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How, When, and Why to Report an Illinois Car Accident

Reporting your car accident may not be the first thing that comes to mind at an accident scene. However, it is an important step that is required by Illinois law. Whether you are currently at the scene of your cash, you have already left the accident scene, or you are wondering what you would do if you were ever in an accident, we encourage you to know how to report the accident.

What Illinois Law Requires

The Illinois statutes require a driver to report an accident when:

  • There is death because of the crash.
  • There is a bodily injury caused by the crash.
  • There is property damage of $1,500 or more and the drivers are insured, or there is property damage of $500 or more and a driver is uninsured.

The accident should be reported immediately from the scene of the crash by the driver. However, if the driver is unable to make the report, then a passenger may do so or the driver may do so when he is physically able to do it.

If the accident occurs within a municipality, then the accident should be reported to the local police department. If the accident occurs outside of a municipality then it should be reported to the local sheriff’s office or to the Illinois State Police. This initial report may be made by phone. Additionally, a report should be made to the Illinois Department of Transportation within 10 days of the crash. The report to the Illinois Department of Transportation should be in writing on the required form that is available at your local police department.

If You Fail to Report the Crash You Could Face a Fine or Jail Time…But There’s Also Another Important Reason to Make the Report

We admit that filing the report because it is the right thing to do or because it could result in a fine or jail time are pretty compelling reasons. However, there is also another reason to file the report as soon as possible and that is because it could be important to your legal recovery. The investigation done by the police may be relevant to your claim and could help secure valuable evidence.

For all of these reasons, we encourage you to report your accident to the authorities as quickly as possible.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham
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