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Reading Your Illinois Car Accident Report

If you’ve been in a car crash in Illinois, you need to know how to read and understand your car accident report (formally called an Illinois Traffic Crash Report). Insurance companies review this report as part of their determination of fault for the accident. The report itself likely won’t be used as evidence at trial, but if the investigating officer is called to testify, they will most likely read or refer to the report in their testimony.

As a free resource, we’ve prepared this guide to reading your Illinois Traffic Crash Report.

Illinois Traffic Crash Report


Illinois Accident Report page 1
Page 1

The top of the first page provides an overview of the accident, including the time, location, number of vehicles, and whether it caused injury or significant property damage.

Click here to download a printable PDF of Reading Your Illinois Car Accident Report.

The two “Unit” sections describe the vehicles or other involved parties (pedestrians, cyclists, etc.) in the accident. Each section includes contact information for the driver, vehicle information, and an overview of damage.

Pay particular attention to the “Cellphone” and “Exceed speed limit” check boxes, which may have liability implications.

Passengers and witnesses are listed below the units, including information on hospital or emergency medical care if relevant.

If any arrests were made at the scene, they will be listed at the bottom. The officer can also list contributory causes of the accident and note the posted speed limit.

Illinois Accident Report page 2

Page 2

A diagram and narrative are required for all “Type B” crashes – meaning every crash that causes injury or enough damage to require a vehicle to be towed.

The officer’s pictorial diagram should include vehicle direction, traffic signals, skid marks, and other key physical evidence.
The written narrative contains the officer’s thoughts on how and why the accident occurred. Read this carefully; it may include information not found elsewhere in the report.

Car Accidents Assistance Accident Report

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