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How Can I Obtain a Copy of My Illinois Traffic Accident Report?

Published: Apr 11, 2023 in Auto Accident, Personal Injury
East St. Louis Car Accident Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm Can Help You After a Car Wreck.

After being involved in a car crash in Illinois, you should always obtain a copy of your Illinois traffic accident report. This holds even if you have not been seriously injured or experienced significant property damage. Having a copy of this vital report protects you moving forward, especially if you need to hire a car accident lawyer.

After a car crash occurs, at least one law enforcement officer will arrive on the scene. Part of the officer’s duty will be to create a detailed report — the traffic accident report — of what occurred. The report serves as a record of the event.

An Illinois traffic accident report will cover several key points:

  • When and where the accident took place.
  • The information of each driver involved in the accident.
  • Statements from each driver involved in the accident.
  • Witness and passenger statements, if applicable.
  • Additional details pertaining to the accident.

Together, these items help determine what occurred before, during, and after the crash.

You will not be automatically sent a copy of the Illinois traffic accident record associated with your collision. You will need to take action to request the police report.

The fastest way to obtain a copy is to fill out a traffic accident report request form on the Illinois State Police website. The form is quick and easy to fill out, although you will need to supply some information to obtain your report copy.

What will you be required to submit?

  • The date of the accident.
  • Where the accident occurred.
  • The full name of at least one of the drivers.
  • The accident report number, which is located on the motorist report you received at the scene.

If you prefer to obtain a crash report copy by mail, you must submit a letter of request containing the same above-mentioned information.

For each report copy, you can expect to pay a fee. You must pay by check if you submit your request through postal mail rather than online.

Tips When Obtaining an Illinois Traffic Accident Report

Illinois makes it fairly simple to request an Illinois traffic accident report. However, following these tips can make the process easier:

  • Do not wait until the last minute to request your report. It will take at least 10 business days and probably longer if you make your request via mail.
  • Expect to pay a fee for each report. You may incur an extra service charge if you use a credit card online.
  • Getting a report from the specific police department that handled your accident may also be possible. For instance, if your accident happened in Chicago, you can request a copy from the Chicago Police Department website. Also, you can request the same report in person or by mail by following the guidelines on the Chicago Police Department Traffic Crash Report landing page.
  • Plan to share your Illinois traffic accident report with your lawyer if you decide to hire legal counsel.

If you have been in any kind of crash, you should exercise your right to know how the accident was recorded by law enforcement officers. Having a copy of the official accident report could be valuable.

East St. Louis Car Accident Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm Can Help You After a Car Wreck

After a collision, you can speak with our East St. Louis car accident lawyers at The Cates Law Firm for legal assistance. Call us at 618-277-3644 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we serve clients in St. Louis, Belleville, East St. Louis, Edwardsville, Granite City, Waterloo, Chester, Carbondale, St. Clair County, Madison County, Monroe County, Randolph County, and other regions throughout Southern Illinois.