There are a lot of things to worry about after being involved in a traffic accident. Seeking medical care, notifying your insurance company, and working to fix or replace your vehicle are usually among the most pressing needs following a collision.
If you’re filing an insurance claim or seeking compensation from the at-fault party’s auto insurer, there are several pieces of critical evidence you will need to secure. One of the most important pieces of evidence after a vehicle collision is the police accident report.
Below, we’ll walk you through the steps of how to get a crash accident report in Mississippi.
How To Obtain a Mississippi Car Accident Report
Here are steps for how to obtain a crash accident report completed by the Mississippi Highway Patrol (MHP). Reports made by the MHP can be obtained online, by mail, or in person.
For accident reports that were made by another local law enforcement agency (such as a municipal authority), you will need to either find the report at the online database listed below or contact the agency directly to request a report.
Get a Report Online
The easiest way to get a crash accident report in Mississippi is online through the Mississippi Department of Public Safety Crash Reports webpage. It is also slightly more expensive, as you will need to spend $20 for an online report vs. $15 for a paper copy.
Once you get on the Crash Reports webpage, you will first need to select the agency (such as “Jackson Police Dept.”) that made and filed the report. If the agency is not listed as an option in the drop-down box, you will need to reach out to their office directly by phone.
After selecting the appropriate agency, you can search for your specific accident report by searching by state/local case number or vehicle ID. You will also need to know the last name of the person involved in the accident, along with the date of the incident. If searching by vehicle ID, you will need to know the VIN or license plate number of the vehicle involved.
Be advised that the crash report will only be available for 24 hours, so make sure to save a copy after downloading.
Get a Report by Mail or in Person
It is also possible to get a crash accident report by mail-in or walk-in at any district Highway Patrol station in Mississippi. It costs $15 to obtain a paper copy of an accident report.
Typical office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (closed on state holidays).
With questions or for further information regarding the availability of your crash accident report, call:
- 987.1224, ext. 1,
- Or your local police station.
Who Can Get a Crash Accident Report in Mississippi?
By law, you can only get a crash report in Mississippi if you are:
- Personally involved in the crash
- A representative of an involved party’s estate
- Next of kin of an involved party
- The legal representative of an involved party
- An insurer (or insurer’s representative) of an involved party.
Under Mississippi Code Ann. § 63-3-417, it is illegal and considered fraudulent for any person or party other than those listed above to obtain a copy of a crash report.
Any person or party found guilty of fraudulently obtaining a report can be punished by a fine of not more than $2,500.00, imprisonment for no more than six months, or both.
What Information Is Included in a Traffic Accident Report in Mississippi?
In Mississippi, the Mississippi Uniform Crash Report is the name of the formal document that is created at the accident scene and then filed with the MS Department of Public Safety.
This includes essential crash information about involved parties and the responding officer, such as:
- Date, time, and location of the crash
- When the crash was reported and when police arrived
- The name and badge number of the responding officer(s)
- How many vehicles were involved
- Names and vehicles of involved parties
- Whether there were any injuries or fatalities
- A description of the type of crash and outcome
- Conditions of the crash scene, such as lighting, road, weather, traffic, or construction
- Information about any eyewitnesses
- Description of vehicle damage
- The use of safety equipment like seatbelts and airbags
- Alcohol and drug information, such as the results of a breathalyzer test
- Whether any traffic citations were issued
- A diagram and written narrative of the crash
The crash accident report is seen as authoritative evidence by insurance companies. This makes it highly important for the information in your crash report to be wholly accurate. If a crash report contains an erroneous detail about the cause of the accident, for example, you will have a very hard time convincing the insurance company that it was a mistake.
Mississippi’s comparative negligence laws make it possible for more than one party to be held liable for a crash. So if the insurance company can use the police report to show that you were even partially at fault for the crash, your compensation can be significantly reduced. Even one minor error on the crash report can be enough to place part of the blame on you, effectively saving the insurance company thousands in money you are legally owed for your losses.
If you’re unsure about any of the details in the Mississippi crash accident report, reach out to your attorney to learn more about the process of requesting a correction.
Are You Owed Compensation for Your Crash Injuries and Damages?
Now that you know how to obtain a crash accident report in Mississippi, we encourage you to exercise your right to information and secure a copy of the report as soon as possible.
If you have any questions about the facts or accuracy of the report, an experienced lawyer can help you assess the information. If there is a factual mistake, your legal representative may be able to help you put in a request to have the mistake changed or removed.
Recovering from a car accident is a timely and expensive endeavor. We want to make sure crash victims receive fair treatment after injuries, giving them the means to fully recover without sliding into crippling debt.
If another person caused your car accident injuries, reach out to Pittman Roberts & Welsh, PLLC to discuss what fair compensation looks like in your case—and how we can help make sure you receive nothing less.
A free consultation is available to car crash victims and their families in Jackson and surrounding areas of Mississippi.