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Do I have to report a car accident in Illinois?

On Behalf of | Jul 30, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

The aftermath of a motor vehicle accident can be terrifying. You may feel disoriented, frightened and confused. Not everyone thinks clearly after experiencing such a traumatic incident.

In certain circumstances, though, Illinois requires you to file a formal report to inform authorities of a car crash. In this post, we will let you know whether you should file a report after an accident.

When to file an accident report

Minor incidents do not require a report. However, state authorities do mandate that drivers report accidents that are more serious. Under Illinois Statute Chapter 625 Vehicles §, you should contact the Illinois Department of Transportation (DOT) to report any accident that:

  • Involves bodily injury or death
  • Involves property damage or auto damage of more than $1,500

Fortunately, the reporting process is fairly simple. Working with an attorney, complete a Motorist Report and mail, fax or email it to the Illinois DOT.  You must file your report within 10 days of the crash. Failure to do so could result in fines, driver’s license suspension or even jail time in extreme cases.

Other steps to take after an accident

Although you might not be thinking clearly in the minutes and hours after an accident, there are a few other crucial steps that you should follow:

  1. Document the scene of the crash
  2. Contact the police to have them file a police report
  3. Get the name, insurance information and contact information of the other party
  4. Contact an attorney
  5. Seek medical attention immediately

If you suffer an injury, adhering to these steps may help you recover compensation. If you face criminal or civil penalties, these steps could protect your rights in the court system.