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Wisconsin Car Accident Report Basics

No matter how good a driver you are, you still could be involved in a car accident. If it happens, take a deep breath and move your car out of the roadway, if safe to do so. Once you're certain everyone is fine, 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 Wisconsin car accident report basics.

How to File a Car Crash Report in Wisconsin

This chart provides a summary of Wisconsin laws and procedures for filing a car crash report.

State Accident Statute

Wisc. Vehicle Code § 346.70 Accident reporting

When to File a Crash Report

Wisconsin law requires you to immediately notify police after a car accident involving:

  • Injuries or death
  • $200 or more in damage to government property
  • $1,000 or more in damage to any one individual's property
  • A vehicle needs to be towed
  • A deer or other wildlife was killed or injured
File a Crash Report

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Wisconsin Car Accident Reporting Rules

Calling the police may seem like an unnecessary step after a fender bender, but it may be required under Wisconsin law. You must immediately report a crash to law enforcement if any of the following result:

  • Any person is injured or killed
  • $200 or more in damage to government property
  • $1,000 or more in damage to any person's property

When the police are on the scene following an accident, drivers do not have any additional reporting requirements unless specifically contacted for a supplemental report. Crash reports are only available after law enforcement submits them to the Department of Transportation (DOT), which may take up to two weeks.

Filing an Accident Report in Wisconsin

When the police don't respond to an accident, you must complete and submit a Driver Report of Accident within 10 days of an accident. Even if another driver offers to pay for damages and asks you not to report an accident, you are still required to file the report in any of the situations outlined above. Failing to file could result in your driving privileges being suspended.

Information Needed for Your Accident Report

Taking good notes at the scene will help you when it comes time to file your accident report. Before you get started on the report, you'll need to gather the following information:

  • Name, address, license number, and phone number of all drivers
  • Name, address, and phone number of passengers and witnesses
  • Make, model, and license of vehicles
  • Description of any damage to vehicles
  • Pictures from the accident scene
  • Narrative explaining how the accident occurred
  • Diagram of the accident scene

Your report must include detailed and current information regarding your insurance coverage. If you did not have liability insurance when the accident occurred and you are not able to pay for damages caused by the crash, your driving privileges will be suspended. Similarly, if you don't report an accident to the Wisconsin DOT, you may have your license suspended.

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

Getting your life back on track after an accident is stressful. If anyone was injured in the accident or there was substantial property damage, the road to recovery can be even more complicated. If you've been involved in a serious accident, contact an experienced car accident attorney who can help guide you through the reporting and claim process.

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