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How To Read Your Illinois Traffic Crash Report

Following a motor vehicle accident, the responding police department will likely complete a Illinois Traffic Crash Report summarizing the occurrence. Although the report itself is usually not admissible as evidence at trial, its significance to your case should not be underestimated. Insurance companies rely on this report when determining the value of your claim. More importantly, the responding police officer may be called to testify in a deposition or at trial years later and will almost certainly rely on the information contained within their report. That's why you - and your attorney - need to understand this information.

If you have any questions or notice discrepancies in your accident report, reach out to Schweickert Ganassin Krzak Rundio, LLP today. Our experienced injury attorneys would be glad to meet with you for a free consultation.

Call (866) 604-9075.

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Upper Section

Contains general information on the accident, including the time, location and whether anyone was injured.

Units 1 and 2

These two boxes contain information on the drivers and vehicles involved in the accident. This section provides insurance information, the license number for each driver and any reported injuries. It also describes property damage to each vehicle.

Lower Section

The investigating officer writes in contact information for up to five passengers or witnesses to the accident, who can be critical sources of evidence in a personal injury claim. The second half of this section includes information that may help establish fault, such as suspected causes, any arrest or citation information (if, for instance, someone was driving drunk) and the posted speed limit (which might help prove someone was speeding).


Pictorial Narrative

The officer's visual narrative of the accident includes each vehicle's direction of travel as well as traffic signals, intersections, signs and skid marks. These pictorial details can help prove fault for an accident.

Written Narrative

In this section, the investigating officer writes out a description of how he or she believes the accident occurred. If the officer has reason to believe a driver was engaging in reckless behavior or that a vehicle had a mechanical issue that contributed to the accident, that information should also be recorded in this space.

Click here to download a printable version.


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