Am I Legally Obligated to Report an Auto Accident?

legal obligation to report a crashThe severity of each car accident varies, some cause extensive injuries to victims that have lifelong effects, while others may not appear all that serious in the moments afterward. This may raise the question: How do you know if your accident needs to be reported?

Our Oshkosh car accident lawyers review the state’s legal requirements for car accident reporting. If you were injured in a crash, contact us for a free consultation to discuss your claim with our attorneys.

Car Accident Reporting Requirements

While it is always wise to call law enforcement after a car crash, it is only legally required in certain situations. To help avoid legal troubles, Wisconsin drivers need to know the reporting requirements and how to file a report when necessary.

When a Crash Report Must Be Filed

In Wisconsin, a car accident must be reported when any of the following apply to the collision:

  • Any person sustained an injury or was killed in the accident
  • The accident resulted in $200 or more in government property damage
  • The accident resulted in $1,000 or more in damage to anybody’s personal property

If a law enforcement officer responds to the accident scene, drivers are not required to do any additional reporting, unless they are specifically contacted to make a supplemental report.

You may access a copy of the crash report filed by law enforcement once the report is submitted to the Department of Transportation (DOT). It may be up to two weeks after the accident date before this happens.

Why Crashes Need to Be Reported

Reporting your accident is necessary to create proof the accident happened, which will be helpful evidence as you pursue a claim for compensation of your damages. These reports provide important information your attorney can use as your claim is investigated and evidence is gathered to build a strong case. The insurance company is also able to use this report to help determine fault in the crash.

If your collision does not meet the factors for reporting, it is still a good idea to contact law enforcement and make a report.

Filing a Crash Report in Wisconsin

If no law enforcement officer responds to the scene of your accident, you are required to file a Driver Report of Accident form. This must be completed within 10 days of the date the accident occurred.

You need to file an accident report even if the other involved driver offers to settle the damages without reporting. Failure to do so can result in suspension of your driver’s license.

When you fill out the Driver Report of Accident form, you will need the following information:

  • Name, phone number and address of all drivers
  • Driver’s license number of all drivers
  • Name, phone number and address for all passengers and witnesses
  • Make, model and license plate number of all involved vehicles
  • Description of all vehicle damage
  • Photos taken of the accident site
  • Diagram of the accident site
  • Description of how the accident took place
  • Your current liability insurance coverage information
  • Your VIN (vehicle identification number)
  • Your Social Security number

We Are Here to Answer Your Legal Questions

If you were injured in a car accident, you may be eligible to take legal action against the at-fault party and pursue compensation for the damages you have suffered, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Sigman Janssen offers free consultations to review your situation and answer any questions you may have about the claims process. There is no obligation to work with our firm. However, if you do, we charge no upfront fees. You do not pay unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf.

Call (877) 888-5201 to learn more about your available legal options.