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How to File a Police Report After a Car Accident

Note: Click here Did you know there’s one generation that accounts for more accidents than others? Check out FLT’s latest analysis of the Worst Drivers by Generation.

In Illinois, there are approximately 676 traffic crashes each day. Despite taking every safe driving precaution, there is always a chance of a car accident. Whether you’re the victim of a drunk driving, texting while driving, or reckless driving accident, our Chicagoland auto accident attorneys are here to help you receive the compensation you deserve.

We want to help Chicagoans know what to do when they’re in a car accident.

After a car accident, you must file a police report. We cannot stress how important it is to understand the rules and regulations surrounding police reports, especially since state laws are at play. You could be hit with a fine or jail time if you don’t comply. 

To avoid any issues, here is how to file a police report after an auto accident.

Can I File an Accident Report Online in Chicago?

You cannot file an accident report online in Chicago. The only two ways to file an accident report are at the scene of the crime with a police officer or within 10 days to the Illinois State Police if no officer is present at the scene of the accident.

When Do I Need to File a Crash Report?

Drivers involved in a traffic accident must file a crash report if the crash caused “death, bodily injury, or more than $1,500 of property damage when all drivers are insured.” If a driver is uninsured, the threshold is $500.

Illinois requires you to file a report with the state police within ten days if no police officer arrives at the accident scene.

How to File a Police Report After a Car Accident

The immediate aftermath of an auto accident is frightening, nerve-wracking, and sometimes even an out-of-body experience. There are so many thoughts running through your mind that you don’t know what to do first.

Friend, Levinson, Turner Law wants to help you with all the information you need to file a police report before an accident occurs so you can have the information memorized during an emergency.

Call 9-1-1

Timing matters when filing a police report. We always recommend that the first thing you do after an auto accident is call 9-1-1. 

After telling the dispatcher that you’ve been in an accident, they will send a responding officer to the scene.

*Do not leave the scene before speaking with the police officer.

If you suffer any immediate or post-accident injuries, you need the police report as evidence.

Answer Any Questions

Once the responding officer arrives, they will ask a series of questions and collect vital pieces of personal information from the parties involved.

These include driver statements, vehicle damages, witness contact information, injuries noted at the scene, and a diagram of the accident scene.

All of that information is pertinent to the accident report. Once the officer gathers statements, quotes, and images, they will file the police report.

You don’t have to do any extra work to file the report. In turn, you won’t have to worry about being out of compliance with state laws regarding police reports.

Get a Copy of the Report

Once the police file the crash report, you may obtain a copy online or by mail. If you believe you’ve suffered damages due to someone else’s reckless driving, our team will assist you in acquiring a copy of the report.

What Should I Do If I Do Not Call the Police?

We never recommend this, but if you do not call the police after an auto accident, and there is no responding officer to file the report, you’ll need to make sure you file one within ten days of the accident. 

If you go this route, you’ll need to collect the following after the accident:

  • Pictures of the accident scene and the cars involved in the incident (make sure those photos include the make, model, and license plates of the vehicles)
  • Phone recordings of any witness statements
  • Video surveillance footage from cameras that you see near the scene of the accident

After collecting this information, try to get all the individuals involved in the accident to go to the police department to file a police report together. 

To be safe, collect personal information from the drivers involved before leaving the scene. This should include photographs of driver’s licenses, telephone numbers, and insurance carrier information.

Need help after an auto accident? Call FLT Law today.

Our goal at FLT Law is to ensure you are ready to take control if the unthinkable happens. An auto accident can happen to anyone, and our team is here to help you get the compensation you deserve.

If you or a loved one is injured or a victim of an auto accident, please call my office at 312-346-8465 or contact us using the form below.

author avatar
William Turner
William J. Turner

William Turner has represented hundreds of working men and women who have been victims of the negligence of others – gaining equitable compensation for the medical expenses and pain and suffering for his clients. He concentrates his practice in the trial of complex personal injury cases, including car and truck accidents, construction mishaps, medical malpractice, dog and animal attacks, nursing home abuse, and slip-and-falls. Additionally, he offers niche counsel and advocacy for workers who are injured on a job.

William has obtained judgements from juries in approximately 150 cases and has secured fair and comprehensive settlements in even more over his career. William Turner has dedicated his professional life to fighting for the rights of those who are injured as a result of the negligent acts of others.

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