How do you file a car accident police report in Chicago?

Filing a car accident police report is required for Chicago drivers involved in accidents in specific situations involving harm or property damage. Submitting the report is a legal obligation and a way to protect yourself from false accusations or losing out on collecting the compensation you deserve. If you need help with how to file a car accident police report in Chicago, reach out to a Chicago car accident lawyer from Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates. Our team is ready to help.

how to file a car accident police report in chicago

What does Illinois law require of drivers involved in motor-vehicle accidents?

The Illinois Bar Association (IBA) describes the steps you must take after a car accident:

  1. Stop your car immediately. Do not leave the accident scene even if it wasn’t your fault or you think the damage is minimal. If possible, set up flares, reflectors, or other signals to warn oncoming traffic and prevent additional crashes.
  2. Call 911 and ask for an ambulance and the police. If you can’t move without hurting yourself, stay still until a care team arrives.
  3. Exchange names, addresses, vehicle registration numbers, and, if requested, driver’s license information. Leaving the scene without providing this information could bring Class A misdemeanor charges with penalties, including possible jail time and hefty fines.

Am I required to call the police after an accident in Chicago?

Under Illinois law, drivers must report accidents that cause injury or death or that result in over $1,500 in damage. This threshold drops to $500 if either party lacks insurance. It is in your best interest to call the police to the scene, even if there are no apparent injuries or serious damage. The authorities will document the event details and create an official accident report, which may prove critical should you pursue a car accident injury claim.

How do I report the accident without calling the police to the scene?

To avoid potential complications, it is best to call the police and have them complete a report at the scene. However, if you thought the accident did not fit “reportable” standards and later developed injury symptoms or realized your car suffered significant damage, you must report it within 10 days of the event. You risk losing your license by failing to submit the report.

For accidents in the Chicago metro area, go to your local police station or sheriff’s office to obtain an accident form. You can fill out an online form with the Illinois State Police if the crash:

  • Was a single-vehicle event
  • Included no injuries
  • Occurred on Interstate highways or Illinois State Roadways under Illinois State Police governance

Do I need to report a hit-and-run accident?

Yes. Do not chase the hit-and-run driver on your own. Document as many details as possible, then call the police and file your report. If your car was hit while unattended, you should still call the police and make the report.

The law requires drivers who hit unattended vehicles to try and locate the vehicle’s owner. If that isn’t possible, they must leave a note including their contact information, vehicle registration number, and the crash circumstances in an obvious place on the vehicle. Failure to provide this information can lead to criminal charges and penalties of up to a year in prison and a $2,500 fine.

Get the answers and action you need

Connecting with an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer is your best course of action following a crash, even a seemingly minor one. We will guide you through the reporting process, review your case for free, and fight for a fair settlement if someone else’s negligence caused you damages. Reach us at (800) 985-1819 or by sending a message. We’re here to answer your questions and take action to get you justice.

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