After a car accident, you might think you’ll automatically receive a payment from the insurance company. However, Illinois uses a fault-based system to handle car accident cases.
It’s crucial to remember that insurance companies are working to increase revenues, so denying insurance claims is one way to improve profits.
However, finding evidence to hold those insurance companies accountable and secure compensation is critical. Using a police report can support your insurance claim.
The Illinois Vehicle Code states that police must file a report with the Illinois Department of Transportation within 10 days of a crash. Police must report to the scene for deadly crashes, or if there was more than $1,500 worth of damage.
Once on scene, the police officer begins recording what happened and includes it in their report.
Crash reports could cover fundamental information and sometimes get into granular specifics, depending on the complexity of the crash. The report will list the date, time, and location of the crash, along with the name of the agency investigating the crash.
The names of the drivers involved, their insurance information, the make and model of their vehicles, and the damage done to them go into the report.
Police reports also describe your injuries and if anyone needed to be transported for medical treatment.
The police report also includes witness statements. If the police come to the scene, they will report any perceivable causes for the crash, citations or arrests, and other critical information, like the reporting officer’s name, badge number, and supervisor.
If an officer has arrived at the crash scene, they could also draw a detailed sketch, showing how the vehicles involved appeared when they arrived, and providing an idea of the cause of a crash.
They’ll consider anything unusual at the scene: skid marks, traffic signs, intersections, etc.
They may also include photographs of the scene, damages, or aftermath.
When you submit your claim to the at-fault driver’s insurance company, they may try to deny the claim or limit the payout they offer you.
A police crash report makes it difficult for them to do that. Law enforcement officers are trained to handle car accidents and taught how to analyze a scene, which gives them credibility. They are instructed on how to take witness statements.
A police crash report documents the perceived at-fault driver with substantial supporting evidence to show the crash is responsible for your injuries and any damages.
Insurance companies could deny the crash caused your injuries or claim they existed before the accident. A police officer’s statement in a report could corroborate the crash caused your damages.
If you need to take your case to trial, witness statements could also be a strong tool. Having their contact information goes a long way in building your case: the crash report will have their information. The report also includes the officer’s name, so you could possibly request their testimony in your case.
Even if you have a police report, collecting and presenting evidence in your case might be difficult. A lawyer knows the information you need for your claim, how to get it, and how to present it to the court effectively.
An experienced Chicago car accident lawyer thoroughly understands Illinois law and helps you fight for the compensation you deserve after a crash caused by an at-fault driver.
Working with insurance companies and going to court could feel daunting, especially if you’re trying to recover from your injuries.
If you’re wondering how a police crash report supports your insurance claim after a car accident, contact a dedicated Chicago car accident insurance lawyer at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. They take a “no win, no fee” approach, listening to the details of your case and working to get you the justice you deserve after a crash. They’re knowledgeable and dependable. Call (312) 236-2900 or use the online contact form to get started.