Summertime in Wisconsin is perfect for enjoying time on the water. Whether you are setting sail on a family-friendly pontoon, fishing boat, or old canoe, a day on the lake just can’t be beaten.

However, there are safety risks involved with boating. Speeding, negligence, drinking, and inexperience are all common causes of boating accidents in Wisconsin. In this post, we want to share a few tips to help you stay safe on the water this summer.

How to Stay Safe While Boating in Wisconsin

  • Wearing a life jacket - According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 80% of boating accident deaths could be avoided by wearing life jackets. When a boating accident occurs, you have limited time to stretch and get your stowed life jackets. Therefore, it is advisable to ensure that you and everyone on board has a life jacket while boating.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol - Alcohol consumption while boating is illegal and endangers the lives of everyone on board. Remember that intoxicated swimmers and passengers are also more likely to drown.
  • Be weather-wise - Whether you are operating a boat during the summer, spring or fall season, always consider carrying a radio and watching out for the weather. Sometimes, wind shifts and choppy water can be telltale signs of a brewing storm. Get to shore as soon as you realize the weather is about to change.
  • Don’t overload the boat - It’s essential to follow your boat’s load limit restrictions. Overloading your boat can make it unstable and surge the risk of swamping or capsizing.
  • Ensure all operators are trained - Human error is a leading cause of boating accidents. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that all operators can effectively navigate and operate the boat. You can do this by ensuring boating operators take a boating safety course that includes reading the weather, boat handling, and navigation.
  • Maintain a safe speed - Like on the road, you can face penalties or fines for overspeeding on the water. Since there are no lanes on water and different water vessels zig-zag everywhere, it can be challenging for speeding boats to avoid collisions. Therefore, it is essential to ensure you excess caution and obey the speed limits.

What Should You Do After a Boating Accident?

After a boating accident, you should ensure that everyone on board is safe. If there are injuries, loss of life, property damage in excess of $2,000 or the total loss of a boat, you are required to report the incident to law enforcement without delay.  

As with other accidents, it is essential to gather evidence immediately. You need to collect police reports, witness testimonies, videos, and photos of the scene. A Milwaukee boating accident attorney will help you gather the evidence you need to establish a strong case against the party at fault.

Contact a Milwaukee Boating Accident Attorney

At Natasha Misra Law, we are ready to help you get the compensation you need to move forward after a boat accident. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can assist in strengthening your case.

When Are you Required To Report A Car Accident?

Wisconsin drivers are required to report motor vehicle accidents that involve:

  • Bodily injury or death;
  • Property damage of at least $1,000 or more; or
  • Damage to a state or government owner property exceeding $200.

Those involved in the accident are required to report the accident to the police department, the sheriff’s department, the traffic department or the Wisconsin State Patrol. If a law enforcement officer responds to the accident, they have 10 days to file a report with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, or WisDOT.

In some cases, however, law enforcement may not respond to a car accident. In those situations, the individuals involved in the accident are required to report the crash to WisDOT. Drivers may get a letter from WisDOT requesting them to complete a report. If you receive this request from WisDOT, then you are required to complete the report. If you do not file a report or complete a report sent to you by WisDOT, then you may be fined for your failure to comply.

How To Report Your Car Accident

If law enforcement does not respond to your accident, then you will need to submit an accident report to WisDOT. To do this, you will need to complete an online form titled “Wisconsin Driver Report of Crash DT4002.” You can find this form online HERE.

Before you begin filling out the online form, however, you should gather the information that you will need to complete the report. WisDOT will request the following information:

  • Your Driver License Number
  • Your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Your Social Security Number
  • Insurance information for the vehicles involved in the accident

WisDOT will also request information about the accident. Specifically, the department will ask you to describe the accident and who was involved. For example, you will need to indicate whether the accident involved a motor vehicle, an animal, a bicyclist, a pedestrian, a parked vehicle or unoccupied vehicle, a fixed object or a non-fixed object.

In addition, you will be asked to discuss any injuries that occurred as a result of the car accident. The report will ask you to indicate whether you have suspected serious injuries (including deep lacerations, broken bones, paralysis, unconsciousness or significant loss of blood), suspected minor injuries (like minor cuts), or possible injuries (such as whiplash, limping or nausea).

Completing the online accident report form should take less than an hour to complete. Not only will reporting the accident help you avoid any potential fines, but you will also be able to use the accident report when seeking damages for your injuries.

Why Is Filing A Car Accident Report Important For My Case?

After an accident, your insurance company will likely request a copy of the accident report. In fact, before an insurance claim can be paid, the driver responsible for causing the accident must be identified. The driver at fault for the accident will then be responsible for compensating the other driver for his or her injuries and property damage.

Often, the accident report will be used to determine who was at fault for a car accident. In the event that there is a dispute regarding who is responsible for causing the accident, the official accident report will serve as the basis for an investigation into how the accident occurred.

A Wisconsin Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

If you have been injured in a car accident in Wisconsin, it is important that either a law enforcement official or you file an accident report with the WisDOT. The report will help identify the at fault party who caused the accident and ultimately help you recover compensation for your injuries.

When injured in a crash, you should also consult an experienced Milwaukee personal injury attorney - Natasha Misra Law. Our law office can help you with the accident reporting process and assist you in obtaining a copy of the accident report. Call our office at (414) 635-2858 for a free consultation and speak with a Milwaukee car accident lawyer today.

Natasha Misra

My law practice is dedicated to helping people who have suffered injuries in accidents which were not their fault. Born and raised in Milwaukee, I come from a family of medical professionals. My background and experience help me understand and represent individuals injured in accidents.