How Do I Read My Accident Report?

How Do I Read My Accident Report?In Illinois, the state requires a responding police officer to create a crash report completed if an accident involves an injury or the car needs to be towed from the scene. This report outlines the specifics of all known facts of the incident. To read this report, you need to know how to obtain it and then how to read the details within it. Let’s break down that process.

How do you get a copy of your Illinois accident report?

You can visit the police department in the city where the incident occurred to receive a copy of your car accident report. It tends to be faster and easier to obtain a copy of the crash report from the Illinois Crash Report tool online. You can also request that the crash report be sent via mail.

How do you read an Illinois traffic crash report?

A crash report tends to include several codes as well as a diagram of what occurred. Consider the following for properly reading an accident report:

  • The report will relay if it is a single or multi-vehicle crash.
  • The report will list who was involved in the car accident, such as a pedestrian, train, animal, or other type of object.
  • The report will explain the conditions at the time of the crash, including both lighting and weather conditions observed.
  • The event portion of the report outlines what occurred in more detail. It will include if there was a non-collision, such as a car running off the highway, a collision with a fixed object, or a collision with a non-fixed object, and other details related to the incident.
  • The type of vehicle described, as well as any specific ways the vehicle was being used, such as a school bus that was carrying children.

The contributory cause codes help to identify the specific cause of the incident. They include common infractions such as speeding, following too closely, or weather-related incidents.

Typically, a diagram of what occurred or the surrounding area is also included. Reading a report like this can be challenging. Our car accident injury attorneys can offer guidance to you as you try to navigate this process.

Included in the police accident report is a summary of what occurred, written by the officer. It will include the names of all involved, the date and time of the incident, the vehicle types involved, and whether anyone was taken to the emergency room. The officer will describe the details of what occurred with as much depth as possible.

What does “Unit 1” or “Unit 2” mean on a police accident report in Illinois?

Most police reports will include these terms. Unit 1 typically refers to the party the police officer believes is at fault. In situations where two vehicles are present, Unit 2 typically refers to the other party, often the victim, in the incident.

How long does it take to get a copy of a crash report in Illinois?

It can take several days for a police officer to complete the accident report and for it to be made available. In some cases, this can take 10 days or longer. Keep in mind that any time that the city is involved, the city’s police department may have its own process, and some of those could be slower or faster.

What is a Type B accident in Illinois?

In Illinois, an accident listed as a Type B accident is one that involves a personal injury, a fatality, or a vehicle that was considered “non-drivable” after the incident. By contrast, a Type A accident involves property damage only, and the vehicle remains drivable.

How is fault determined in a car accident in Illinois?

Fault is dependent on the evidence present. The police officer and later the court will review the evidence from the scene to help determine what caused the accident to occur. Witness statements, police documentation, and involved party statements can all be used to help construct an outcome of fault.

What if the crash report is inaccurate or the fault is not assigned properly?

Mistakes happen, and in some situations, these are clerical. In others, the police officer’s assumption of fault is evidence-based. In this situation, or when you believe there is a serious mistake in the crash report, you have several options. The first is to contact the police officer and politely ask them to adjust the crash report based on the evidence you provide. Be ready to back up any statements you make.

The second option is to work with a car crash attorney like our team to help you navigate changing the report or otherwise proving it is inaccurate. Supplemental reporting can help to correct mistakes in initial reports when we can prove that the information is otherwise incorrect.

Based in Alton and proudly servicing Belleville, Edwardsville, Springfield, St. Clair, Madison Counties, and all of Southwestern Illinois and Missouri, Glisson Law is readily available to provide you with the hands-on support you need after a crash. Even after you have a copy of your crash report, call our legal team for immediate help in navigating the process of pursuing compensation for your losses. Complete our contact form today to schedule a free consultation.