Motor vehicle crash reports are very important. Not only can you be legally required to file an crash report, but they also provide you with a lot of information that can be helpful when analyzing whether you need to retain an attorney and when seeking recovery for your injuries. Additional helpful information can be found at this link: Washington State Patrol.
In Washington, if a police officer investigates the crash , you do not need to file an crash report. If no police officer investigates the crash , then each driver involved in the crash must file an crash report within 4 days after the crash if:
- anyone was injured in the crash; or
- if the damage to either vehicle exceeds $1,000.00.
You can get collision report forms from your local police department, county sheriff’s office, or by following this link: Washington Collision Report. Additional helpful information can be found at this link: Washington State Patrol Detachment.
In Oregon, you must report an crash to the DMV within 72 hours of an crash when:
- Damage to the vehicle you are driving is over $1,500;
- Damage to any vehicle is over $1,500 and any vehicle is towed from the crash scene as a result of damages from the crash;
- Injury or death occurs as a result of the crash; or
- Damage to any one person’s property other than a vehicle involved in an crash is over $1,500.
Even if a police officer responds to your crash and prepares a police report, if you meet the criteria above, you must file an crash report. Even if your vehicle was the only vehicle in the crash (like if you hit a tree), you still need to file an crash report. Failure to file an crash report can lead to your driving privileges will be suspended.
Finally, since many records are not considered confidential under Oregon law, it is a good idea to make a photocopy of your crash report.
DISCLAIMER – This article is only meant to provide general information and not legal advice. Since every case and facts are unique and different, readers should not act upon the information contained in this article without seeking advice from an attorney. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship.