If you are in a car accident, one thing you and the other driver typically do is share auto insurance information. This is especially true if you have been injured. But in a hit and run accident, the other party runs off before you or the police have a chance to identify them and/or obtain insurance information. These types of accidents are unfortunately very common.
If you are the victim, expenses may quickly add up. The problem is, who pays? Securing a hit and run accident attorney in Washington can help you in many ways. First, your insurance company may drag its feet to provide a payout, if any, but with an attorney representing your rights and interests, your chances increase for full and fair compensation. Second, a personal injury lawyer can investigate the accident, so you don't have to wait for the police to find answers. Third, you can get support immediately. Contact Law Offices of Paul L. Schneiderman today at 206-464-1952 to speak to our hit and run lawyer about your case.
Why Drivers in Washington Leave the Scene of a Crash
In the immediate aftermath of a car crash, a driver scared of the repercussions of causing an accident may flee the scene. Common reasons include:
- Driver's license suspension
- Expired driver's license
- No auto insurance
- Driving a vehicle without permission
- Driving a stolen vehicle
- Warrant out for the driver's arrest
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or other chemical substance
- Driver is in the country illegally
These are not the only reasons. For some people, they may have a genuine fear for their safety. Commercial drivers may fear the loss of their commercial driver's license (CDL). Whatever the reason, the problem for you is that they left the scene of the accident.
What to Do After a Hit and Run Crash in Washington
Victims who have been hit by a driver who sped off should
- Stay calm
- Stay at the scene, but in a safe place
- Call the police
- Look for any witnesses who saw the crash and get their contact information
- Take photos of the scene of the accident
- Make notes of the car and/or driver, any details could be useful later
Victims should not try to follow the driver. The odds of tracking them down are extremely slim, and leaving the scene could make it more difficult to prove that there was a crash, at all.
Personal Injury Claims in Seattle and Washington State Involving Hit and Run Drivers
Because the driver fled the scene, tracking them down is the first step in a personal injury claim. When the person is found, you can file a personal injury lawsuit. Through this lawsuit, your attorney will negotiate a settlement in your favor or pursue trial if that's in your best interest.
Ways to find the person are many but specific to each case. There may have been cameras or eyewitnesses that can help lead to the car and/or driver. The police are following up on leads, too, and we communicate directly with the police, as appropriate.
If the hit and run vehicle and driver are not found, you may have other options. For example, if you have uninsured motorist insurance (UM/UIM), it can cover phantom vehicle accidents. We will identify what those options might be, and if it is through your insurance company, we will work with the insurance adjuster directly. As you may know, even if it is your own insurance company, it does not mean your insurer has your best interests front and center of the claim. They worry about their profits and will try to minimize or avoid paying for some costs. As strategic negotiators, my firm will take steps to counter those attempts.
Contact a Hit and Run Accident Attorney in Washington Today
If you have been involved in a hit and run accident, you should first seek help for any injuries you may have suffered. When you can, however, it is in your best interests to speak to a lawyer. At Law Offices of Paul L. Schneiderman, our personal injury and auto accident team can review your case, follow up with the police, and help you identify your best options. Remember, you have rights, and we help you uphold those rights. Contact us today at 206-464-1952 to schedule a free consultation and learn more.