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Why You Must Contact the Police After a Car Accident

Posted on in Car Accidents

IL accident lawyerMany people prefer to avoid contact with the police where possible. This is quite understandable. After being involved in a car accident, quite a few people will be hesitant to contact the police and wait for them to arrive at the scene or to meet them at the emergency room. However, after most car accidents that take place in Illinois, there is a legal requirement that you must report the accident to the police. While you may be apprehensive about doing so, filing a police report can protect you legally and help your case when the time comes to file a claim against the at-fault driver. Police officers are generally considered to be neutral and trustworthy witnesses and skilled investigators in court. Having an officer available to support your assertion that the other driver is responsible for the accident can be invaluable in car accident litigation should settlement negotiations fail. It is also essential to be represented by a skilled attorney during the process of pursuing car accident compensation.

Illinois State Law and Reporting a Traffic Accident

Illinois has fairly strict accident reporting requirements. You are required to report your car accident if it involved property damage exceeding $1,500, bodily injury to any person, or a fatality. If any involved party was uninsured, the accident must be reported if more than $500 in property damage occurred. Most accidents will meet one of these requirements.

If you are unsure as to whether your accident qualifies for mandatory reporting, it is best to err on the side of caution and call the police. It may not always be apparent whether a person has been injured, as some common car accident injuries related to whiplash may not manifest until several days after the accident.

Police Investigations and Your Claim

The opinions of police officers and investigators are given great weight in court. While a majority of cases stemming from car accidents do settle out of court, there is always a possibility of litigation. Additionally, if the police investigated and determined that the other driver is responsible, your attorney can use that evidence in the course of negotiating with the insurance company. A car insurance company may hesitate to proceed with litigation knowing that the odds are stacked against them due to police involvement.

Contact a Lake County Car Accident Lawyer

Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. is skilled in helping those who have been injured by careless drivers recover compensation. Our caring Waukegan car accident attorneys will do everything in our power to gather the proof we need. Contact us at 847-662-3303 to receive a free consultation.




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