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How Long Do I Have to File a Car Accident Claim in Mississippi?

Roberts Wilson, P.A. | June 29, 2022

When you get injured in a car accident in Mississippi, you have a limited amount of time to file a claim. If you wait too long to file, you won’t be able to recover the compensation you deserve—even if someone else was clearly at fault in the accident. 

The Oxford car accident lawyers at Roberts Wilson, P.A. are passionate about helping our neighbors in North Mississippi obtain the full and fair compensation they deserve for their injuries. If you were hurt by a reckless or careless driver, we want to hear your story.

Mississippi’s Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Claims

In Mississippi, you have three years to file a claim after a car accident. This time period is established by Mississippi’s statute of limitations. If you were injured in a car accident, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a claim. If you lost a loved one in a fatal car accident, your family must file a claim within three years of the date of your loved one’s death. 

Here are some more important facts to know about Mississippi’s car accident statute of limitations: 

1. The Statute of Limitations Applies to Claims Filed in Court

When referring to a “claim” above, we are referring to a claim filed in court. Filing a claim with the insurance companies does not prevent the statute of limitations from expiring. If you are negotiating with the insurance companies and the statute of limitations is about to expire, you will need to hire an Oxford car accident lawyer to file a lawsuit so that you don’t lose your right to just compensation. 

2. The Statute of Limitations Establishes a Hard and Fast Deadline

While there are certain circumstances that can “toll” the statute of limitations (or delay its expiration date), you should not count on this being relevant in your case. In the vast majority of circumstances, the statute of limitations establishes a hard and fast deadline. If your claim is late by even a single day, the insurance companies will have grounds to file a motion to dismiss. 

3. It Takes Time to Prepare a Car Accident Lawsuit

Filing a lawsuit is not simply a matter of filling out a form and delivering it to the court. It takes time to prepare a car accident lawsuit; and, before a lawyer can file suit on your behalf, the lawyer will need to investigate and make sure he or she is not filing a “frivolous” claim. The closer it gets to the deadline, the more difficult it will become for your lawyer to preserve your legal rights. 

4. Other Deadlines May Apply

Depending on your individual circumstances, the statute of limitations might not be the only deadline that applies to your car accident. For example, if you were driving for work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. If you have a workers’ compensation claim, you will need to report your accident to your employer within 30 days, and you will need to file your claim within two years. 

5. You Should Not Wait Until the Statute of Limitations is About to Expire

If you have a car accident claim, you should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible. Even if you still have plenty of time before the statute of limitations expires, waiting longer than necessary can lead to unnecessary challenges with your claim. Your lawyer will need to collect the available evidence before it disappears, and your lawyer will want to talk to any witnesses before their memories start to fade. Without evidence of liability, your lawyer won’t be able to fight for the compensation you deserve. 

Your Car Accident Claim is Different from Your Car Accident Report

Another important fact to know is that filing a car accident claim is different from filing a car accident report. Under Mississippi law, you are required to report a car accident to the police if the accident results in injuries, death, or property damage exceeding $250. 

You must file this report in writing, and you must file it within 10 days. As The Mississippi Bar explains, “[f]ailure to file a report is a misdemeanor and could lead to a suspended driver’s license.” If you still need to file a written accident report, our lawyers can assist you with this as well. 

Call an Oxford Car Accident Lawyer for Free

For more information about protecting your legal rights (and meeting your legal obligations) after a car accident in Mississippi, contact the Oxford car accident lawyers at Roberts Wilson, P.A. today.

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Call (662) 533-9111 or request a FREE consultation online to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible.  We help our neighbors in Oxford, Holly Springs, Batesville, Pontotoc, or any other area in North Mississippi.