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Wisconsin Car Accident Report Basics

No matter how careful you are, you may still get into a car accident. Unfortunately, if you don’t take specific steps immediately after your car crash, you may jeopardize your personal injury claim. You may also face fines, jail time, and a suspension of your driver’s license.

Many people don’t know whether Wisconsin law requires them to report motor vehicle accidents. This isn’t something they teach you when you learn to drive. 

Wisconsin law requires you to follow specific reporting procedures depending on the seriousness of the crash. The following overview will get you up to speed on the basics of Wisconsin car accident reports.

How To File a Car Crash Report in Wisconsin

The chart below summarizes Wisconsin laws and procedures for filing a car crash report.

State Accident Reporting Statute

Wisc. Vehicle Code § 346.70 - Accident reporting

When To File a Crash Report

Wisconsin law requires you to immediately notify a law enforcement officer after an auto accident involving:

  • Injuries or death

  • $200 or more in damage to government property 

  • $1,000 or more in general property damage 

  • Towing of a vehicle 

  • A motorist injuring or killing a deer or other wildlife

File a Crash Report

Note: State laws are subject to change through new legislation, higher court rulings, ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information, consult a Wisconsin car accident lawyer or conduct legal research to verify your state’s laws.

Wisconsin Car Accident Reporting Rules

Calling the police may seem like an unnecessary step after a fender bender. However, Wisconsin law requires that you do so in almost all car accident cases. 

According to Wisconsin Statutes § 346.70, you must immediately report a crash to law enforcement if any of the following result:

  • Personal injury or death
  • $200 or more in damage to government property (other than a government vehicle)
  • $1,000 or more in property damage to any person's property

When the police investigate an accident scene, the drivers don’t have any additional reporting requirements. Crash reports are only available after law enforcement submits them to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT). This can take up to two weeks.

Filing an Accident Report in Wisconsin

In cases where the police don't respond to an accident, the motorists must complete and submit a Driver Report of Accident within 10 days of the car crash. Even if the at-fault driver offers to pay to fix your car, you must still call 911. 

The state requires drivers to report motor vehicle accidents to confirm that the motorists have liability insurance. Under Wisconsin law, drivers may have to submit a security deposit if they can’t prove financial responsibility for a potential car crash.

You'll face severe consequences if you don’t report the accident in compliance with state law. The state may suspend your driver’s license. In some cases, not reporting the accident may result in criminal charges. For example, if you flee the scene of an accident in a hit-and-run, you will face jail time and fines.

Information You Need for Your Accident Report

Taking good notes at the scene will help you when it comes time to file your accident report. Before you complete the Wisconsin driver report of the crash, you'll need the following information:

  • Full name, contact information, driver’s license number, license plate number, and phone number of all drivers
  • Contact information for passengers and witnesses
  • Make, model, and vehicle identification number of the vehicles
  • Description of any vehicle damage 
  • Pictures from the accident scene
  • Name of insurance company for all drivers
  • Insurance policy information for the drivers, including the name of the policyholders
  • Narrative explaining how the accident occurred
  • Diagram of the accident scene

Your report must include current insurance information regarding your insurance coverage. If you don’t have liability insurance and can’t pay the damages in your car accident claim, the state will suspend your driving privileges. The same thing will happen if you don't report an accident to the Wisconsin DOT.

Have Specific Questions About Wisconsin Car Accident Reports? Talk to a Lawyer

Getting your life back on track after an accident is stressful. An experienced car accident attorney can help guide you through the crash reporting and claim process. Your Wisconsin injury lawyer can also help with your insurance claim.

Visit Findlaw.com’s attorney directory to find a car accident attorney near you.

Wisconsin Car Accident Resources

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