MB The Mississippi Bar
US District Court

Obligations After a Car Accident

McCormick Law Firm

Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime under Mississippi Law. Being involved in an accident can be a stressful experience, but it’s crucial to know your legal obligations under Mississippi law to avoid being charged and arrested. Here’s what you need to do if you find yourself in such a situation:

1. You must stop at the scene or as close as possible to the scene.

If your vehicle is involved in an accident resulting in vehicle damage, Mississippi law requires you to stop your vehicle immediately at the scene or as close as possible. You must then provide the following information:

  • Your name, address, and registration number
  • Your driver’s license details

2. You must provide medical assistance if necessary.

If the accident causes injury to another party, it is your legal duty to provide reasonable medical assistance. This can include calling 911 or offering aid if you can do so safely.

3. Can I be held civilly liable for providing medical assistance?

Mississippi law protects you from civil liability if you assist in good faith and with reasonable care at the scene where medical help can reasonably be expected.

4. What if I am involved in an accident with an unattended vehicle?

In cases where your vehicle collides with an unattended vehicle, you must:

  • Stop at the scene or as close as possible
  • Locate and notify the operator or owner of the unattended vehicle
  • Provide your name and address or leave a written notice in a conspicuous place in the unattended vehicle explaining the circumstances.

5. What are my legal defenses to leaving the scene of an accident?

If accused of failing to stop and provide assistance after an accident, potential defenses include being unable to stop due to traffic conditions or avoiding obstructing traffic unnecessarily. Additionally, if the unattended vehicle showed no material damage or the owner was negligent in leaving it, these can be valid defenses.

6. Consequences of Leaving the Scene

The penalties for leaving the scene of an accident vary:

  • Misdemeanor: Failing to stop at an accident that causes injury or failing to provide necessary information or assistance can result in a misdemeanor charge. This carries a potential jail term of 30 days to 1 year and fines ranging from $100 to $5,000.
  • Felony: Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death or serious bodily injury is a felony. Conviction can lead to imprisonment for 5 to 20 years.
  • Driver’s License Revocation: Regardless of whether the offense is a misdemeanor or felony, your driver’s license will be revoked upon conviction.

7. Real Case Results

In July of 2023, attorney Cameron McCormick represented a client charged with felony Leaving the Scene of an Accident and Aggravated Assault. Both charges were successfully dismissed. All charges were subsequently expunged from the client’s record.

In October of 2023, attorney Cameron McCormick represented a client on Misdemeanor Leaving the Scene of an Accident and that charge was successfully dismissed. The charge was later expunged from the client’s record.

If you have been charged with leaving the scene of an accident or any other crime, it is essential to protect yourself from severe penalties. Contact the attorneys at McCormick Law Firm for a free case evaluation.

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