Reading Your Washington Accident Report
Zach Herschensohn can show you the way
After you get into a car accident in the Seattle Metro area and police respond to the scene of the crash, the investigating police officer will typically complete a Police Traffic Collision Report. This accident report – which you can order copies of from the Washington State Patrol – will contain important information and serve as a critical piece of evidence when pursuing a claim for compensation.
Attorney Zach Herschensohn understands how overwhelming and confusing it can be to decipher all the details on an accident report, which is why he’s prepared to help you obtain and review the information so that you can have a clear understanding of how it will impact your claim.
The Police Traffic Collison Report will contain information such as where the accident occurred, names of the people involved, and if there were any injuries. It might also include information that indicates negligence by another driver, whether or not they were ticketed, and what infractions or criminal charges were involved, such as speeding, texting while driving, or driving under the influence.
Below are some tips on how to read your Washington accident report. If you have questions or want to know if you might have a case worth pursuing, contact a Kent car accident attorney right away. The Herschensohn Law Firm, PLLC has secured millions in settlements and verdicts for injury victims throughout the Seattle metro area and can help you get maximum compensation. Contact us today for your free consultation.
For each accident, only one Part A will be used.
- Your pre-printed report number should be the same throughout the report.
- The type of roadway and kind of accident are listed. (Multiple boxes may be checked)
- The date, time, and location of the collision will be filled out. (In Washington, numbers are used for counties and cities. IN/OF indicates if the accident was inside or outside the city limits.)
- Total number of units will show how many vehicles, pedestrians, and owners of damaged property were involved in the accident.
This portion of the accident report will include information about the first vehicle (or unit) involved in the collision. (Unit 01 will always be a motor vehicle or pedalcycle, such as a bicycle, but doesn’t necessarily mean the vehicle is at-fault).
- The type of unit (motor vehicle or pedalcycle) will be checked off.
- If total damage exceeds $1,000, the Damage Threshold Met box will be marked.
- Unless marked unknown, which is common in hit-and-run accidents, the name and contact information of the operator will be filled in.
- License information will be provided, including CDL information when applicable.
- If an on-duty law enforcement officer or firefighter is involved in the accident, the “On Duty” box will be marked.
- The restraint code will indicate if seatbelts were being worn during the crash.
- For motorcycle and bicycle accidents, the helmet use code will specify whether or not a helmet was being worn at the time of the collision.
- Injury coding will show the severity and nature of any injuries sustained in the crash.
- Vehicle information will include license plate number, registration, contact information, and insurance information for the owner of the vehicle.
- A diagram of the vehicle will show where any damage was sustained.
In this part of the report, information about the second vehicle (or unit) will be included. (Unit 02 can be a vehicle, pedestrian, or owner of property damaged in the collision.)
- Most of the information provided will be the same as what was listed in Unit 01, though there may be a few additional details if the unit is a pedestrian or property owner.
- The investigating police officer will print their name, badge number, and agency.
- Extra units may be identified if there are more than two vehicles involved in the collision.
At least one Part B will be included.
- Your pre-printed report number should match on every page.
- If corrections are needed on a previous page, the investigating officer can use Part B to make corrections and then mark the “correction” box.
- The name, address, and phone number of any passengers and witnesses will be listed. This portion of the report will also include information about their seating position, if airbags were deployed, whether or not seatbelts/helmets were used, and details about any injuries that were sustained in the collision.
- A diagram will be shown indicating what happened in the crash.
- In the narrative section, a description of what happened will be written. Extra pages may be used.
- The investigating officer will sign and date the report, which will show when police were dispatched and when they arrived at the scene of the collision.
Click here to download a printable version.