The laws of the State of Washington require that all drivers remain at the scene of an accident that involves the injury or death of another person, even if you were not at fault or the cause of that accident. Failure to do so is a felony offense and can have long-lasting consequences, such as the loss of your driving privileges, jail time and difficulty getting auto insurance and even a job in the future. Drivers leave the scene for a number of reasons, including because they have been drinking or don't have a license or insurance. If you find yourself in such a situation, it's important to know what to do.
What to do after a hit and run accident
1. Call for medical assistance if necessary. The first thing you should do in any kind of accident is to make sure that everyone involved is unharmed. If medical assistance is required, even if you're unsure, call 911 immediately.
2. Call law enforcement. While you have 911 on the line, request that they send law enforcement to the scene in addition to the EMS crew. If you didn't have to call for an ambulance, contact your local police or highway patrol department to file a report.
3. Take notes. After you've made sure that everyone involved in the accident is okay, secured medical assistance, if needed, and contacted law enforcement, take a few minutes to jot down any pertinent information about the accident while it is still fresh in your mind. Write down any information about the vehicle that left the scene, such as the license plate number, make and model of the vehicle and color of the vehicle. Take a few pictures of the scene with your cell phone.
4. Contact your insurance company. You also need to contact your insurance company right away if you've been involved in a hit and run accident, even if the damage to your vehicle is minor. Often, they can assist law enforcement in finding the absent driver and vehicle.
If you or someone you care about has been involved in a hit and run accident that resulted in a serious injury or death, you should also contact a personal injury attorney like one from Campbell, Dille, Barnett & Smith, P.L.L.C. to look out for your interests. Such situations are very stressful and certainly not the time to be studying the law so you can represent yourself. Most such attorneys offer a free initial consultation to evaluate your case.