What are your legal responsibilities in the minutes after you are involved in a car accident in Washington State? Do you need to call the police, or inform other state officials of a crash in the event that a police officer does not come to the scene of an accident?
At The Ye Law Firm, we want you to know that the police should be called in most instances that there is a car accident, especially if there are any injuries or significant property damage. In addition to keeping you safe and getting everyone the medical attention that they need, a police officer can help collect evidence as well as file a police report that reviews that evidence.
When You Should Call The Police Following A Car Accident
Here are a few guidelines for calling law enforcement after a car accident occurs:
- If anyone has suffered a serious injury, call 911. This will call both the police and emergency medical services to the scene of the crash.
- If the vehicles have crashed and are blocking a roadway, or are in any way creating unsafe road conditions, call 911.
- If anyone is injured, or if the vehicles have suffered significant property damage, call the police.
Never Leave The Scene of An Accident
It’s very simple: leaving the scene of a car accident is against the law in Washington State –both driving away or leaving on foot. Leaving the scene of an accident could result in having your license suspended or revoked, and leaving the scene of an accident when someone is seriously injured or killed can have much more serious legal consequences.
Reporting Your Accident To The Washington Department of Transportation (DOT)
In some instances, an accident doesn’t require police involvement, but is still significant enough to require a Collision Report Form, which is filed with the Washington Department of Transportation. If your accident involved:
- More than $700 in property damage.
In most cases, a police officer will file this report. But in cases where a police officer isn’t present, you have four days to report your accident. The report requires:
- Your contact information.
- Information regarding your car.
- Information regarding your insurance coverage.
- Information about the accident, including weather conditions.
Not reporting your collision to the WDOT can have serious consequences, such as the suspension of your license. Not reporting your collision can also affect your ability to collect money from the insurance company, or your ability to take your case to court effectively.
Talk To A Federal Way Car Attorney Today About Your Case
At The Ye Law Firm, our Federal Way car accident attorney can help you understand your accident, including your accident report and related evidence. We will make certain that the cause of your accident is clear and that you receive compensation for your losses that is fair and just.
Are you wondering if you need a Washington State car accident attorney to assist you with your car accident and related injuries? Perhaps the best way to find out is to request a free consultation to ascertain whether your case needs the help of an experienced lawyer. To schedule your meeting, or to ask a question, please call (253) 946-0577.