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What Happens If You Lose the Card the Police Give You After an Accident in Illinois?


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Not only is reporting an accident often legally required, but you might need emergency medical treatment. After an accident, the police often give a card to the drivers involved. It contains important information.

The card given to you by the police contains important information necessary for contacting law enforcement about your case and getting an accident report. You can still obtain an accident report if you lose the card, but it might take more time and effort, especially if you cannot get one online. Our legal team can get your accident report for you and review it with you free of charge. A lawyer can also help you interpret the information, as accident reports can be complex and technical.

If you lost your card from the police after an accident, you may need assistance getting a report and understanding your legal options. Our Indiana car accident lawyers can help you do both. Call the legal team at Wruck Paupore for a free case evaluation. Call us today at (219) 322-1166.

What Is on the Card the Police Give You After a Car Accident in Illinois?

In Illinois, the police sometimes hand out cards to drivers involved in car accidents. These cards are not just business cards but often contain information about obtaining your specific car accident report. Accident reports are crucial in various legal proceedings and insurance claims, so it is important to keep this card in a safe place. We always recommend taking a photo of it with your phone to make sure you don’t lose the information.

Depending on where your accident happened and which police department responded to the accident, you might be able to access your crash report online. This is where the card given by the police comes into play. The card will tell you what website to go to and what information you need to obtain the report.

Sometimes, the card will contain a report number. This number is crucial to getting your report as quickly as possible. There might also be other information, such as the name of the officer who gave you the card or the police department responding to the accident call.

Why Do I Need the Card from the Police After an Illinois Car Accident?

The card given to drivers by law enforcement after accidents in Illinois is important because it helps drivers obtain an accident report. Reports typically take time to complete, and a complicated accident may require a more in-depth investigation that delays your report. The card from the police provides you with a way to contact law enforcement and check on the status of your report.

Getting police reports often also requires paying a fee. It may not be your fault another car hit you, and it might feel unfair that you should have to pay to obtain an accident report prepared by law enforcement at taxpayer expense. This is a valid concern and we agree that having to pay for a report just adds insult to injury, but this is often the unfortunate reality. However, we can obtain the report and review it with you free of charge if you contact us.

Once you have the report in your hands, you might find it difficult to understand. Reports are legal documents written in a way that police and attorneys can decipher, but drivers might have a tougher time. Our Fort Wayne car accident lawyers can not only obtain the report electronically when you call us, but we can usually help you interpret the information during a free case evaluation. This can help move your claim forward and get you another step closer to the compensation you deserve.

What To Do If You Lose the Card the Police Gave You After a Car Accident in Illinois

There is usually a bit of time between when you are given the card and when you need to use it. Although the information given to you is meant to help you more easily obtain a crash report online, the crash report might not be available for a few weeks or longer. During that time, it is easy to lose track of the card.

Losing your card might make it harder for you to get your police report online and you may need to contact the law enforcement agency directly for a copy. This method often takes more time and you might not have time to spare. The longer you wait for a report, the longer you must wait to move your compensation claims forward.

Under 735 ILCS § 5/13-202, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, important evidence related to your case wil begin to disappear long before this time, and frequently important evidence (including onboard vehicle data recordings) begins to disappear in the days following your accident. The police report will have important information necessary to try to preserve this material, and it will also include contact information for potential witnesses and the insurance companies providing coverage to the at fault driver or drivers. Our Milwaukee car accident lawyers can help you contact the police and get a copy of your accident report as fast as possible so that important evidence can be preserved in the days following your accident.

Can I Get a Crash Report If I Do Not Have the Card from the Police in Illinois?

You can certainly get a car accident report without the card given to you by the authorities. However, the card has important information helpful for getting your report online.

Depending on which police department handled your accident, you might have several other options that do not involve the card given to you by the officer at your crash scene. Many departments can send you a report in the mail if you call or mail in a request and send them a check to cover applicable fees. You may also be able to use alternate information, such as your name, the date of the accident, adn the responding police agency.

You can always contact our Hammond car accident lawyers if you need help understanding how to get your accident report. Our team can get you the report and review it with you as a free service..

Reviewing Your Car Accident Report in Illinois

Accident reports are often filled with highly technical and legal terminology that might be hard for the average person to understand. Our Illinois car accident attorneys can review your accident report with you and explain any important information.

The words and terminology used in an accident report can be confusing. For example, according to the Illinois Traffic Crash Report Instruction Manual for Law Enforcement Agencies, your crash might be a Type A or Type B accident. Type B crashes involve fatalities, injuries, or towed vehicles, and Type A accidents do not. This is an important distinction that might not be obvious to everyone. This is only one example, as other abbreviations and response codes are used throughout these reports.

You might also be curious about the mention of “units” in your accident report. This term is used to describe vehicles. A crash might involve two units or multiple units. There might be information about additional units that were at the scene. Additional units may lead you to witnesses who can provide more information and possibly testify in court.

Much of the report is conveyed as information on a grid filled with numbers. These numbers are codes that represent specific pieces of information. For example, the type of crash (e.g., pedestrian crash, train crash, overturned crash, etc.) will be noted with a code. Our attorneys can help you understand the codes and what they mean for your case.

Call Our Illinois Car Accident Lawyers About Your Missing Card

Do not worry if you lost the card given to you by the police after your car accident. Our Indianapolis car accident attorneys can help you get a police report and move forward with your case. Call Wruck Paupore at (219) 322-1166 for a free case evaluation.

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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:
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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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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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