- April 15, 2022
- Strong Law
- Vehicle Accidents
If you were injured in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to file a car accident claim against the at-fault driver to recover damages. As part of this process, you may want to know how to get a car accident police report. To file a car accident claim, you have to be able to prove who was at fault for the accident.
This means, among other things, that:
- Witnesses need to be interviewed before they forget what happened
- Evidence needs to be collected before it is lost, and
- Photographs need to be taken before injuries heal and damage is repaired.
In other words, you need to collect and preserve the evidence needed to prove that the other driver (and their auto insurance company) is liable to compensate you for your bodily injuries and financial losses. That’s why a car accident police report is so important to your car accident claim.
Your car accident police report is the official record of your accident, and it contains just about all the information you will need to file a car accident claim. This article explores car accident police reports in the state of Washington and how to get one.
When is a Car Accident Police Report Made?
If the police respond to your car accident, they will usually make a car accident police report at the crash scene. The police must make a car accident police report if the accident involves a fatality or personal injury, or significant property damage ($700 or more).
If a car accident police report was made in your case, it is important that you have an experienced car accident lawyer review it as soon as possible. The experienced car accident lawyers at Strong Law may be able to use your car accident police report to build a successful car accident case on your behalf.
What Information Does a Car Accident Police Report Contain?
Find Out How to Get a Car Accident Police Report and What’s in It
Your car accident police report contains the reporting officer’s unbiased observations about your car accident. However, police are human, and it is not uncommon for the car accident police report they make to contain some factual errors.
If this is the case with your police accident report, don’t worry. The skilled car accident lawyers at our law firm may be able to use witness testimony, photographs, video footage, and other evidence to reconstruct the accident and tell what really happened.
A car accident police report contains a lot of information. But there is no need to try and understand it all by yourself. We will review your car accident police report and interview any witnesses before they are interviewed by the at-fault driver’s auto insurance company.
Types of Car Accident Police Reports in Washington
Everyone knows that car accidents are an unfortunate reality on the roads and highways of our state. But are you aware that there are two kinds of car accident report forms that can be completed and filed with the State of Washington?
One form, called a State of Washington Police Traffic Collision Report, is a form used by police officers to collect vital information related to an accident that happened in their jurisdiction; they then file it with the Washington State Patrol.
This form is used by the responding police officer to collect detailed information regarding the accident, such as:
- Name and contact information for the vehicle operators
- Name and contact information for passengers and witnesses
- Type of roadway and accident
- Time, date, and location of the accident
- Number of vehicles involved and their types
- Type and severity of any injuries
- Name and badge number of the investigating officer
- Damage to the vehicles.
What’s more, this report contains the reporting officer’s written narrative of what happened to cause the accident.
Another type of Washington car accident report form is called a Motor Vehicle Collision Report. This form is available to anyone involved in an accident that was not reported by a responding police officer, resulted in bodily injury or death, or caused more than $1,000 in total property damage.
A Motor Vehicle Collision Report is required to be filled out and filed with the Washington State Patrol within 4 days of the accident. This can be done online through the Online Motor Vehicle Collision Reporting (OMVCR) system.
Alternatively, you can download a blank form here, then complete, sign, and mail it to the Collision Records Section – P.O. Box 42628 Olympia, WA 98504-2628, or email it to email@example.com.
How to Obtain a Copy of the Collision Report
When filing your car accident claim, you will need a copy of the collision report concerning your car accident. The first and most efficient way to request a copy of the report is online:
- Go to the WRECR (Washington Requests for Electronic Collision Reports) site.
- Click on To Order a Collision Report.
- Enter your last name and date of the collision or the collision report number.
- Choose the report that matches your accident information.
- Pay a fee of $10.50 per report to request a copy.
Once the transaction has been completed, it can take two to four weeks before the report is available.
Another way to request a collision report is by mail:
- Download the form
- Complete and sign the form.
- Mail the completed form, along with a check or money order for $10.50, payable to the Washington State Patrol, to the following address:
Washington State Patrol
Collision Records Section
P.O. Box 42628
Olympia, WA 98504-2628
Talk to Strong Law About How to Get a Car Accident Police Report
If you or someone you care about was injured in a car accident, taking quick action can increase the likelihood that you will be fully compensated for your injuries and losses. You’ll need all the information related to your accident to put together a strong case, so it’s important to know how to get a car accident police report. We can help. Call Strong Law today at 206-741-1053 to request a consultation with an experienced lawyer on our team. The sooner you get us involved, the better.