Accident Guide in Wisconsin

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, $1,000 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 Online.

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:

  • Full name.
  • Address. 
  • AND
  • Wisconsin driver's license number OR date of birth.
  • OR
  • License plate number OR vehicle identification number (VIN), as well as the vehicle's:
    • Make.
    • Year.

If you cannot locate the owner of the vehicle, leave a note with the above information in a conspicuous place on the other vehicle. The Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles has guidelines for crash reporting on its website.

Penalties

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.

Additional Information

Those needing more details on the proper procedures following an accident should visit the accident section of the state's vehicle code.

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