If you have ever been involved in a collision or crash, it is crucial to understand the importance of a car accident report. Whether the car accident was minor, serious, or fatal, the car accident report is a factual and objective description of a car accident. During car crashes, emotions are high and one or both drivers may have high adrenaline following the accident.
One driver may become combative and decide that the other driver was completely at fault for the accident. One driver may decide to commit a hit-and-run offense, or accuse another driver of committing a hit-and-run after the fact. These types of scenarios can be avoided with the creation of a Mississippi car accident report.
Why are car accident reports important?
Car accident reports are the necessary proof a driver needs to provide to their insurance companies or their attorneys. In the event that the other driver involved in the accident denies responsibility for the accident and additional legal action needs to be taken, this information can be used by your attorney and insurance company to determine who was at fault.
If a driver sustained any injuries during or after a car accident, the information in the car accident report can be used to justify or prove the validity of a driver’s injuries. The car accident report can also be used to prove that the car wreck was the cause of the driver’s injuries.
Are car accident reports private or public information?
Depending on the state, car accident reports can either be public or private information. In the state of Mississippi, car accident reports are not public information. Although copies of car accident reports can be obtained via a public government website, the general public cannot access these records. There are only five conditions where the state of Mississippi will release a copy of a car accident report to an individual.
What are the conditions in which a person can obtain a copy of a car accident report?
One of the five conditions involves being one of the parties involved in the car accident. An individual is prohibited from requesting a released copy of a car accident report in which he or she was not involved. The second condition involves being a representative of the individual’s estate. This condition applies to individuals who were fatalities of a car accident, and whose estate may require additional information depending on whether a person left a will. The third condition involves being the next of kin to the individual in the car accident.
The fourth condition involves being a legal representative to one of the involved parties in the car accident. Attorneys are allowed to request copies of their clients’ car accident reports. Similar to the fourth condition, the fifth condition involves being an insurer or representative of the insurer of an involved party.
How to obtain a car accident report
There are three ways that a person can obtain a car accident report: online, by mail, or in person. The most convenient way for a majority of people would be online. To obtain a copy of a car accident report online, individuals must access the records at the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.
Some of the information you need to access a report online includes the first and last name of all parties involved, the date of the crash, and the accident report number. You can also access a copy through the mail by contacting the Driver Records Division at P.O. Box 958, Jackson, Mississippi, 39205. Because a car accident report takes about three to five business days after the accident, individuals should first contact the department by phone to determine whether the car accident report is available.
Last but not least, if people would like to obtain a copy of an accident report in person, they can do so by either contacting any local Mississippi Highway Patrol office or the local police department where the accident took place. The representative at the front desk can assist to walk the person through the process. Just like with obtaining the report online, make sure to have the first and last names of all parties involved, the date of the crash, and the accident report number available.
When you are injured in a car accident, your first priority is to secure medical treatment. Your second priority should be to call a seasoned law firm with a reputation for providing excellent legal services. The legal team of Merkel & Cocke is committed to seeking justice for car crash victims throughout Jackson, Clarksdale, Greenville, and Oxford. We also proudly serve clients throughout the Gulf Coast. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Call us at 662-627-9641, or complete our contact form online.
After graduating from the University of Virginia Law School in 1975, Mr. Cocke and Mr. Merkel established Merkel & Cocke, P.A. in 1982. Since that time the emphasis of Mr. Cocke’s practice has progressed toward medical malpractice. At the present time his practice is exclusively devoted to handling medical negligence cases for the plaintiff, either as a result of direct contact by the client or on referral from other attorneys who are not familiar with the handling of medical negligence cases. Mr. Cocke was selected Best Lawyer of the year for 2012 and 2014 in The Memphis area in the field of Medical Malpractice and has been selected a Best Lawyer and Super Lawyer every year since 2006. Learn more about John Hartwell Cocke here.