Washington Car Accident Laws

Washington Car Accident Laws

All drivers and motorists are required to act in a responsible manner by obeying all traffic rules to prevent accidents and crashes. Washington, with all its tunnels, bridges, and busy roads, tends to register quite a high number of automobile crashes every year.

This post seeks to address the ins and outs of Washington car accident laws, such as what to do after a crash, determining liability, and how to file a car accident report.

What to Do After an Accident in Washington

The aftermath of an accident can be traumatizing to the victims. After such incidents, the first thing to do would be to check if there are any severe injuries involved and to check for any damage done to the vehicles involved.

These crucial steps will help you avoid disagreements with claims adjusters and can help you claim compensation for injuries and damage to your automobile. This is best done with the help of Seattle car accident lawyers Craig Swapp & Associates.

If you sustain any injuries, it is advisable to immediately seek medical attention as any delay in doing so can result in your insurer discounting your claim. Dial 911 and call for an ambulance if the injuries are severe.

Washington Car Accident Laws

Insist on a Police Accident Report

At the time of the accident, it is possible that there are no witnesses and you and the other motorist may have different versions of how the incident unfolded. If you are convinced that you are not at fault for the accident, make sure to call the police and have the crash report filed.

While waiting for the police to arrive, it is essential to not alter the position of any of the vehicles. If possible, take photographic evidence of the scene as well as the damage to both vehicles. If you have witnesses, ensure that you obtain their names and contact numbers before they leave the scene.

If, due to various circumstances, police don’t show up at the scene, ensure that the other driver completes an admission of fault detailing his or her responsibility for the crash, date, time, and location.

When Are Police Not Required to File a Report?

In the state of Washington, the police are not obligated to file a crash report when the crash occurs on private property, such as in parking lots. Police departments are also not required to do a report if no injuries are involved and when the damage to both vehicles does not exceed $700.

In Washington, you need not file a duplicate crash report if a law enforcement officer investigated the collision at the scene of the accident. However, you are at liberty to file your own report if you do not agree with the officer’s version of events. This report should be sent to the Washington State Patrol within four days of the incident.

Liability for Accident Crashes

In any car accident, the overlying question revolves around who is responsible for the incident. Liability for such incidents is determined by the Washington negligence laws. Being a pure comparative negligence state, any individual at fault for an accident is held accountable. Washington also allows for no fault-coverage, whereby insurance policies cover your damages regardless of who was at fault for the accident.


More information on accident laws in Washington is available from: