Call Today for a Free Consultation



The King of Injury LawSM


Do You Have to Call Police After a Minor Car Accident in Seattle?

Latest News

What Should You Do After a Seattle Car Crash?

Motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common causes of personal injuries in Seattle, Washington. If you’ve been in a car collision, you must take the necessary steps to protect your life and the value of your personal injury claim.

Your first priority should be your safety and the safety of your passengers. If you have been in what you consider to be a minor fender bender, you may believe your injuries to be insignificant and the damage done to your vehicle to be unnoteworthy. However, regardless of how things may first appear, injuries may later manifest, and problems with your car could develop shortly after the accident. To protect your interests, it is wise to seek immediate medical attention following an auto accident.

There are certain rules and regulations that motorists must abide by following a motor vehicle accident in Seattle, WA. All drivers who are involved in car accidents, regardless of how minor they may be, are required to stop at the accident scene without obstructing traffic and exchange insurance provider information, contact info, and vehicle registration numbers with the other motorists. If a law enforcement officer arrives on the scene, you must provide them with a thorough accident report and answer all of their questions regardless of whether you called them to the scene. Depending on injuries or the amount of damage done to the motor vehicles, it may also be necessary to file an official collision report with Washington State Patrol.

Before you or the other motorist leaves the scene of the accident, attempt to document as much relevant evidence as you can. Try to get photos and videos of your injuries, the state of the vehicles, and debris left on the road. Also, eyewitness testimonies should be sought from anyone still at the scene.

If an insurance company adjuster arrives at the accident scene, you do not need to speak to them. They may seem sympathetic to your plight, but they are not on your side. Instead, direct them to speak with your personal injury attorneys.

If you have not done so already, now is the time to contact our law firm to discuss your car accident case in more detail. Our personal injury law firm has extensive experience representing injured clients in complex car accident cases. We would be proud to represent your legal rights as you pursue financial compensation for your injuries and other losses.

To Whom Should You Report the Car Accident?

If you’ve been in a car accident, you should report the crash online via the collision report with Washington State Patrol forms. If there were any personal injuries or damages of over $1,000 in value, you are required by law to report the car accident to Washington State Patrol. All drivers involved in the accident must file collision reports within four days of the accident. In the event that a police officer responds to the accident, they will file a collision report, and you will not need to.

In addition to reporting the accident to the Washington State Patrol, it is also wise to report car accidents to the other driver’s insurance companies. You should report the car crash to your own insurance company as well.

Washington State Patrol manages all collision reports within the state of Washington. You may require a collision report when reporting the accident to your insurance company. You can request a copy of a collision report through the Washington State Patrol website.

Is Police Involvement Necessary After a Minor Accident?

Washington law says that it is not legally required for car accident victims to report minor accidents to the police. Police involvement is legally necessary only if the accident results in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000 in value.

Because you may naturally be uncertain of the extent of any person’s injuries or the extent of damages to the vehicles, it is recommended that you contact the police and file an official police report.

Is it Nonetheless Recommended to Contact Law Enforcement Following a Collision?

While you are not legally required to involve law enforcement in minor car accidents, it is nonetheless recommended that you do so. There are many risks inherent in not filing official reports with the police or involving law enforcement in your car accident case.

A police collision report provides an impartial third-party account of the car crash, which could be valuable evidence in proving negligence during the legal process of filing your personal injury claim. Police reports are valuable to personal injury lawyers trying to make a compelling case in defense of your legal rights. Without a police report, your case may not be as strong or as compelling in a court of law.

What Information is in a Seattle Police Report?

Police reports provide a third-party, unbiased point of view of what happened in a car crash. Included in the police officer’s collision report will be notes on the talks with all relevant parties involved in the accident, insurance and contact information, the date and time of the accident, and where the accident occurred.

Additionally, police officers are asked to take note of the damage done to the vehicles and any injuries sustained by those involved in the crash. Law enforcement will also request that you provide an accident report in your own words.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Experienced Car Accident Attorneys Today

While you do not always have to call the police after a minor car accident in Seattle, it is often nonetheless recommended that you do so. Police accident reports can prove to be invaluable pieces of evidence for lawyers arguing contested car accident cases. Remember, if you are ever in doubt about whether a police officer is required for your motor vehicle accident, it is probably wisest to seek their involvement anyway. Injuries or damages may rise to a level where their involvement would be deemed necessary, and you may not even know it.

Our personal injury law firm provides compassionate legal services to injured clients in auto accidents. To learn more about how we can assist you and your motor vehicle accident case, please contact our law firm to schedule your free initial consultation today. 206-900-9900.

Related Articles

What to Do if You Are in a Bus Accident in Seattle

Read More

After a Semi Truck Accident, Who Can You Sue for Compensation?

Read More

What to do When Insurance Denies Your Claim?

Read More