- Location: Illinois
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If you are involved in a traffic accident, take a few measures to ensure that everyone is safe. Stop your vehicle in a safe place, and then assist anyone who is injured and needs help. Cover the injured person with a blanket or coat to help prevent shock if they are hurt badly, but do not move that person. Moving could cause more damage.
Call 911 immediately.
Be sure to exchange information with all parties involved. You'll need to get names, addresses, insurance information, driver's license numbers, license plate numbers, and vehicle descriptions for all people and vehicles involved in the accident. You'll also want to take down the names, addresses, and phone numbers of any witnesses.
Each driver involved in an Illinois traffic accident must file a crash report if the accident caused a death, bodily injury, or more than $1,500 of property damage.
Many Illinois towns require law enforcement to work every accident, but if a police officer does not appear on the scene, you need to file a report with the local police department, sheriff's office, or Illinois State Police as soon as possible. If you aren't able to file the report due to injury, and you had a passenger, the passenger may file the report for you.
You must also file a report with the Illinois Department of Transportation no later than 10 days after the accident. You may pick up the required forms from a local insurance agent or law enforcement office.
Failure to File a Report
If you're involved in an accident that meets the crash reporting requirements but you fail to file a report, you could be hit with a $2,500 fine or up to a year in jail.
If you're involved in an accident and leave the scene, then you're considered a hit-and-run driver―and the penalties become much more severe.
There's a 30-minute window where you can report the accident and face only the penalties above, if you left the scene. If you leave the scene and more than 30 minutes elapse without you reporting the accident, however, then you face a $25,000 fine, up to three years in jail, the suspension of your driver's license if property damage is more than $1,000, and revocation of your license if the accident resulted in an injury or death.
If you are 55 years or older, you can possibly reduce your insurance rates by taking a driver's education course designed to help you avoid having an accident in the first place. Check out the AARP's Driver Safety page to find a course near you.Articles
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