Under Washington State law, you must stop if you crash your vehicle into someone else. Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents are becoming increasingly common. What happens if you’ve been a victim of this type of crash? Understandably, it’s an infuriating situation that can leave you wondering how you’ll now pay for your medical bills and damage to your car.
As personal injury lawyers, we’ve spoken with many clients over the years who have found themselves in this situation. We wanted to provide some thoughts on what you should and should not do if you’ve been the victim of a hit-and-run-accident.
A hit-and-run accident happens any time a driver causes a crash and leaves the scene. There are a few different ways this could occur:
Depending on the severity of the crash and injuries, a fleeing driver could face serious criminal charges.
There are several possible explanations for why a driver may speed away from the scene of a crash they’ve caused. For instance, they could be:
While these are possible explanations, they are not excuses. It is never acceptable to leave the scene of a crash.
Whatever you do, do not attempt to chase after a car that’s hit you. You do not want to cause further accidents or be held responsible for speeding or other infractions. As upsetting as this situation is, it’s important to stay safe.
Besides this, staying at the scene of the accident means you’ll have a better chance of getting eyewitnesses, an accurate police report, and pictures to document what happened. Call the police and wait for them to assist.
So, what should you do in this situation? Here’s what we suggest:
Last, if you have sustained injuries, we urge you to reach out to a personal injury lawyer for assistance. They can help investigate what happened, inform you of your legal rights, and help determine who you can file a claim with. Having a skilled lawyer on your side can make you feel like you’ve regained some power in this situation.
It’s free to speak with a lawyer from our team about your hit-and-run-accident. We have offices in Tacoma and Olympia and can assist no matter where you live in Washington State. Feel free to call us or fill out the short form on our homepage. We’d be happy to speak with you about your options.