Deciding what to do immediately after a motor vehicle accident can be overwhelming. You might suffer traumatic injuries and not know what to do. Once you’ve called 911 and received emergency medical treatment, you need to prepare an official police report.
If you decide to hire an experienced car accident attorney, they will help you gather the necessary evidence and build a solid case so that you can get the compensation you deserve, especially if your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence.
While your personal injury attorney will track down the substantive evidence needed to support your accident claim, it’s essential to know how to get a police report for a car accident in Illinois. It’s likely both your auto accident lawyer and the insurance company will require the information recorded by the police officer at the time of the motor vehicle crash. The process varies from state to state, so understanding how it works in your county can speed up the litigation process.
Once your car accident attorney has the police report and other relevant evidence, they can start building a strong car accident case on your behalf against the at-fault driver. As they do that, you can focus on recovering from your injuries and getting back to your normal life. To learn more about the automobile accident claim process, get in touch with a personal injury lawyer at CCAL today at (312) 300-2515.
How You Can Get a Police Report for a Car Accident in Illinois
The first document created after a car accident of any kind is a police report. This report is generated by the police officer who comes to the accident scene to investigate the circumstances of the motor vehicle accident or it’s generated at the police station once you report the accident should the law enforcement officer not come to the scene of the accident.
The police report aims to memorialize all relevant details regarding the car crash. It captures all information including but not limited to the names of all drivers involved in the accident, contact information, and addresses of all drivers and witnesses. The report also details weather conditions, points of contact on the vehicles, and whether any traffic tickets were issued.
To get a police report, you must have the following information ready:
- Date of the motor vehicle accident
- Other Driver’s First and Last Name
- Highway/Intersection of Accident and/or
- RD number
Normally it takes a few days before the police report is available to the public. Allow a few days and start what is the process to get your copy of the police report:
Go to the police station that prepared the report and provide the car crash details such as date of the accident, names of those involved, highway/intersection where the accident occurred, and RD number or
Google the name of the law enforcement agency that prepared the police report, and then follow the prompts to find the report, which includes having a combination of the following information: accident date, names of drivers involved, intersection/highway, and RD number
Call the reporting agency and ask to speak to an officer. Explain that you’re trying to get a copy of the accident report. Ask the officer to confirm if the report exists, whether the accident report is ready for viewing, and how you can get a copy of the motor vehicle accident report.
Having a copy of the police report is crucial to your motor vehicle accident claim and you need it to:
- Provide to your insurer and the other driver’s insurance company to assist with their crash evaluation
- Give to the hospital to help establish the severity of your bodily injuries
- Assist your auto accident attorney with notifying the proper insurance company of your property damage claim and/or personal injury claim.
- Assist your car accident attorney with preparing the complaint about your auto accident claim, naming the right at-fault party.
How Do I Get a Copy of an Accident Report in Illinois?
In Illinois, various law enforcement agencies--usually the local police department, provide guidance on how to get a copy of a traffic crash report. First, you must know which police department handled your traffic accident. To know which police department handled your car crash, refer to the “Investigated By” section of the motorist report, which is in the box in the upper left corner of the report. In Illinois, the Chicago Police or the Illinois State Troopers handle most motor vehicle crashes.
How Do I Get a Copy of My Accident Report Online in Illinois?
To get a copy of your accident report online in Illinois, you can use the Illinois State Police website to get your traffic accident report via a service called E-Pay. It’s essential to note that you must pay a service fee if you request your crash report this way. Also, verify if the Illinois State Police handled the car collision. You can find this information on the motorist report. If you don’t have a copy of the motorist report, contact the Illinois State Police Patrol Records Unit.
Further, it’s essential to note that the car crash report you receive online will be a redacted version. It takes approximately 10 or more business days to process a request. Thus, you may wait for a while before you receive a copy in your email. To speed up the process, including the agency accident report number, the other driver’s first and last name, date and location of the motor vehicle accident, and the county where the crash occurred in your request.
How Can I Get Copies of My Police Report by Mail?
Also, you can request a copy of your police report through the postal service. Unlike getting a copy through E-Pay, you can receive an unredacted version of the police report by mail. To do so, send a subpoena or a court order signed by a judge together with your request. Your request must also contain the police agency accident report number, the date when the accident occurred, parties involved, and location, and a check for payment in a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
How Long Do I Have to File an Accident Report in Illinois?
When you’re driving on Illinois roadways or anywhere across the country, you always have to be careful to avoid automobile accidents. However, if you get into a motor vehicle collision, you'll need to know if you have to file a motor vehicle accident report in Illinois. Under Illinois law, a car crash report must be filed if the crash causes bodily injury or death, or causes more than $1,500 in property damage.
You must file the car accident report with the Illinois Department of Transportation (DOT) no later than 10 days after the motor vehicle accident. If you don't file the accident report within that time limit, you may face criminal penalties, including hefty fines, jail time, or you may lose your driving privilege.
Contact Our Experienced Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Today for Legal Advice!
A police report is a legal document that contains all the accident details of a traumatic incident. If you’ve been involved in a traffic accident and are having problems, getting a copy of your police report and/or would like to know if your motor vehicle accident needs experienced auto accident attorneys to help, call CCAL today at (312) 300-2515 for a free initial consultation.
Our skilled Chicago personal injury attorneys are ready to help you recover the maximum possible compensation you need to cover your medical bills, lost income, property damage, pain and suffering, and other damages. We have extensive experience helping clients in DuPage County, Cook County, Kane County, Lake County, and throughout Illinois, and we can help you too.