A Washington State car accident could leave you or a loved one with car damage and, even worse, a major injury. Recovery from the physical and financial damages suffered during an expensive recovery will be a priority, but you may also be responsible for alerting the Washington State Patrol about your accident.
Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may have to file your own Motor Vehicle Collision Report. Knowing when to file this claim and how can help you file an insurance claim and avoid a hefty legal penalty.
Filing a Washington Motor Vehicle Collision Report Online
In Washington, you must file a Motor Vehicle Collision Report (MVCR) if a traffic accident meets certain criteria. If an officer responds to your crash, they often file the report for you, but that’s not always the case.
These are the factors that will make it your responsibility to file a report with the Washington State Patrol:
- If an accident results in $1,000 or more in damage to one vehicle.
- And/or if someone is injured or killed in the accident.
- If responding officers will not be filing the report. If officers are on scene but do not indicate that they will file the report, then you will have to.
- If no officers respond to your accident and it meets the criteria above, you will have to file an MVCR.
The Revised Code of Washington RCW 46.52.030 governs accident reports. The code states that accident victims should fill out a MVCR within four days of the accident.
The online form can be found here. After you finish filling in information, make sure to download or print a copy of the report.
Submitting a Written Washington Motor Vehicle Collision Report
According to the Washington State Patrol, you can also print out a copy of a MVCR to fill out and mail back.
To print a paper report, click this link Motor Vehicle Collision Report. Follow the instructions and mail it to:
Collision Records Section
P.O. Box 42628
Olympia, WA 98504-2628
or email the completed form, with signature, to firstname.lastname@example.org. The paper process takes longer to obtain a collision report number.
Information Needed to Complete a Motor Vehicle Collision Report
You should try to have the full names of the drivers involved along with their birth dates and addresses when you attempt to file a Motor Vehicle Collision Report. You’ll also want driver’s license numbers and insurance policy numbers.
As for the vehicles involved, the make and models are important. You’ll want to have the license plate numbers and registration numbers handy.
Detailed information about what occurred in the accident, including the weather and light conditions will be important.
For answers to further questions about the filing of an accident report, you can visit the Washington State Patrol’s Frequently Asked Questions page.
Date and Time Unknown on Washington State Accidents
You’ll be asked to enter the date and time of the collision, but in some cases, you may not know when a collision occurred.
This applies to cases when your car was hit in a parking lot. You may not notice the damage until days later. You won’t know a time and you may have no idea what day it occurred.
If you do not know the date and time that the collision occurred, use the date the damage was discovered and leave the time blank.
Why Should You Fill Out a Collision Report After a Washington Accident?
You’ll want to complete a MVCR form as soon as possible. This is what most insurance companies for at-fault drivers will need to process your claim. Once you have a report number you can include it on an injury claim and begin negotiating for a fair settlement amount.
Filling out a report is also the law. What’s more, you can have your license suspended if you wait too long to file. RCW 46.52.035 confirms that authorities “may suspend the license or permit to drive and any nonresident operating privileges of any person failing to report an accident as provided in RCW 46.52.030 until such report has been filed.”
Contact a Spokane Car Accident Lawyer
After a serious accident leaves you or a loved one a victim of a careless driver, make sure to go over your options with a skilled Spokane Car Accident Lawyer. Insurance providers for at-fault motorists won’t be informing you of every option before you.
CCD Law represents victims in the Spokane area and across eastern Washington. We offer a free consultation with a real lawyer to victims and their families. Contact us to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation today. If you decide you need our legal services, you don’t have to worry about how you’ll pay us. We don’t get paid unless we win your case for you.