Do police need to be called to an accident?
You should always call your local police after an accident has occurred in the state of Washington, whether it transpired on a residential roadway or on the highway. Sometimes, a police officer or a service aid officer may arrive on scene depending on how serious the accident is. However, if you report that the accident was a minor one and no injuries were sustained, depending on whether there is an available officer to take the call will determine if one shows up or not.
In that case, you would be required to complete a collision report based on certain criteria. For instance, if your accident occurred on a California state freeway or highway and it resulted in more than $1,000 in vehicle damage or injuries, you must report it to the Washington State Patrol. You are required to complete the Motor Vehicle Collision Report within three days after the collision. You can access this form by clicking here or one can be picked up from any law enforcement office.
If your accident occurred on a roadway aside from a highway or freeway, you are also going to want to call 911 so an officer can come out. Even if there is a small dent or a minor scratch, it can’t hurt to have an officer come out and assess the accident scene. Because Washington complies with the at-fault insurance laws, you are going to want to be certain that if you didn’t cause the crash, that it is dually noted in your police report.
What happens if my accident was minor and an officer doesn’t come out to the accident scene?
In the event an Everett police officer doesn’t come out and write up a collision report, you may be required to do it. Sometimes, when an accident is minor, police might decline to come out given that no injuries were sustained and the damages may only amount to $200-$300. If this is the case, be sure that you exchange insurance information with the other driver. This is crucial if you want to try and collect compensation for the damages that may have been done to your vehicle.
Our accident lawyers in Everett point out that if there is $1,000 worth of damage done, whether it be in property damage or injuries, you are required by the law to report this collision to the Washington State Patrol as well. Therefore, whether your accident has occurred on a main roadway or a highway, if the damage exceeds $1,000, you do need to report the accident using the Collision Report Form [Source: Seattle.gov].
What happens if there is an error on the police report?
Now, if you did have an officer come out after an auto collision occurred and you retrieved your copy of the report only to find that there was false information provided or missing information, you might want to consider contacting USAttorneys.com immediately. We work closely with local accident lawyers in Everett, Washington who can further inform you on the next steps to take.
Accidents often result in expensive repairs and costly medical bills and you don’t want the burden to fall on you if you didn’t cause the accident. Therefore, your best bet is to speak with one of our highly-regarded Everett, WA accident attorneys who can provide you with all the pertinent information you are going to need for your accident case.