Reporting an Accident to the Police | Studinski Law, LLC
April 23, 2021

Do I Have to Report an Accident to the Police?

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.

Are Police Reports Necessary to File Insurance Claims?

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.

How Can a Police Report Help My Case?

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:

  • Your Insurer may dispute the fact that the crash occurred. In the absence of a police report, your insurer may question the validity of your claim and that your injuries and vehicle damage were caused by a crash. 
  • Your Insurer may claim you have insufficient evidence to warrant coverage. Even if your insurance company doesn’t dispute the fact that the collision occurred, you may still not recover fair compensation without a police report. This is especially true if you file a fault-based claim against the insurance policy of the other driver.

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.

How Can I Get a Copy of My Police Report?

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.

What Should I Do After a Car Wreck?

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:

  • Check to see if you or any of your passengers were injured in the collision.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the police.
  • Seek medical attention.
  • Exchange information with the other driver.
  • Photograph the accident scene.
  • Speak to witnesses and gather their contact information.
  • Give a statement to the police.
  • Report the accident to your insurance company.
  • Make an accident file to keep your records organized.
  • Do not speak with the other driver’s insurance company.
  • Contact Studinski Law, LLC for a free consultation.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney in Wisconsin Today

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.

See our results.

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.

Jason Studinski Injury Attorney
Free Case Evaluation
Call us at (715) 343-2850 or fill out the form below:
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.