Visitor Question

Reporting a parking lot collision to police and insurance?

Submitted By: Nipin (Dekalb, Illinois)

While backing out of parking space in Dekalb, Illinois I struck another car. The damage to both cars was minimal and included some paint scrapes and dents. The total damage appeared to be under $500.00. However, the other driver called the police to report the accident.  My questions are:

 – Do I have to report the accident? 

 – Can I settle the property damage claim with the other driver without getting the insurance companies involved?

 – Will my insurance premiums be raised based solely on the other driver’s having notified the police?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Nipin,

According to the Illinois State Police Accident Reporting Requirements:

“Each driver involved in an Illinois crash must file a traffic crash report if  the crash caused a death, bodily injury, or more than $1,500 of property damage when all drivers are insured. If any driver does not have insurance, the threshold remains $500. If a police officer dies not appear on the scene, you need to file a report with the local police department, sheriff’s office, or Illinois State Police.” 

If the combined property damage was less than $500.00, the accident did not have to be reported to the police.

Most auto insurance policies require their insured (driver) to contact the insurance company to report an accident. Read your car insurance policy. Look for language regarding “Notice of Occurrence.” This section will describe for you the circumstances under which you are required to report a car accident to your insurance company. Failure to abide by the Notice of Occurrence may result in penalties.

It’s important to note that merely reporting an accident to your insurance company does not necessarily mean you are filing a claim for compensation.  Absent a claim, it is unlikely the company will hold the mere reporting of the accident against you. As a result, it is unlikely your premiums will be raised.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: October 19, 2017

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