. When you report the crash quickly, the police can be on the scene and gather all the evidence they can. Their evidence and quick action could enable them to catch the perpetrator, making your case easier because you can hold them responsible. The longer you wait, the less likely it is that they’ll find who is liable, and you won’t be able to receive appropriate compensation for your damages.
What Happens to the Person Liable?
If you caused a hit-and-run accident, your best option is to call the police and take responsibility for the accident. Taking too long to report it could result in the suspension of your license, or worse. It’s important to remember that leaving the scene of an accident you caused without providing identification is a federal crime.
A person who flees the scene could get a jail sentence for anywhere between 30 days and a year. Not only could they face jail time, but they could also be fined from $100 to $5,000. The charges could rise to a felony if they killed, disfigured, or permanently disabled a driver or passenger of the car they hit. In that case, fines could climb to between $1,000 and $10,000, and jail time could be between 5 and 20 years. On top of that, the driver could lose their license.
Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC Will Fight for You
When you experience a car crash, you’ll need somebody on your side throughout your entire experience. A car accident lawyer from Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC in Jackson can support you through your case. We can focus on the legal side of things while you focus on recovery. Contact us today to hear about how we can help you with your claim.