In Washington State, leaving the scene of an accident may result in the person being charged with “hit and run,” a criminal offense. The potential penalties for a hit and run conviction include fines, jail time, and if the vehicle was occupied when hit, a one-year license suspension.
Attended and Unattended
After any collision occurs, whether it involves an unattended vehicle or property or an attended vehicle (one with a driver and/or passengers inside), Washington State drivers are required to follow certain procedures.
If a driver hits an unattended car or other property, he or she must stop right away and attempt to locate and notify the owner to provide contact and insurance information. If the owner cannot be found, the driver must leave a note containing his or her name, license number, contact information, and insurance information in a conspicuous place on the vehicle or property that was hit.
If a driver hits a car attended with a driver and/or passengers, the driver must stop right away and exchange contact, driver’s license, and insurance information with the driver of the other vehicle.
Injury or Death
If a driver is in an accident that causes injury or death to another person, he or she must stop the vehicle immediately, making sure not to obstruct traffic any more than necessary. The driver must offer assistance to the injured by calling 911, or taking them to the hospital or a physician. Helping an injured person is not considered evidence of liability for the accident. The driver must also give his or her name, address, insurance company, policy number, and license number to as all injured parties, as well as the driver of the other vehicle.
If a driver fails to stop after causing another person’s death, he or she may be charged with a class B felony “hit and run attended.” Leaving the scene of an accident if a person is injured is classified as a class C felony. Both crimes are punished with prison time and fines.
If you have been involved in a hit and run, you need legal advice right away. Our skilled Washington traffic attorneys at Callahan Law, P.S., Inc. are experienced and knowledgeable in defending those accused of hit and run. Call us now for a free initial case evaluation.