Police reporting requirements change for injury accidents

Mar 24, 2023, 12:32 PM | Updated: 3:18 pm

seattle accidents...

Law will change on how injury accidents are reported by police. (AP)


The Legislature has changed the reporting requirements for injury accidents for when police must report drivers to the Department of Licensing.

Under current law, anyone who causes a crash that ends in “serious injury” is reported.  That is now changed to suffering from “substantial bodily harm” under HB 1319, which has passed both chambers in Olympia.

A local law firm maintains a table of key car crash statistics for Washington state. Here are some of the key findings for 2022 crashes in Washington.

  • 78,544 total crashes
  • 682 fatalities
  • 2,623 suspected serious injuries
  • 4,939 drunk-driving-related accidents
  • 10,944 teen-driver accidents
  • 13,982 distracted-driving accidents

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Officers would be required to send the information to the DOL, and that driver would be reexamined. If that driver fails the reexamination, the DOL could require driving school. It could suspend or revoke that diver’s license.

That driver could also lose their license for failing to comply.

According to King County, if you are involved in an accident, call 911 for a police response. If the police complete a written report, you do not need to complete an accident report, you just need to contact your insurance company.

When to Complete an Accident Report

  • If your accident is NOT investigated by a police officer or sheriff’s deputy, AND
  • If there are injuries or the total damage exceeds $1,000, THEN
  • You need to file a report within 4 days to the State Department of Motor Vehicles.  You can do that by clicking here.

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Police reporting requirements change for injury accidents