Car Accidents in Wisconsin – Preparing for the Unplanned

McLario, Helm, Bertling, & Spiegel, S.C.

By Michael Bertling

There is no way to predict when and how a car accident will happen. Despite this uncertainty, there are several things you should know to be prepared. It important to understand how the laws in the State of Wisconsin impact the legal outcome of an accident.

Stay on the Scene

If you are in a car accident in Wisconsin, you are required to stay at the scene until it is cleared. You can move your vehicle out of traffic if it can be driven but do not leave the area.

Ensure wellbeing of everyone involved

Once you are safely out of traffic and the scene is controlled, assess the injuries of all parties involved in the accident. Get appropriate medical attention if necessary. If injuries are life threatening, administer care as soon as possible. Emergency personnel will take care of this process if they are on the scene.

Contact the police

While a small fender-bender may not require the assistance of the police, in most cases law enforcement should be contacted to ensure the proper protocol and reporting procedures take place.

Exchange information

Every driver involved in the accident, whether at-fault or not, must provide their name, address, vehicle identification number and insurance information. Give these details anyone involved in the accident, regardless of if they were driving. You are also required to present a driver’s license if requested. And, if you hit an unattended vehicle,  leave contact information so the owner can get in touch with you.

Lend a hand

If the accident was caused by your negligence and results in an injury, you are required to obtain medical attention for that person. Generally, this means calling 9-1-1 and remaining on the scene with the injured person until professional help arrives.

Report it

A police officer should file the official accident report. If they are not able to do so within ten days of the crash submit a Driver Report of Accident to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

Driver’s civil responsibilities

If you are an at-fault driver in the State of Wisconsin, you are civilly responsible. It is important that you do not admit fault immediately after the accident, rather contact a qualified attorney to help you work through the process. In some cases, if you are only partially at-fault, the monetary damages might be less.

Criminal charges

It is important to remember that your actions could lead to charges depending upon your conduct prior to and during the accident. This means that in addition to civil charges, you could also face a criminal citation and even jail time, depending upon the severity of the incident.

If you or someone you love is in a traffic accident, contact an attorney who understands the legal ramifications of a car accident in Wisconsin. For more information on your rights, contact the experts at McLario, Helm, Bertling & Spiegel.

 

 


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