People who cause car crashes often do something illegal or unsafe right before impact. Motorists frequently realize, in the immediate aftermath of a collision, that their failings could lead to financial consequences or maybe even criminal charges. Unfortunately, the consequences of a motor vehicle collision might inspire someone to flee the scene of an accident.
Although Washington state law does mandate that people stop and report any significant collision when it occurs, many drivers leave the scene without checking on the other people involved or reporting the matter to state authorities. Those who are left behind at the scene of a hit-and-run crash may wonder what rights they have. How does someone get compensation after a Washington hit-and-run, given that they don’t have access to the other driver’s insurance information?
They turn to the police
Fleeing the scene of a crash is a crime, and someone leaving like that is often an indicator that there may be other secondary issues involved. They may have had a suspended license, expired insurance or personal issues, like chemical impairment, that they want to hide from the police.
Police officers can potentially track down a hit-and-run driver using traffic camera footage, vehicle descriptions and other details. If the police successfully locate the person to blame for a Washington crash, the person hurt in the collision will be able to pursue an insurance claim or possibly a personal injury lawsuit.
They rely on their own insurance
Many drivers in Washington only have liability coverage on their motor vehicle insurance policies, which means that the person who caused the crash provides the coverage that pays for everybody else’s losses.
If someone affected by a collision can’t locate the driver to blame, their own insurance won’t help unless they invested in extra coverage. Uninsured motorist protection is a valuable addition to many policies because it will protect someone from a hit-and-run crash wherever does not provide insurance coverage.
Vehicle insurance coverage and personal injury claims are the two main options for those who have been affected by a hit-and-run crash. Some people will need a combination of both options to fully cover their losses. Learning more about the available protections after a Washington car crash with the assistance of a legal professional can help those who have been injured through no or little fault of their own.