If you have been involved in a car accident in Milwaukee, it’s important to document your accident and obtain a police report. Read below to learn more about Gruber Law Offices and what you need to do to document your accident.
If you have been involved in a car accident in Milwaukee, it's important to document your accident and obtain a police report. Read below to learn more about Gruber Law Offices and what you need to do to document your accident.
To obtain insurance compensation for your losses after a car accident, you must have documentation of the accident. That starts with a police report or your report to authorities that details the facts of the accident. Insurance adjusters handling a claim will look for a police report.
After a car crash, our experienced Milwaukee car accident lawyers can investigate and help you pursue an insurance settlement for the losses you have suffered. At Gruber Law Offices, our motto is “One Call…That’s All.”
After any car accident causing injury or significant property damage, you are required by law to report the accident to police. If police respond to the scene of a car crash, they will conduct a routine investigation and file a report. However, police may not respond to every crash, which puts reporting responsibility on the individuals involved in the accident.
After a car accident in Wisconsin you are required to stop and, if requested by the other driver, give them your name and address, driver’s license and the registration number of your vehicle. You also have a legal obligation to provide “reasonable assistance to any person injured in the accident,” including taking them to a doctor or hospital if it is apparent they need medical help or they ask you to. In most cases, however, phoning 911 and requesting an ambulance is sufficient.
Wisconsin law requires you to report a car crash if it causes:
Injury means harm of a physical nature that requires first aid or attention by a physician or surgeon. The value of the damage is what it would cost to return the damaged property to the condition it was in before the accident, if possible.
The law requires reporting such an accident by the quickest means of communication to the police department, the sheriff’s department or the traffic department of the county or municipality where the accident occurred, or to the Wisconsin State Patrol.
The responding law enforcement officer is to file a report with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation within 10 days.
If a law enforcement officer does not respond to a crash, either the driver of the vehicle or the vehicle’s owner or an occupant (if the driver is unable) needs to report the crash to WisDOT. You may receive a letter from the Department of Transportation stating you were involved in a reportable crash and asking you to complete a report, which you are required to do.
Failing to comply with Wisconsin laws related to stopping after an accident, assisting accident victims and reporting an accident may result in fines of hundreds of dollars.
If no law enforcement officer files an accident report, you will need to complete and submit the Wisconsin Driver Report of Crash DT4002, which is now an online form you can find at wisconsindot.gov/crashreporting where it says “Start Now.” This form will require you to provide certain information which you may want to gather beforehand:
You will be asked to describe the crash as one of these:
You will also be asked to classify any injuries:
On average, a crash report should take no longer than 40 minutes to complete, WisDOT says. The form will time out and you’ll lose what you’ve done after 30 minutes of inactivity. You should have the required records at hand, and it may be helpful to type out a narrative of the crash in a word processing program ahead of time.
To report an accident involving someone hitting your unoccupied car, you must have the name of the driver or owner of that car. If you know the driver, you must be able to report his or her:
If reporting the owner, you must provide their:
If this information is not available, WisDOT does not consider the accident reportable. However, a driver who hits an unoccupied vehicle is required by Wisconsin law to either find the owner or operator of an unattended vehicle he or she has hit, or leave a note providing their name and address and an explanation of what happened.
If damage to your car was potentially $1,000 or more, the other driver has a legal obligation to report the accident. Even if there was no note on your car, there could be a report on file.
Car accident reports filed by local police in Wisconsin are available through the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) about two weeks after the crash. Many local departments, including Milwaukee police, no longer provide copies of accident reports.
Crash reports are available online at app.wi.gov/crashreports and are downloadable in PDF format upon purchase.
At the page above, you can search for an accident report by any one of the following criteria:
When you report a car accident to an insurance company, the insurer will almost immediately ask for the accident report — or its number — so they may download a copy.
Before an insurance claim will be paid in Wisconsin, fault for the car accident must be established. Once fault has been determined, the driver responsible for the accident may be compelled to repay the injured for costs and losses, or “damages,” usually through their auto liability insurance coverage.
The accident report is the first piece of evidence used to determine fault. If there is a dispute about who is to blame for an accident, the accident report provides the basics required to begin an investigation — the who, what, when and where needed to establish how and why the accident occurred.
Both drivers involved in an accident have an obligation to report the accident if police do not. It is better for your version of events to be on the record if, for some reason, there is no police report.
If the other driver disputes responsibility for a crash, their insurance company will side with their policyholder as long as is reasonable, to avoid a payout. That leaves it to you to persuade the insurer that their policyholder is responsible for your losses and they are therefore obligated to compensate you.
A car accident attorney from Gruber Law Offices can identify and preserve evidence to support your claim. Along with our accident investigation, we can calculate what you are due for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and impaired earning capacity.
After gathering evidence to support your claim, we submit a claim to the insurer for full compensation and follow up with aggressive negotiations. If it is necessary, we will be prepared to go to court and prove to a judge and jury that you deserve full compensation for the unjust harm you have endured.
Contact Gruber Law Offices for the help of an experienced legal team ready to prepare a solid car accident insurance claim and fight insurance adjusters and insurance companies for you. Our lawyers represent clients across Southeastern Wisconsin, including in Milwaukee, Kenosha, Madison, Racine and Waukesha, and beyond.
Please contact our firm today for a free, no-obligation discussion of your car accident claim.