Car insurance plays a crucial role in any potential claim that may arise after a car accident in Wisconsin. It is important to know the requirements set forth by the state to ensure you are adequately protected and in compliance with the law.
Wisconsin’s Fault-Based System
Wisconsin operates under a traditional fault-based system when it comes to determining financial responsibility for losses resulting from a car accident. This means that the person at fault for causing the accident is responsible for any resulting harm. Typically, the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier will cover these losses, up to the policy limits.
Available Claim Options in Wisconsin
Following a car accident in Wisconsin, you have several options for filing a claim:
- File a claim with your own car insurance company, regardless of fault, if you have personal injury protection/medical payments coverage or collision coverage.
- File a “third party” claim with the other driver’s insurance carrier if the other driver is clearly at fault.
- File a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver in court, with the driver’s insurance coverage coming into play.
It is worth noting that no-fault car insurance states have different claim options. However, Wisconsin drivers do not need to worry about no-fault coverage within the state, except in the case of accidents that occur across state lines in Michigan or Minnesota.
Car Insurance Requirements in Wisconsin
All Wisconsin drivers are required to carry car insurance or some form of financial security. The minimum coverage amounts mandated by the state include:
- $25,000 liability coverage for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the insured driver.
- $50,000 liability coverage for total bodily injury or death liability in an accident caused by the insured driver.
- $10,000 liability coverage for property damage per accident caused by the insured driver.
Liability coverage will pay for medical bills, property damage, and other costs incurred by drivers, passengers, and pedestrians who are injured or have their vehicles damaged in an accident caused by the insured driver, up to the coverage limits. It is advisable to consider higher coverage limits to protect your personal assets in the event of a serious crash.
Additionally, uninsured motorist coverage is required in Wisconsin, with a minimum of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. This coverage applies if you, your family, or other occupants of your vehicle are injured by an uninsured motorist or a hit-and-run driver.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Wisconsin
Driving without insurance or failing to provide proof of insurance in Wisconsin can lead to various penalties, including fines of up to $500 for driving without insurance, fines of up to $10 for failing to show proof of insurance, and fines of up to $5,000 for offering fraudulent proof of insurance. These penalties, along with the financial risks associated with causing an accident without insurance coverage, highlight the importance of complying with Wisconsin’s car insurance requirements.
Acceptable Proof of Car Insurance in Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, you can provide proof of car insurance through digital means. If asked to provide proof during a traffic stop or at the scene of an accident, you can display an official digital version of your insurance card on your phone or other electronic device. However, presenting a physical copy of your insurance card is still perfectly acceptable.
Seeking Help After a Car Accident in Wisconsin
For more information on car insurance in Wisconsin, you can visit the state’s Office of the Commissioner of Insurance website. They offer resources such as an auto insurance FAQ and a consumer’s guide to auto insurance.
In the event of an accident, it may be beneficial to consult with a legal professional to understand Wisconsin laws that could impact your car accident claim. If you require assistance with the claims process, consider reaching out to a car accident lawyer who can provide guidance and support tailored to your specific situation.