Every driver responds to danger differently. Some face it directly, while others want to remove themselves from the tragic situation to evade responsibility.
However, when drivers cause injuries, deaths and property damages, and escape liability by fleeing the scene, they are at risk of committing a criminal act.
What should a driver do instead of fleeing the scene?
Aside from reporting the accident to the police and gathering proof, such as photos and witness statements, Washington law requires drivers to fulfill their lawful duties.
- Stop or return immediately, and be at the scene as close as possible
- Remain at the scene without obstructing traffic
- Locate the owner – If the crash involves an unattended vehicle, they can leave a conspicuous note with their details; if it is an attended car with property damage, they must help in removing it off the road to a secure location
- Provide vital information – Name, address, license number, and insurance company and policy number
- Render reasonable assistance, which may include requesting an ambulance or transporting the victim to a doctor or medical facility for treatment
Drivers who fail to comply with their legal duties may face dire consequences. Depending on the circumstances of the crash, penalties for conviction may include considerable jail time, fines and loss of driving privileges.
What if authorities cannot find the fleeing driver?
Searching for a hit-and-run driver demands a thorough investigation. Sometimes, unfortunate scenarios happen when law enforcement cannot find an alleged offender. In these cases, victims must work with their counsel on how to protect their rights and recover damages from insurance companies.