How Do I Get a Police Report for My Car Accident in Illinois?

Published on: 02/20/23 — In 

A car accident is a scary and bewildering experience since it happens at unexpected times. People involved in these incidents usually don't know what actions to take afterward and may be thinking "How do I get a police report for my car accident?"

Chris Ktenas and the team at Ktenas Injury Attorneys

In Illinois, it's essential to report vehicle crashes to the necessary authorities. Not only is this recommended but it's often required--this article will explain why reporting the incident is in your best interest. For more information about getting a police report for your car accident, contact an experienced Chicago car accident attorney today!

What is the Process for Obtaining a Police Report in Illinois After an Accident?

When involved in a car accident, it can be confusing to know what to do next. After checking that the police and medical attention have been notified, it's essential to get an official police report ready.

If you choose to find the assistance of a car accident attorney, they will gather evidence in order to build a case so that you can get what is rightfully yours should you have been wrongly harmed. Even though the bulk of the proof for your claim will be collated by them, it is useful to learn how to acquire a police report after an accident in Illinois. The lawyer and both insurance firms will largely require the information noted by the police officer throughout the collision. Every state has its own approaches to executing this procedure, and comprehension of how it works in your state can hasten the legal course of action.

a Police Report for My Car Accident in Illinois

Should you wish to acquire a copy of the police report by mail, you can do so. A pristine version of the automobile accident report can be obtained through this method, as opposed to obtaining it via E-Pay. To get a copy of the document, you will need to submit a request accompanied by either a subpoena or court order that has been signed by a judge.

Details such as the incident number, facts about when and where the accident happened, and the names of those involved should all be included in your application. Remember to include a check and address an envelope with postage on it.

In order to get a police report (other than vehicle-related) via FOIA, you can either complete the Police FOIA form or use another option available.

For the Records Department to correctly process your request, please include as many details as possible (mainly dates, times, names, and addresses) on the form. Providing any report numbers you have can potentially help expedite the process.

Copies will not be available straight away, since the reports need to be evaluated and allowed before being released. Because of the law, it will take us 5 work days to satisfy your request. When finishing up your order, we will reach out to you with an email or whatever communication method was indicated on your form. Generally speaking, FOIA requests come without a fee attached. Still, there are exceptions; if there is a great deal of materials to copy, charges may apply.

How to Decide When to File a Police Report After a Car Crash

In Illinois, a police report can be accessed after an accident only if one was submitted. Drivers are obligated to file a crash report when the incident involves bodily injury, death, or property damages of more than $1,500 (or more than $500 when one or more drivers are uninsured).

When a police officer is sent to the location to record what happened, give your own view of events without offering any apologies. Although it may be natural to feel sorry about an upsetting episode, an apology can be seen as you admitting responsibility if it wasn't your fault.

It's only possible for a police officer not to show up at the scene of an accident if there is property damage that does not keep the vehicle stationary. In such cases, the person should report to the local police department, sheriff’s office, or Illinois State Police as soon as possible after the event happens.

FAQ: What damages can I collect after 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.

Filing a Police Report

It is important to obtain a police report so that the accident is meticulously documented. Normally, officers will come to the scene and assemble the report. But if they don't, then any of the drivers must file an Illinois crash report within ten days when someone has experienced death or bodily harm due to it or if the total property damage from the collision surpasses $1,500, but all parties have coverage.

If one does not have insurance, then a written declaration needs to be submitted in cases of a loss greater than $500. You must get a copy of this newspaper for your insurer or else your claim could be denied by the Illinois Department of Insurance (IDOI). If needed, a car accident attorney from Chicago can help handle this task for you.

Get Medical Help Now

Regardless of how seriously you're hurt, it's essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you feel like your injuries are minor, going to a hospital or clinic is important. Often, the symptoms of injury don't surface until much later. You must have proof of your initial examination and any expenses that accrued from it.

person taking pictures after an accident with their car in Illinois

Seek Out Eyewitness Accounts

It's a good idea to ask any witnesses for their accounts for the police report if there is potential for a disagreement about what happened. Even in cases that are straightforward, like when a car crashes into you and it's clear they don't have the right-of-way, having witness statements can help in making your case.

Reach Out to Your Insurance Company

It's essential to alert your insurance firm about the car accident and any losses it caused. Provide information about the damage caused to the vehicle plus any potential injuries sustained in the crash.

While talking with your insurer about the accident, refrain from hiding anything, or suggesting it is not that serious. They could ultimately find out, and dishonesty may slow down the claim as well damage your relationship with them.

Become Familiar with Your Insurance Policy

Thoroughly read your policy so that you understand what you are and aren't covered for. Doing this will help you anticipate what to expect from your insurer. After gauging a cost approximation for mending, then you can begin bargaining with your insurer. Be aware that your insurance may not be willing to pay the entire cost of repairs and thus, you might need to foot some of the costs independently.

Establish a Good Relationship with the Insurance Adjuster

Stay in touch with the insurance adjuster to ensure that no essential information or appointments are missed. Provide the insurer with all of the required details promptly and keep them informed of all important updates.

Prevent Further Damage

The insurance company is responsible for the damage caused by the accident. However, if any additional damage is caused by your neglect, such as not covering a broken window and allowing rain to get inside the car, you will be held accountable.

File Your Claim Within Illinois' Time Limit.

When filing for a personal injury claim in the state of Illinois, you are allowed up to two years from the time of the incident.

The statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit for someone who died in a car accident is two years.

Related Content: Everything You Need to Know About Illinois' Statute of Limitations

Document the Progress

It is essential to document anything involving the incident after it takes place. Collect any related paperwork you may obtain. Record all conversations you have and any fees you are charged. Also, track any expenses associated with the accident such as medical bills, car repairs, rental cars or anything else that you were obliged to pay because of the event. Having this information available will make it possible for you to receive reimbursement from your insurer.

What Could Happen if an Accident isn't Reported?

If false info is given on a police crash report, it is classified as a Class C misdemeanor, with a penalty of up to 30 days in jail and $50 fines.

Even though Illinois law does not demand drivers to inform their insurance company of a car accident, their insurance contract necessitates that they do so quickly. If they fail to report the incident within several days, the insurance company may turn down their claim.

A police report can serve as evidence to help you if the property damage is serious, so it would be a good idea to file one. Additionally, for serious injuries caused by the accident, consulting a Chicago car accident lawyer would be advisable.

How to Get an Illinois Traffic Accident Report

Typical police reports for car accidents include the following data:

  • Location and time of the collision
  • All drivers need to provide their name, address, and date of birth.
  • Details of driver's license
  • Vehicle registration numbers
  • Details about insurance coverage
  • The contact details of all car owners who are officially registered.
  • A breakdown of the events

Get in Touch with Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Now

Contact Ktenas Injury Lawyers today for a free case review of your automobile accident. A personal injury lawyer for auto accidents will go over the traffic crash report with the vehicle owners, just call (312) 300-2515 today.