One of the first things you should do after any car accident is notify the police – even if it seems like a minor collision. Following a wreck, you will need evidence in order to file a successful claim with your insurance company. If you pursue compensation in a personal injury lawsuit, you will need evidence to prove that the other driver caused the accident.
Many times, the police report is a crucial element of building a personal injury claim. Police reports document that your accident happened, when and where it happened, and in some cases, they can help prove that the other driver was negligent.
If the police did not respond to the scene of your accident, either because they were too busy, because they weren’t called, or because your collision seemed to be very minor, you may still be required to report your accident. In Wisconsin, any accident that results in injury or $1,000 or more in damages must be reported to the police within ten days of the crash. You also have ten days to report wrecks to the police that involve damage to state or government-owned property, other than a vehicle.
While a police report can significantly help your claim, it is not mandatory in order to file a claim with your insurer. In fact, even without a police report, it is still in your best interest to file an insurance claim after an auto accident.
Without a police report, the insurance company may question the circumstances of your wreck, but you should still be able to pursue coverage under your policy, as long as you report the accident promptly.
A police report can provide crucial information about your case. Police reports typically specify the date of the accident, the names of witnesses, weather information, and other facts related to the collision.
Although you can still file a claim, obtaining insurance coverage for your injuries and property damage without a police report may be more difficult. For example, you may encounter the following challenges:
It is important to note, however, that while a police report may help to strengthen the merits of your claim, it does not mean that you can expect fair compensation for your losses based on a report alone. It is in your best interest to contact an experienced car accident attorney to discuss the details of your wreck. An attorney can help to stand up to the insurance company and ensure that your rights are protected under the law.
If you don’t have a copy of your police report for your accident, either you or your attorney can obtain one from the local precinct. You can also get a replacement copy if you misplaced your original copy.
If you were taken from the accident scene to a hospital and are not sure whether a police report was made, your attorney can help you get a copy. Since first responders were present at the scene of your wreck, a police report should be available.
The actions you take immediately after a car accident can have a tremendous impact on your case. Following a car crash, consider the following steps, if you are able:
If you’ve been hurt in a car wreck, you may be facing mounting medical bills, debilitating pain, and time away from work that you and your family cannot afford. At Studinski Law, LLC, our accomplished car accident attorneys understand the hardships you may be facing, and we are committed to helping you pursue the full and fair compensation you need to get back on track.
Don’t face your injury alone. Call Studinski Law, LLC today at (715) 343-2850 for a free case evaluation with an experienced Wisconsin car accident lawyer. We welcome clients from across Wisconsin, including Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids, Marshfield, Plover, Wausau, and other nearby areas.