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How to Obtain a Car Accident Report in Illinois

Published on Apr 23, 2024 by Thomas Law Offices.

How to Obtain a Car Accident Report in Illinois

When you’ve been involved in a car accident in Chicago or anywhere in the Prairie State, you may have spoken with law enforcement at the scene of your collision. In most circumstances, you will receive a motorist report from an officer.

That motorist report briefly states the nature and circumstances of the accident, such as the driver’s first and last name, the date and location of the crash, the county the crash occurred in, and an Agency Crash Report Number.

Generally, a law enforcement officer present at your accident will file a police report or an Illinois traffic crash report, which will contain more detailed information about your accident. This report will be completed after local police have finished investigating your collision.

So, what can you do if you need this report for your records or as evidence for a personal injury claim?

Read on to find out how to get a copy of your Illinois traffic crash report.

Where to Find Your Accident Report

As we mentioned previously, if a law enforcement officer from the Illinois State Police (ISP) was present at the scene of your crash, you should have received a motorist report from them at that time. Using the accident information from that, you can request a copy of your redacted traffic crash report on the ISP website.

If you don’t have a motorist report to get the necessary information from, or you’re unsure if the ISP even handled your crash, you can contact the ISP Patrols Records Unit at (217) 785-0614.

Making a Traffic Crash Report Request

There are generally two options for requesting an Illinois traffic crash report: online or by mail. No matter which method you choose, you should include as much information about your crash as you can in your request.

Use the information listed on your motorist report as well as any notes you may have taken or details you remember from your accident to ensure you fill out your request as thoroughly as possible.

It’s important to note as well that a nominal fee is required to process your request:

Online

If you choose to make your request via the ISP online portal, there is a fee of $5.00, plus a $1.00 processing fee, for each crash report requested.

By Mail

If you choose to submit a written crash report request, you will need to include a $5.00 check or money order for each report requested.

How Long Will It Take to Receive Your Crash Report?

Usually, a request for a crash report may take 10 or more business days to be processed. All requests are processed in the order they are received and can’t be mailed or emailed until they have been approved.

How To Obtain a Non-Redacted Crash Report

To receive a non-redacted copy of your traffic crash report, you must have a subpoena or an order signed by a judge and send it in with your request. If you submit a written request and also send in a subpoena, you will have to pay an extra fee of $20.

What If an Accident Report Was Never Made?

State statute requires any vehicle crash in Illinois to be reported to the ISP within 10 days of the accident. Sometimes, law enforcement officers don’t arrive at the scene of a car accident, and if this was the case with your crash, you would need to complete a crash report yourself.

Alternatively, you can make a Desk Report in person at any of the locations listed on the ISP Crash Reports webpage.

It’s important to note that crashes only need to be reported when the following have occurred:

  • Injury to or death of any person
  • Damage over $1,500 to any single vehicle or property
  • Over $500 in damage to any uninsured vehicle

Additionally, only single-vehicle crashes, crashes involving property damage only, or crashes that occurred on Interstate highways or Illinois State Roadways under the jurisdiction of the ISP may be manually reported online.

All other crashes must be reported by contacting law enforcement directly.

Why You Might Need an Accident Report

Now that we’ve discussed how to obtain a copy of your accident report, you may be wondering why you might even need a copy. Perhaps the most obvious reason would be to keep on hand for your own records, but there could be other reasons you want to have a copy.

Insurance Purposes

Most car insurance companies may raise your policy premium after you’ve been involved in a car accident, and if they think you may have been at fault for your collision, they may not want to cover the cost of repairs for your vehicle.

With a copy of your traffic crash report in hand, you can prove to your insurer that you were not at fault and hopefully resolve any coverage issues that may arise.

Filing a Personal Injury Claim

Vehicle collisions involve at least one at-fault party, and if another driver’s negligent or reckless actions led to your car accident, you may consider pursuing legal action.

When you hire a lawyer and build your case, it’s vital to have as much documentation and information as possible. Having a copy of your traffic crash report ready to give to your lawyer will help ensure the success of your case.

No matter your reason for wanting to obtain a copy of your Illinois traffic crash report, know that Thomas Law Offices is here to help. We can assist you with your car accident report request, and we offer free consultations to review your case.

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Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

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