Experienced Auto Accident Attorneys Serving all of Chicago
An auto accident is emotionally and mentally traumatizing. Not only are you dealing with your injuries and the anxiety that may come from an accident, but you also have administrative tasks to take care of. One thing that auto accident victims forget is to notify the property individuals of the accident – and it is more than just an insurance company.
After you have been involved in an accident, it is important to make the right phone calls at the proper time to preserve evidence and protect yourself in the event that you need to collect compensation later on.
Do You Have to Inform Anyone?
The answer is not as easy as a “yes” or “no.”
If the accident took place and there were damages, there are several parties that you would need to call immediately afterward. If, however, there was no damage, you may not be required to report the accident. If you are ever unsure, you can contact the local police department and request information about what constitutes a reportable accident.
Filing Your Police Report
After an accident with damages, you will be required to notify the Chicago-area police about the incident. You will then file a police report with an officer. There may be variations as to how the police report is filed, depending on the police department’s caseload. In some cases, you may file the report over the phone and an officer will contact you with any follow-up. In other instances, the officer may be present at the scene to take details for the report.
Regardless of how it is filed, be sure to get the officer’s information and the police report number so that you may obtain it later.
Filing Your Report with Your Insurer
While you don’t have to file a claim immediately, you are still required to report the incident to your auto insurer. Most insurance policies have strict limitations as to how long you have to file a report with them, ranging from 15 to 30 days.
You will need to tell your insurer about what happened, the date and time when the accident occurred, names of other parties involved, and the police report number.
While you have to report it, you do not have to provide an official statement, and you shouldn’t unless you have spoken with an accident attorney first.
Filing a Report with the DMV
Some states require that you file a report with the Department of Motor Vehicles after an accident. In Illinois, you are required to report your accident to the Illinois Department of Transportation (DOT) within 10 days of the accident if:
- The accident resulted in a death or injury.
- The accident had property damage in excess of $1,500.
- The police officer at the scene provided you with information and instructed you to contact the DOT.
Failure to report the incident can result in a $2,500 fine as well as imprisonment for up to one year; therefore, notify the DOT by submitting a Motorist Crash Report within 10 days of the accident. If you are unable to do so yourself, have a friend or family member file the report on your behalf so that you meet the deadline.
Notify a Car Accident Attorney, Too
Even if you do not know if you need to file a personal injury lawsuit, there is no harm in contacting a car accident attorney. An attorney can represent your case with the insurer and help negotiate the settlement you deserve after a car accident injury.
Malman Law can also ensure that you meet all state requirements for reporting your accident while we handle your case. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today via phone or request more information online.