Major car accidents should always be reported to law enforcement; to be sure, this is one of the most important steps to take after a car accident. As noted by the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), all traffic collisions that result in any injuries or more than $1,500 in total property damage must be reported to the authorities.
It is in your best interest to make sure that a police officer is dispatched to the scene of your crash. Not only will the responding officer secure and help manage the crash scene, but they will also document the wreck by writing an official accident report. If your crash occurred as the result of the negligence of another party, the accident report should reflect that important fact.
What is in a Car Accident Police Report?
Car accident reports matter. They are an important form of evidence documenting a crash. The contents of a police report could affect your insurance claim. Generally, the accident report will be used — in part — to help resolve any disputes over fault for the collision. As a crash victim, you should take action to get a copy of the accident report. If there is an error in it, your Rockford car accident lawyer can help you take action to address that problem. Among other things, you may find the following information in a car accident report:
- The time, date, and location of the collision;
- Identifying information for parties involved in the crash;
- A description of the weather conditions and the road conditions;
- If provided, statements from accident victims and/or witnesses;
- Descriptions of the vehicle damage;
- A narrative about why the crash might have occurred; and
- Whether or not any drivers were cited for tickets.
In the accident report, the responding law enforcement officer may decide to assign fault. This generally occurs in cases where a ticket is issued — such as when a driver runs a red light, thereby causing a crash. The negligent act, the running of the red light, will be noted in the crash report. Regardless of what is in your police report, it is key piece of evidence and you need to get a copy of it.
How to Obtain a Copy of an Accident Report in Illinois
To get a copy of the accident report, you need to determine which law enforcement agency responded to and investigated your crash. For example, if your crash was investigated by the Illinois State Police, then you must submit an official request for a Traffic Crash Report to:
Illinois State Police
Patrol Records Unit
801 South 7th Street, Suite 600-M
Springfield, Illinois 62703
Of course, many accidents are not handled by the state police. If your crash was responded to by local police, you will need to request an accident report directly from that agency. For instance, if you were involved in a rear-end collision in Rockford, a Rockford Police Department officer may have responded to the crash. Rockford car accident report records can be obtained online or requests can be submitted by mailing them to:
ATTN: RECORDS CENTER DIVISION
Rockford Police Department
557 S. New Towne Drive
Rockford, IL 61108
If you have questions or concerns regarding how to obtain an accident report, please do not hesitate to contact an auto accident attorney at Tuite Law for help.