The state of Wisconsin considers it a criminal offense to leave the scene after being involved in a car accident. If someone leaves the scene of an accident which resulted in injury, he could face jail time.
Wisconsin Hit and Run Criminal Penalties
Even if the accident has only caused damage to property, in Wisconsin, you are legally required to stop your vehicle. Failing to do so could lead to serious consequences:
- If you leave the scene of an accident that did not result in any injuries, you may be charged with a misdemeanor and be subject to fines ranging from $300 to $1,000. You could also face up to six months of jail time.
- If the car crash caused minor injuries, you’re likely to be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, and risk facing up to nine months in jail as well as fines as high as $10,000.
- If anyone involved in the accident suffered “great bodily harm” and you flee the scene, you face a felony charge that could mean up to 15 years in jail and a $50,000 fine.
- In the event that you flee the scene of a crash that has resulted in a fatality, the penalty could include up to 25 years in jail plus a fine of $100,000.
These laws may cause people to think twice before leaving the scene of an accident. However, they do not prevent all hit and run accidents, and they do not compensate the victims who are left hurt after another driver fails to stop and take responsibility after a crash.
What to Do If You Are Hurt in a WI Hit and Run
If you are hurt by a driver who has left the scene of the crash, then it is essential to contact the police right away. The police will respond to the accident scene and take steps to find the other driver involved in the wreck. Additionally, the police will make sure that you get any necessary emergency medical attention for your accident injuries.
Even if the police can’t find the other driver, you may still have the right to make a financial recovery for your injuries. In Wisconsin, uninsured motorist coverage is a mandatory part of car insurance policies. The minimum amount of uninsured motorist coverage that you must have is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injury coverage. At the time that you purchased your car insurance policy, you may have elected additional coverage that could provide you with greater benefits if you are badly hurt in a hit and run crash.
When you make an insurance claim pursuant to the uninsured motorist coverage provisions in your car insurance policy, your own insurance company becomes like an adversarial party. All of a sudden, the company that you pay to insure you wants to pay you as little as possible for your recovery.
As is the case after any car crash involving an injury, you may benefit from working with an experienced car accident lawyer. Our Wisconsin injury lawyers have recovered more than $1 billion for our clients. Insurance companies know that we mean business and that we are not afraid to go to trial. This makes most insurers more likely to engage in meaningful settlement negotiations to avoid a costly trial. After a hit and run accident injury, our lawyers can represent you before your own insurance company to help you get the full and fair recovery for past and future medical bills, lost income, out-of-pocket expenses, physical pain, and emotional suffering.
If you have been injured in a Wisconsin hit and run car accident, contact the experienced car accident lawyers of Hupy and Abraham to schedule a free consultation. We also invite you to download your free copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide for Auto Accident Victims and to request a free copy of our DVD Valuable Information Insurance Companies Don't Want You to Know!