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Washington Car Accident Report Basics

Whether you're driving on the roads of Seattle overseen by the Space Needle or commuting to work at Microsoft in Bellevue, you always must exercise caution when you get behind the wheel. If you get into an accident causing death, injury, or property damage of $700 or more, Washington law requires you to report the accident to the Washington Department of Transportation (DOT). You must also submit an accident report to the Washington DOT within four days of the accident. If you don't report the accident as required, you may have your driver's license suspended. If an accident report was already filed by a police officer, you do not need to file a report with the Washington DOT.

Washington Car Accident Report Overview

Information about how to file a car crash report in Washington and other Washington car accident report basics are outlined in the following chart.

State Statutes

Washington Codes (Motor Vehicles) § 46.52.030

When to Report:

You must report an automobile accident to the Washington DOT if a police officer has not already reported it and any of the following occur:

  • Death
  • Injury
  • Property damage of $700 or more

How to File a Car Crash Report in Washington:

If you are involved in an accident meeting the above conditions, you must file a Collision Report Form (which can also be done online) with the Washington DOT no later than four days after the accident. Your report must include:

  • Your name, address and driver's license number
  • Your vehicle registration number
  • Detailed and current information regarding your insurance coverage
  • A detailed explanation of what happened during the accident
  • Any weather or road conditions during the accident

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Leaving the Scene of the Accident

As a responsible driver, you should not leave the scene of an accident. Not only should you stay to provide any necessary help to anyone injured after an accident, but if you leave an accident scene, your driver's license can be suspended and your driving privileges may be revoked.

No Insurance at Time of Accident

If you don't have liability insurance at the time of the accident, your driving privileges may be suspended. In order to have your driving privileges reinstated, you'll have to file proof of future financial responsibility (or form SR-22).

Research the Law

Get Legal Help with Your Questions About Washington Car Accident Reports

Do you still have questions on Washington car accident reports or on how to file a car crash report in Washington? Knowing what to do can save you money and prevent additional hardships. To learn more and get ahead of the curve, contact an experienced car accident attorney in Washington.

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