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Wisconsin Car Accident Checklist

It can be difficult and stressful to know what to do in the moments and days following a car accident in Milwaukee or elsewhere in Wisconsin. Failing to take the proper steps to protect your health and preserve evidence can not only cause you serious pain and suffering, it can also negatively impact your ability to seek compensation for your injuries and losses through a car accident lawsuit.

Gruber Law Offices, LLC, urges you to keep our Wisconsin Car Accident Checklist in your vehicle so that you will have a handy reference guide to help you remember what to do – and what not to do – after a car accident.

Keep These Items in Your Car’s Glove Box

  • Your vehicle registration
  • Copy of your proof of insurance
  • Copy of this car accident checklist.

Make Sure You Have a Car Emergency Kit in Your Vehicle at All Times

At a minimum, you should keep the following items in your car in case an auto accident occurs:

  • Jumper cables
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • One or more flares and/or hazard signs
  • First aid kit
  • Spare tire, lug wrench, and tire jack
  • Bottled water and nonperishable snacks
  • One or more blankets and/or extra coats
  • Portable camera (if you do not have a cell phone with camera capabilities)
  • Small notebook with a pen or pencil.

Immediately After an Accident

As much as possible, you should remain calm after being involved in a car accident and resist the urge to panic. You should then do the following:

  • Protect yourself and your passengers from risks of fire, debris and other traffic.
  • Assess yourself and your passengers for injuries.
  • Call 911 to report the accident and request a law enforcement response.
  • If you suspect that you or another person has been injured, request that an ambulance be dispatched to your location.
  • Set up flares, signs or some other visible warning to alert other drivers of the accident.

 

Securing Evidence and Information at the Accident Scene

Much of the evidence that will play an important role in your case can be obtained in the immediate aftermath of a crash right at the accident scene. It will help if you can do the following (depending on the extent of your injuries):

Locate any other driver(s) involved in the crash. Obtain from the other driver(s) the following information:

    • Name
    • Address
    • Phone number or best method of contacting the driver
    • Make and model of vehicle
    • Registration information for the vehicle (make sure it matches the vehicle involved in the crash)
    • Insurance name and policy number for the vehicle (again, make sure it matches the vehicle).

 

Exchange your information with any other driver(s) involved in the crash.

Contact any witnesses or bystanders at the scene. If they indicate they observed the crash or spoke with you or the other driver(s), obtain from them the following information:

    • Name
    • Address
    • Telephone number or best method of contacting him or her
    • Brief description of what he or she saw (if possible).

 

Using your camera, take as many photographs as possible of:

The cars involved (exterior and interior of each car and any particular damage you note as well as shots showing the license and whether airbags were deployed)

  • The entire accident scene (try to capture as much as possible in a single frame)
  • Crosswalks and other road markings near the accident scene
  • Traffic control signs or signals or warning signs near the scene of the accident
  • Any temporary signs (such as construction signs)
  • Weather and visibility conditions (showing whether any clouds were present, or whether precipitation was falling)
  • Road conditions (puddles, accumulations of snow or ice, potholes or a deteriorating shoulder).

Obtain the name, department name and badge number of the officer investigating your crash so that you can obtain his or her report for later use.

What You Should DO After a Car Accident

You should be focused on your health after an accident. At the same time, you can take steps that will help your lawyer to prepare your case for compensation.


Your Health

  • If you are injured or suspect you might be injured, go to a hospital immediately for evaluation and treatment. (If you do not suspect you are injured, still make an appointment with your doctor or an urgent care facility to be evaluated.)
  • Describe any signs or symptoms you are experiencing in as great of detail as possible when you see a doctor. Be sure to mention that you were involved in a car accident.
  • Follow any directions your doctor or medical treatment provider gives you, including taking all prescription medication as directed and making all follow-up appointments as scheduled.

Your Claim

  • As soon as possible, write down everything you can remember about the car accident, including what happened before and after the accident.
  • Make duplicates or back-up copies of pictures, documents, bills and anything else you have in your possession related to your car accident and any resulting injuries. Keep these documents in a safe place.
  • Have your car towed from the scene of the crash to a repair facility. Your insurance agent can help you locate a nearby facility.
  • Obtain the police report for your car accident.
  • Call or contact your insurance company and request a claims form. Complete the claims form and submit it to the insurance company with any supporting documentations you may have. Cooperate with the insurance adjuster by supplying additional documentation if requested.
  • Consult with a Wisconsin car accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case and what legal rights you may have. If possible, bring any documents, pictures or other evidence you may have in your possession.

What You Should NOT DO After a Car Accident

It is important to understand the mistakes you can make – and must avoid – after a car accident.

  • Do NOT admit fault for causing the accident to the other driver(s), investigating officer or insurance company (let an investigation determine this issue).
  • Do NOT give a recorded statement to the insurance company about the accident without first speaking with a car accident lawyer. You do not need to give a recorded statement in order to file a claim.
  • Do NOT lose or misplace your pictures, notes and other important documents. These can be very crucial to the success of your case and may be irreplaceable if they become lost or damaged. Make several copies and give them to your attorney.
  • Do NOT neglect to see a medical professional for evaluation, even if you feel fine. You may be suffering from internal injuries or latent conditions.
  • Do NOT take your car to be repaired without first either taking pictures of the damage or having your insurance claims representative look at the damage to your car.
  • Do NOT depend on the police officer or someone else at the scene of the crash to gather necessary information that can help your case.
  • Do NOT delay in seeking legal counsel. Under Wisconsin law, you only have a limited amount of time in which to file a lawsuit to seek damages for your injuries and losses.


Gruber Law Offices, LLC, is a Milwaukee car accident law firm representing motorists and passengers injured in car crashes caused by the negligence of others. Call our office or contact us online for prompt and experienced legal representation.