Milwaukee car accident lawyer looking over public recordsKeeping your privacy protected after a car crash is important. Our experienced Milwaukee car accident attorney can help you understand what information will be reported as public records and ensure you take the proper steps to keep your information secure. 

Car Accident Police Reports 

Car accident police reports are generally considered public records. In Milwaukee, as in many other jurisdictions, police reports are created for every reported car accident. These reports contain important details such as the accident's date, time, and location, the parties involved, witness statements, and a description of the incident.

While these reports are technically public records, they are not readily available to just anyone. Typically, individuals involved in the accident or their legal representatives can request a copy of the police report. However, parts of the report that do not pertain to the requesting party may be redacted to protect the privacy and security of other parties involved. For example, personal contact information, such as phone numbers and addresses, may be removed or obscured.

Car Accidents Reported in the News

Local news outlets often cover significant accidents, mainly if they result in severe injuries or fatalities. When reporting car accidents in Milwaukee, WI, news organizations aim to present accurate and objective information. They often include vital details such as the incident's date, time, and location. 

Additionally, news reports may mention the number of vehicles involved, the extent of injuries sustained, and any fatalities that may have occurred. Eyewitness accounts and statements from law enforcement officials and emergency responders are commonly featured to provide a comprehensive view of the incident. There may even be video footage or photos of the accident scene and vehicles involved.

Settlements and Verdicts as Public Record

Unlike accident reports, settlements reached between parties involved in a car accident are generally not considered public records. Settlements are usually private agreements made between the parties, often with the assistance of their respective attorneys. Because they are not typically filed with the court, they are not easily accessible to the public.

In contrast, court verdicts resulting from car accident cases are public record. If a lawsuit is filed and the case goes to trial, the final judgment rendered by the court becomes part of the public record. Court verdicts provide information about the legal outcome of a case, including any damages awarded to the prevailing party.

Other Potential Areas of Concern After a Car Crash

If you are concerned about protecting your privacy after a Milwaukee car accident, other factors to consider include: 

  • Surveillance videos. In some cases, car accidents might be captured by surveillance cameras or recorded by bystanders. These videos or images may be shared on social media or picked up by the media, resulting in unintended public exposure for the individuals involved.
  • Social media gossip. With the ease of information sharing on the internet, car accidents and their details can spread quickly through various platforms, even before official reports are released. This can lead to speculation, misinformation, and further invasions of privacy for those involved.
  • Data breaches and hacks. Insurance companies, law enforcement agencies, or other entities handling car accident data may be susceptible to data breaches or hacks. If unauthorized parties gain access to this information, it can result in serious privacy violations.

What to Discuss With Your Car Accident Lawyer in Milwaukee

A good auto accident attorney in Milwaukee, WI, can help protect your privacy and explain how to obtain a copy of the police report. They can also explain the process of requesting redactions if necessary and help you navigate any challenges that may arise.

Confidentiality is another crucial aspect to discuss with your attorney. While accident reports are public records, protecting your privacy and limiting access to personal information is important. Your Milwaukee car accident lawyer can advise you on strategies to safeguard your sensitive details when dealing with the release of accident reports. 

Contact Our Milwaukee Car Accident Attorneys

If you were involved in a crash, contact our experienced Milwaukee car accident lawyer at Hupy and Abraham. We are available for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case and offer a Win or It’s Free Guarantee. To schedule a confidential appointment, please fill out our convenient contact form or call us at 800-800-5678.

Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.