What Should I Do If I Get Into a Hit and Run In Kent, Washington?Request Free Consultation
All car accidents are shocking and distressing, especially when you’ve suffered painful injuries, but when the other driver flees the scene of the accident, it’s particularly disturbing. You may be wondering how someone could behave so callously as to not check to see if you’ve been injured, especially if they caused the accident. Sadly, hit-and-run accidents are not uncommon and are on the rise in the U.S., with an average of almost 700,000 per year.
Many accident victims wonder what to do when the other driver leaves the scene of the accident before the police arrive. Are you left responsible for the damages to your vehicle as well as medical expenses if you’re injured? Is there anything you can do after a hit-and-run accident?
What Is a Hit-and-Run Accident?
Hit-and-run accidents occur when a driver causes a collision with another vehicle, a pedestrian, or an object—such as a fence or mailbox—and then leaves the scene before the police arrive, failing to leave contact information.
In all states, the law compels drivers involved in accidents to remain at the scene until cleared by law enforcement officers or taken to the hospital by emergency medical services.
Hit-and-run drivers do not leave contact information, making it difficult for a victim of property damage and/or injuries to file a claim for compensation in fault-based insurance states like Washington.
Hit-and-run accidents resulted in the deaths of 2,564 motorists in 2021, a startling 26% increase from 2019. Cyclists and pedestrians are at the greatest risk of severe injuries in hit-and-run accidents.
What Actions Should I Take After a Hit-and-Run?
It can be difficult to keep a cool head after an accident—especially a hit-and-run. If it was a serious accident and your injuries are severe, you may be able to do little except wait in place for emergency services to arrive.
If you can move about safely and use your phone—or at least hand it to someone else to use for you—you can document critical evidence at the scene before the police come and move the vehicles to restore traffic flow.
Of course, the best-case scenario is capturing an image of the fleeing car with your phone’s camera, but often the hit-and-run driver leaves the scene before an injured victim can get their phone and snap a photo. Even if you’re unable to take a picture of the car and its license plate, you can do the following:
- First, call 911 to report the accident and request emergency services
- Tell the dispatcher about the hit-and-run and describe the vehicle that hit you, your location, and the direction they were heading when they left the scene
- Take photos of your damaged vehicle and the accident scene
- If there were any witnesses to the accident and they are still nearby, ask for their contact information
- While you wait for help, record a brief statement about what happened while it’s fresh in your mind
It’s best to go to the hospital in an ambulance if you have injuries, or if they are minor, arrange transportation to an emergency room as soon as possible.
What to Do in the Hours and Days Following a Hit-and-Rn Accident
Always go to a hospital after a car accident and undergo a complete medical exam. Obtain a detailed medical report listing your injuries, treatment recommendations, and prognosis.
This provides evidence of your injuries and related expenses. If the police find the hit-and-run driver, an Kent car accident attorney will help you file a claim for your damages. Unfortunately, sometimes the at-fault driver isn’t located or they fled the scene because they didn’t have insurance or a valid license.
You may still be covered for your property damage and medical costs by your auto insurance.v