Do I Need to Report My Car Accident?
Car accidents can be confusing and traumatic, especially if you suffered an injury. On top of this chaos, you have to worry about the other driver, how much damage has occurred and whether you should call the police. A car accident report is probably not the first thing you think about. However, reporting an accident should be one of your top priorities.
Here at Martin Law Office, S.C., we help the injured get the compensation they need. A proper crash report can make this process much easier for those involved. Here are a few things you should know about reporting an accident in Wisconsin.
How Do I Know When to Report an Accident?
Knowing when to file a car accident report is not always a straightforward task in Wisconsin. For example, if someone hit your vehicle while it was parked and unoccupied, you need certain information before you can report the crash. Without the other driver’s identity or information about the other vehicle’s owner, you cannot report the crash. So, when should you report an accident?
According to Wisconsin Statute 346.70(1), you must report any crash within our state when it results in:
- Property damage equal to or above $1000
- Damage to state or government-owned property over $200 (other than damage to vehicles)
- Injury to a person
How Do I Report the Accident?
In some situations, law enforcement will complete the accident report. But if law enforcement is not called or does not respond to your crash, you may need to file a report. You may also receive a report request from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). The form you will need to complete will be the Wisconsin Driver Report of Crash DT4002. You will need the following information for the report:
- Social Security Number
- Driver’s License Number
- Vehicle Identification Number
- Vehicle Insurance Information
You may be able to complete this form online. This form will time out in 30 minutes, so write out the narrative statement in another program beforehand.
Why Do I Need a Car Accident Report?
Wisconsin accident reports play a key role in your driver records. Crashes appear on driver records regardless of fault. These entries record date, severity and the county where the accident happened. Depending on circumstances, this could have an effect on your driver’s license or insurance. So, ensuring they are accurate is important. However, there is another way these reports can affect your life.
As mentioned before, these reports can play a role in the recovery of compensation. Insurance companies may use them to determine if they should release benefits to claimants. If you have to file a personal injury lawsuit, the Wisconsin crash report could also be critical evidence. In both situations, the counsel of an experienced attorney may help you get the compensation you need.
How Do I Get a Car Accident Report?
Depending on where your car accident occurred, different officials may respond. Each of these authorities have different wait times or methods for dispensing their reports. For example, reports from the Milwaukee Police Department are generally available within 14 days. You can also request that report on the phone or in person. Reports from WisDOT can take up to 10 to 15 days, but you can request those online.
Check with the reporting department to find out how and when you can get a Wisconsin crash report.
Is There Anything Else I Need to Know About Reporting a Crash in Wisconsin?
Though reporting an accident may seem complicated, there are many resources available to help. The WisDOT website offers some guidance as does the Milwaukee Police Department website. However, they may not address some very important legal questions. For instance, what do you do if you believe the accident report is inaccurate? Will an inaccurate report affect compensation from your insurance or personal injury case?
For these legal questions and more, seek the guidance of a Wisconsin car accident attorney. At Martin Law Office, S.C., we have helped injured Wisconsinites rebuild their lives after a crash. We serve the Oak Creek, Franklin, Racine, South Milwaukee area and beyond. We can help you negotiate with the insurance company, settle or take your case to trial. You can learn more about our services by reaching out online or giving us a call at (414) 856-4010.