Accident Guide in Wisconsin
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No one likes to think about being in an accident, but it's a situation that you'll likely face. So be aware of what Wisconsin law requires you to do.
After the Accident
If you're in an injury accident, your first duty is to immediately stop your vehicle as close as possible to the accident scene. However, try to position your vehicle in a spot that causes the least obstruction to other motorists.
You must remain on the scene until you've fulfilled the rest of your duties, presuming you're capable of doing so. What are your duties? You must give your name, address, and registration number of the vehicle you were driving to the others involved in the accident. If requested, you must also show your driver's license.
If someone is injured, you must provide "reasonable assistance," meaning either calling for help or taking the injured to receive help.
Accidents involving an injury, $1000 or more of property damage to any single property, or $200 or more of damage to government property (other than a motor vehicle) mean that you must contact police right away.
An investigating officer will file an accident report for you. However, if a law enforcement officer is unable to complete the report, you'll need to fill out the Driver Report of Accident.
Send the completed form to:
- Department of Transportation
- P.O. Box 7919
- Madison, WI 53707-7919
Supplemental reports may be required by law enforcement if more information is needed.
Once a report is filed, all drivers listed on the report will have the accident noted on their driving record, no matter who was at fault.
Accidents with Unoccupied Vehicles
You're backing out of a parking space and, darn that astigmatism, you put a dent into the front fender of some poor soul's vehicle.
What should you do?
For this and other accidents involving unattended vehicles, you must try to locate the other vehicle's owner. If you're successful, give the owner your name and address, plus the owner's name and address of the vehicle you were driving. (Assuming you're not the vehicle owner, of course.)
If you fail to find the owner after a reasonable effort, leave a note in a conspicuous, secure location on the vehicle, with your name and address, as well as that of the owner of your vehicle, if different. Write legibly, and also include a brief description of what happened.
The state is serious about following the proper procedures after an accident. Failing to stop or remain at the scene of the accident, or to comply with other accident procedures, could result in fines and possibly jail time, along with a felony conviction on your record.
Those needing more details on the proper procedures following an accident should visit the accident section of the state's vehicle code.