Do I Need to Report a Car Accident to Law Enforcement?
The rules about reporting car accidents vary so much that you may be left confused about what you should do after your accident.
The State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation explains that whether you report your car accident to law enforcement depends largely on the circumstances of the situation. You should note that if the law obligates you to report an accident and you do not, then you could face legal repercussions. In addition, most insurance companies require a report from law enforcement to process claims. In short, it is generally better to contact law enforcement if you are unsure than to not contact them.
You will need to report any accident where there is property damage of $1,000 or more. If you damage government property, you must make a report if it totals $200 or more. Also, any accident in which there is an injury requires reporting.
In some cases, you will be able to file your own report, but you should always call law enforcement first. They will advise you on the next steps to take. To make a report, you have to have the name and information of the other driver, such as vehicle identification and insurance information.
Do Not Report
The law does distinguish traffic incidents that do not constitute a reportable crash. If you cannot identify the other driver, then you cannot report the accident yourself. So, if you have a hit and run when you are not in the vehicle, you cannot report it unless you have the other driver’s information. You should contact law enforcement if you were in the vehicle.