Even the most fastidious drivers can suffer car accidents. Whether or not it’s your fault, it’s important to be aware of the steps you’re legally bound to take in the aftermath of a collision. In Wisconsin, drivers are required to report certain types of incidents. In some cases, you may also need to hire an attorney to assist you through the complex process of a claim. Here’s what you need to know.
How to Handle Reporting Car Accidents in Wisconsin
Is It Required to Report All Accidents?
What you report to law enforcement depends, to a degree, on the severity of the event. According to Wisconsin legislature, drivers must immediately report a car accident if it resulted in the injury or wrongful death of a person or wildlife. You must also contact the police if there was damage to at least $200 or more of government property, if there were $1000 or more damages to a person’s property, or if a car needs to be towed.
What Are the Benefits of Filing a Report?
If you’re in doubt about whether filing a report is necessary, err on the side of caution and contact the authorities. Sometimes the scope and severity of car damage aren’t evident until it’s been fully inspected by a mechanic. Accident-related injuries might also take a while to develop. In some instances, your attorney may be able to make a successful case for you—but only if you file a report right away. Otherwise, there is no official record of the incident.
What if the Guilty Party Offers to Pay?
It may be tempting not to get mired in the complexities of dealing with the other person’s insurance company and simply accepting the other party’s offer to pay for the damages. However, this is a bad idea. All insurance companies require drivers to report car accidents. Failing to do so could result in penalties or elevated rates.
You might also have to deal with an unsavory situation if the other driver ultimately decides to file a claim for damage that they discover or an injury that occurs at a later time. Your own insurance company may neglect to protect you, and your attorney may have difficulty creating a case in your favor.
If you’re involved in a car accident, you need a qualified attorney who can assist you every step of the way. Locals throughout La Crosse, WI, trust in the professionals at Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates, LLC. Our car accident attorneys are committed to helping you through the process and will fight to ensure that you receive the compensation and justice you deserve. Visit our website for information or call us at (877) 784-1230 to arrange a free consultation.