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Vancouver & Southwest Washington

Reading Your Washington Car Accident Report

Vancouver, WA Attorney Colin Scott can help you recover

If you were involved in a car accident in the state of Washington and police responded, an officer may complete a Police Traffic Collision Report (also called an accident report). This report often contains important information that can be crucial when filing a claim for compensation. The Scott Law Firm, PLLC can help you obtain and review this information and explain how it affects your claim.

The accident report completed by the responding police officer will contain information about where the accident occurred, who was involved and whether any injuries were sustained. It may also give information that indicates negligence on the part of the other driver (including whether they were ticketed). The report will also indicate the specific infraction(s) or criminal charge(s) that are involved, such as speeding, texting while driving, or driving under the influence.

If you were involved in a collision in the State of Washington and police came to the scene, you can order a copy of the report from the Washington State Patrol.

Here are some tips for reading your accident report. For more information or if you have any questions about reading your Police Traffic Collision Report, contact attorney Colin Scott to schedule a free consultation. You can schedule an appointment by contacting us online or calling 360-718-3640.

Washington Accident Report Page 1

Part A

Only one Part A is used for each accident.

Top Section

The pre-printed report number should match on all pages.

The roadway type and accident type are listed. (Multiple types may be checked.)

The time, date and location of the accident is included. (The state of Washington uses numbers for counties and cities. IN/OF indicates if the accident was inside or outside the city limits.)

The total number of units (vehicles, pedestrians and owners of damaged property) involved in the accident.

Unit 01

This section is about the first vehicle (or unit) involved in the accident. (Unit 01 is always a motor vehicle or pedalcycle, such as a bicycle. But it is not necessarily the vehicle at fault.)

Type of unit (motor vehicle or pedalcycle).

The damage threshold is checked if total damage is more than $1,000.

The name and contact information of the operator. (This may be filled in with "unknown" if this information is not available, such as in the case of a hit and run accident.)

License information (include CDL information, if applicable).

The "On Duty" box is checked if the accident involved an on-duty law enforcement officer or firefighter.

The restraint code indicates whether seatbelts were used.

For motorcycle and bicycle accidents, the helmet use code indicates if a helmet was worn at the time of the crash.

Injury coding indicates the type and severity of any injuries.

Vehicle Information: This includes the license plate, registration, contact information and insurance information of the vehicle owner.

A diagram indicates where the vehicle sustained damage.

Unit 02

This section is about the second vehicle (or unit) involved in the accident. (Unit 02 may be a vehicle, pedestrian or owner or property damaged in the accident.)

The information is identical to that in Unit 01, but there may be some differences if the unit is a pedestrian or property owner.

The responding police officer prints his or her name and badge number.

Additional units may be identified if more than two vehicles were involved in the accident.

Washington Accident Report Page 2

Part B

All accidents will include at least one Part B.

The pre-printed report number should match on all pages.

An officer may use Part B to correct a previous page, and will check the "correction" box.

This lists passengers and witnesses involved in the accident. It also includes their contact and demographic information. Their seating position, airbag use, restraint use, helmet use and injury coding will also be listed.

A diagram indicates what happened in the accident.

The narrative section describes what happened. Additional pages may be used.

The responding officer will sign and date the form, which will also indicate when police were dispatched to the scene and when they arrived.

Washington Accident Report Page 3

Click here to download a printable version.

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