Mark W. Mathys | December 31, 2022 | Car Accidents
It is completely normal to feel overwhelmed and scared after a traffic collision. After all, car accidents usually happen without warning, and victims are often confused about the appropriate steps to take.
Following a motor vehicle accident in Illinois, it is critical to report the incident to the proper authorities. In most instances, this is a legal requirement.
But filing an Illinois accident report is also in your best interests. Having a collision report on file can help to bolster your chances of recovering the financial compensation to which you are rightfully entitled.
With this in mind, here are a few of the most common questions regarding car accident reports in the state of Illinois.
What Is Illinois State Law Regarding Accident Reports?
Most people understand the importance of reporting a car accident right after it happens. But some people still choose not to report their collisions.
Whether they are hoping to avoid the hassle or believe no injury has occurred, failing to report an Illinois car accident is almost always a mistake. If more property damage has occurred than the drivers realize, they may face legal penalties.
According to Illinois state law, you are required to report a vehicular accident to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) if it meets any of the following conditions:
- The collision results in a death or bodily injury
- The collision causes property damage of at least $1,500
Those involved in these car accidents are legally obligated to report the accident to the Department of Transportation within ten days of the incident. In the State of Illinois, the following parties can complete an accident report:
- Vehicle owners
- Crash victims
- Insurance providers
- Legal representatives
Crash reports can be submitted through the Department of Transportation website. If you fail to submit the report within the ten-day deadline, you may face a driver’s license suspension.
It is important to complete the accident report form accurately. Providing inaccurate information is classified as a Class C misdemeanor. This type of offense carries a penalty of up to 30 days of jail time and a fine of $500.
What Information Is Required on an Illinois Car Accident Report?
Accurately completing a car accident report in Illinois requires you to gather the following information:
- Time and location of the collision
- Names and contact information of victims
- License plate numbers for involved vehicles
- Names, addresses, and insurance information for involved drivers
- Names of all vehicle owners involved
- Explanation of the circumstances of the accident
It is important to know that this car accident report is not the same as the police report. In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, it is vital to contact the local police department.
What Steps Should You Take After a Motor Vehicle Collision?
Securing financial compensation after an Illinois car accident is more likely when you take the right actions. Before leaving the scene of the crash, take the following steps:
- Contact local law enforcement
- Call for medical care providers if necessary
- Keep conversations to a minimum
- Never admit fault
- Gather relevant evidence related to the collision
- Trade contact information with other drivers
You should also speak with a knowledgeable legal representative about the facts of your case. An Illinois car accident lawyer can help you ensure that all the required reports have been filed.
When you hire a skilled motor vehicle collision attorney, they will fight diligently for maximum compensation in your case. Filing the proper reports will also give you the best chance of recovering the compensation that you may be entitled to.