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Is Leaving the Scene of an Accident a Crime in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, drivers must fulfill specific obligations after getting into a motor vehicle accident. These obligations include stopping at the accident scene, exchanging information with others involved, and assisting injured persons. Committing a hit-and-run or prematurely leaving the scene of a car crash may constitute a criminal offense under Wisconsin law.

Wisconsin Laws Governing Drivers’ Obligations After Accidents 

Under Wisconsin law, a driver involved in a collision with another vehicle, a pedestrian, or another person’s property must stop at the scene of the collision and provide their name, address, and vehicle registration number to the other driver, the pedestrian, or the owner of the damaged property. The driver must also display their driver’s license upon request. Finally, a driver must provide reasonable assistance to any person injured in the accident, including transporting the person to the hospital or making arrangements to transport the person to the hospital, such as calling 911.

A driver who hits an unoccupied vehicle or unattended property must undertake reasonable efforts to locate the driver or property owner to provide their information. If the driver cannot locate the other driver or property owner, they must leave their information in a conspicuous place, along with a brief statement of the circumstances of the accident.

Drivers involved in accidents resulting in injuries, deaths, or property damage of an apparent value of $1,000 or more must report the accident to law enforcement.

 Legal Consequences for Leaving the Scene of an Accident

Failing to stop at the scene of a motor vehicle accident and exchange information or render aid to those injured in the crash may result in criminal penalties. The severity of penalties for leaving the scene of an accident depends on whether the accident resulted in injuries and the seriousness of those injuries.

Leaving the scene of an accident resulting only in property damage constitutes a misdemeanor offense, which carries a penalty of up to six months in jail and a fine of $300 to $1,000. Leaving the scene of an accident where someone suffered minor injuries constitutes a class A misdemeanor, with penalties of up to nine months in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in severe injuries constitutes a Class E felony offense, which carries penalties of up to 15 years in prison and potential fines of up to $50,000. Finally, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in a fatality constitutes a Class D felony offense, which carries penalties of up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

 

Contact a Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney Today

If you’ve gotten into a motor vehicle accident where the other driver left the scene, you need experienced legal representation to help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other crash-related losses. Contact Atterbury, Kammer & Haag, S.C., today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a motor vehicle accident attorney about your legal options.

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