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How to Read Your Chicago Car Accident Report


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Car accident reports are detailed, often confusing documents that explain an accident’s events. Knowing how to read your police report is crucial, especially if you need to recover compensatory damages against a negligent driver in Chicago.

Throughout Illinois, including Chicago, police officers use a standard reporting form to detail a car accident’s events. This form is double-sided, containing various sections that can be difficult for victims to understand. Analyzing a police report for accuracy and indication of fault is crucial, as there may be information within your car accident report that your attorney can use to strengthen your compensation claim against a negligent driver. If you’re having difficulty reading a car accident report for your collision, turn to a skilled attorney. Our lawyers can explain your report’s contents as part of a free case review.

Our attorneys are dedicated to helping car accident victims throughout Chicago hold negligent drivers accountable. For a free case evaluation with the Chicago car accident lawyers at Wruck Paupore, call today at (219) 322-1166.

Reading a Chicago Car Accident Report

In Chicago, police officers use a standard Illinois car accident report form when documenting a collision This report is double-sided, with many sections victims should pay close attention to. Police reports often contain confusing acronyms and phrasing that may be unknown to Chicago car accident victims. Reading a Chicago car accident report can be challenging, especially for victims attempting to heal after a crash. Because of this, it is important to seek help from an experienced car accident attorney. Our lawyers can access a Chicago police report for you and review the information alongside you as part of a legal service we provide. A skilled attorney can scan your police report for accuracy and any information that may indicate a negligent driver’s fault.

Accident Overview

The first notable section of Chicago car accident report runs along the top of the front page. This section gives an overview of the accident, noting the investigating agency, damage to people or property, and the report type. The accident overview section allows Chicago police officers to note injuries to victims and the crash report number. Essentially, this first section serves to summarize the important points of a Chicago car accident. It’s important to scan the accident overview section carefully for accuracy, as the information listed in that section will likely reflect the details throughout the report.

Involved Units

In a Chicago car accident report, police officers identify involved parties as “units.” The information provided shows that victims can identify whether they are Unit 1 or Unit 2. This section will contain identifying information about a victim and a negligent driver, which is why it’s important that the information here is accurate. This section can inform Chicago victims learn of an at-fault party’s name, address, date of birth, and vehicle information. There is also a box within this section to note whether or not either party was using a cell phone or was speeding at the time of an accident. Such information can be invaluable to your Milwaukee car accident attorney, as it can indicate negligence.

Passengers and Eyewitnesses

Your Chicago police report will have a section identifying any involved passengers and eyewitnesses. This section is often important, as it can contain eyewitnesses’ names and contact information. Such information can allow your Chicago car accident attorney to contact witnesses whose testimony can help prove a negligent driver’s fault.

Property Damage and Arrests

The final section on the front page of a Chicago car accident report largely concerns property damage. Law enforcement officials will note day damage to either party’s property and whether or not any arrests were made at the accident scene. In this section, in a very small box, there is a place for police officers to note the primary and secondary causes of an accident, as well as the posted speed limit for the area. This information, included in a broader section, can be easy for car accident victims to miss. A skilled attorney, however, will know to pay close attention to this section when reading a police report to note the contributory causes listed by police officers.

Diagram and Narrative

The back page of a Chicago police report gives space for law enforcement officials to draw a diagram and write an accident narrative. Completing this section is mandatory for every Chicago car accident that results in injury or severe property damage. The diagram will most likely illustrate the accident scene upon police officers’ arrival. The accident narrative is based on accounts from involved parties, eyewitnesses, and officers’ opinions. Reviewing this section is important, as its contents can greatly strengthen your compensation claim.

Commercial Motor Vehicle Involvement

If you were injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver operating a commercial motor vehicle, pay close attention to the right-hand section on the back page of your Chicago car accident report. This section will include important information about the carrier that can impact your Chicago car accident lawsuit.

Accompanying Materials

In addition to an accident report form, a police report for your car accident may contain photos or videos. Chicago car accident victims might be unaware of such additional materials, which is why hiring an attorney is important. Your Indiana car accident lawyer can request access to any accompanying documentation, like photographs of an accident scene, and use it to strengthen your compensation against a negligent driver.

Call Our Attorneys After a Chicago Car Accident

If you were recently injured in a car accident in Chicago, our attorneys can help. For a free case evaluation with the South Bend car accident lawyers at Wruck Paupore, call today at (219) 322-1166.

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***Every case is unique and your results will differ. Contact us for a free case review of your circumstance.

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– Jay Zoellner
"Attorney Wruck did an amazing job in settling my personal injury case. His knowledge and experience specific to semi truck accidents made all of the difference in the outcome of my case; the settlement exceeded my expectations! The staff at his firm was helpful, responsive and caring during a difficult time following a life-altering experience. I highly recommend Attorney Wruck and his firm."
– J B
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Top-Rated Litigator.
Helping injury victims move forward.

Don is a founding partner and one of the nation’s top-ranked personal injury litigators. He is a member of the Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum, which includes less than 1% of the nation’s trial lawyers, and awarded the highest ranking given by Martindale Hubbel and AVVO.

More importantly, Don understands representing personal injury victims is about more than recovering the best settlement: it’s about helping clients get back on their feet and supporting them in every aspect of their recovery.

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Understanding the Insurance Company:
Getting Results.

In nearly all cases, our clients seek compensation from the wrongdoer’s insurance company. Before forming Wruck Paupore, Jason worked for a prominent law firm representing some of the world’s largest insurers. This experience gives Jason a deep understanding of the insurance industry and the strategies it uses to pay injury victims as little as possible.

Jason -- and our entire team -- put this inside knowledge to work to force insurance companies to pay what is actually owed. Often, we use the insurance company’s own tactics against them as we fight for the full compensation our client deserves.

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More than 40 Years of Experience.
Still Fighting for Justice.

For more than four decades, Keith has been fighting for injury victims. During that time, he’s watched the insurance industry change, with insurers now more interested in protecting their stock price than treating injury victims fairly.

Since the beginning, Keith has put people first. From his childhood in Gary, Indiana during the 1960’s and working his way through law school, Keith has risen to become one of the Midwest’s most respected trial lawyers. He has never forgotten that being a lawyer is about helping people -- and seeing injury victims through struggles in a way that could change their lives forever.

Over the decades, Keith, Don and Jason have fought relentlessly for clients, even when other lawyers have said the case was impossible to win.

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***Every case is unique and your results will differ. Contact us for a free case review of your circumstance.

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