How do I report an accident?

It is perfectly normal to be a little confused and dazed after you are in an accident on Washington roadways. Despite not thinking clearly, you still need to report the incident to law enforcement as soon as possible. If you do not know how to do this, it can make the aftermath of a crash even more stressful. Knowing what to do before you ever get in this situation is the best plan.

The Washington State Patrol tries to make reporting an accident simple. Most accidents are minor fender benders that do not require law enforcement to complete a report at the scene. In some cases, they may not even report to the scene. In this case, you can file an electronic accident report via the WSP’s online system. You can also get a report through this system if you need a copy at a later date. Reporting is done through the WSP Online Motor Vehicle Collision Reporting system, and getting copies of reports is done through the WSP Requests for Electronic Collision Records system.

Of course, if there are injuries or you are blocking a major roadway and unable to move the vehicles, you should always call 911 and report the accident that way. This will allow for an immediate response. You should also get to know about the collision report laws which will help you know whether you need to call law enforcement right away after an accident or not. This information is for education and is not intended as legal advice.