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What happens if I get in a crash in Illinois?

It may seem like accidents happen only to inattentive or reckless drivers, but they can happen to anyone. Drivers in Illinois need to know some basic information about motor vehicle accidents to make sure they are following the law and not abandoning any potential claims.

Here are some answers to common questions about motor vehicle accidents:

Do I need to stop if it wasn't my fault?

Yes, you must always stay at the scene of an accident you were involved in. Violators can be fined $25,000 or serve jail time under Illinois law.

What does it mean to "exchange information"?

In order to satisfy possible future claims or investigations, drivers should exchange contact information, the driver's license numbers and plate numbers of the involved drivers and cars as well as any auto insurance information.

To whom do I need to report an accident?

Local police or the Illinois State Police should be informed. Your auto insurance provider or agent should be informed. Your policy information and the information from other drivers will be important here.

The Illinois Department of Transportation needs to receive information about certain accidents. These conditions include collisions that caused an injury, death or property damage in excess of $1,500.

Illinois law provides for the victims of damage, injury or death in motor vehicle accidents to receive financial restitution from at-fault drivers or other responsible parties.

An attorney may be able to help navigate the hazards and opportunities of settlements, court actions and other ways to seek reimbursement for medical expenses and compensation for pain and emotional distress.

Source: DMV.com, "In the Event of an Accident in Illinois," accessed Oct. 20, 2017

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