In north La Crosse Monday night, a stray bullet came through the ceiling of a home, hitting 5-year old girl asleep downstairs. When something like this happens, Wisconsin's state law kicks in and hospitals have to report any crime-related injuries.
"The hospital does have the obligation in cases where they believe that there could be a gun shot wound that they have to contact law enforcement , so they are following laws in that procedure by contacting us," said Captain Robert Abraham of the La Crosse Police Department.
Gun shot and stab wounds are the types of injuries most often reported to law enforcement, but in cases of abuse and neglect for people over the age of 18, it all depends on expert opinion.
"Of course we go through our medical doctor that's on duty at the time and if we still can't decide, we can involve out legal department and ask them what they think or involve a social worker," said Roxy Westland, a nurse at Luther Midelfort Hospital.
But when it comes to sexual assaults, contacting the police is up to the victim
"If the patient is over 18, we cannot involve law enforcement unless they sign and give their permission to do so."
Once the report is made, hospitals are immune from any civil and criminal liability.