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Reporting a Car Accident in Illinois

Posted on April 26, 2022 in

After a car accident, you may have a lot on your mind. You may wonder how you are going to pay for medical care or property repairs. You could be suffering from serious and painful injuries, as well as emotional trauma.

The last task on your mind is reporting the accident. Up until recently, Illinois law required motorists to report a collision if it involves injury, property damage, or death. While this requirement is no longer in effect, it is still important to report a car accident after it occurs.

Illinois Car Accident Reporting Requirements

Up until August 2021, Illinois drivers were required to report an accident to the Illinois Department of Transportation (DOT) if the collision involved any of the following factors:

  • The accident resulted in property damage that exceeded $1,500.
  • The accident resulted in bodily injury to any person involved in the collision.
  • The accident resulted in someone’s death.

Under the old law, drivers had 10 days from the date of the collision to submit the report. Failure to report an accident to the Illinois DOT could result in serious consequences, such as the suspension of a driver’s license. If a person provides false information in a report, he or she could face a Class C misdemeanor charge and face up to 30 days in jail and a fine of $500.

However, the Illinois General Assembly passed Public Act 102-0560 in August 2021. This law repeals the DOT reporting requirements for Illinois drivers. If the collision involves a state employee, however, he or she is still required to submit a report to the Illinois DOT Bureau of Data Collection.

Why You Should Report a Car Accident

Although Illinois no longer requires drivers to report car accidents, it is still important to call 911 as soon as possible following the accident. When a police officer is called to the scene of the accident, he or she will create a report that contains valuable information, such as the following:

  • The names and contact information for drivers involved in the accident
  • The approximate date and time of the accident
  • The names of any witnesses who saw the collision occur
  • Statements from the drivers involved in the collision
  • A summary of how the police officer believes the accident occurred

Illinois is a fault insurance state, meaning that drivers who cause accidents are financially liable for any damages that their victims experience. If you are injured by a negligent driver, you could use the information in the police report as evidence in your insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party.

The police report can help corroborate your sequence of events, establishing the other driver’s liability. You can also access information about the driver and any witnesses who saw the accident occur, which can be valuable if you were not able to obtain these details at the scene.

Overall, having a police report on file signals to the insurance company that the accident occurred and that you are serious about recovering compensation. After a car accident, always call 911 and report the collision to the police.

Speak to an Illinois Attorney

Car accidents can be devastating and disorienting events. If you are involved in an Illinois collision, you need a Chicago auto accident attorney on your side who can represent your claim and fight for your right to recovery. Contact a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your next steps.