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Seattle Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyers

Helping victims of hit-and-run accidents in Washington obtain the compensation they deserve

Any driver who causes or is involved in a car accident in Washington must stop immediately. Drivers have a duty to help anyone who is injured. Drivers also have a duty to provide their insurance information, driver’s registration, and contact information. It’s unconscionable for any driver to hit another car or person and flee. At Smith McBroom, we work with the police and investigators to find these irresponsible drivers and hold them accountable. When drivers can’t be found, Smith McBroom files uninsured/underinsured claims on behalf of the victims. We’ll help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. We’ll help you start over.

Free Case Evaluation

Call 206-677-5941 now or fill out the form above to receive a free, confidential consultation.

What Washington laws regulate hit-and-run driving?

Washington has different hit-and-run laws depending on whether the vehicle that is struck is unattended or whether the vehicle is attended.

  • Unattended vehicle duties. If the vehicle is unattended (nobody is present) the driver must stop and try to locate or notify the operator or owner and leave their name and address. If the operator/owner cannot be located, the driver should leave his/her information in a “conspicuous place” on the vehicle.
  • Attended vehicle duties. If a car accident causes injury or death to a person (or the car strikes a deceased person or the accident causes auto damage), the driver of the car that caused the accident must stop as close to the accident site as possible – without obstructing traffic more than is necessary.

Unless the Washington statutes provide otherwise, the driver must provide his/her name, address, insurance company, insurance policy number, and vehicle license number. The driver should also show his/her driver’s license to anyone who is hurt or any person attending the vehicle. The driver should also provide reasonable assistance to anyone who is injured. Reasonable assistance includes arranging to transport the injured person to a doctor or hospital. Rendering assistance is not evidence of liability.

Failure to comply with this statute can result in criminal charges and loss of driving privileges.

Generally, a driver who causes an accident should contact the police who will protect the accident scene, tend to anyone who is injured, and obtain the necessary driving documents.

Why do drivers hit-and-run in Seattle?

Drivers typically hit a car and then run for several reasons – none of them legitimate. These reasons include:

  • The hit-and-run driver is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. This driver may not know that they’ve struck another car or another person. If they are cognizant, they may flee because they know if they’re caught, they’ll face DUI charges and other alcohol or drug-related charges in addition to any hit-and-run charges.
  • The hit-and-run driver is uninsured or is driving even though their license has been suspended or revoked. Many drivers in Washington drive even though they don’t have the required minimum liability insurance coverage or a valid license. This driver knows if they’re caught, they will likely lose their driver’s license and must pay any damages out of their pocket.
  • The hit-and-run driver has a pending criminal charge. This driver is likely to flee instead of providing assistance because he/she has an outstanding warrant, could be charged with violating probation, or could face deportation proceedings.

None of these causes are justifiable. Hit-and-run drivers should be held accountable criminally and civilly.

How do you help locate hit-and-run drivers?

Our Seattle car accident lawyers work with the local police and our own investigators to locate the hit-and-run driver. Some ways a hit-and-run driver can be discovered include:

  • Filing a formal complaint with the police. The police can use the information about the car (model, color, year, and license plate number) to help locate the driver’s car and the driver.
  • Looking for witnesses. We hire investigators to speak with anyone at a business or residence near where the accident happened. They may have information or even surveillance videos that can help locate the driver.
  • Speaking to local repair shops. The driver’s car was likely damaged in the accident. Local repair shops may have information about the car and the owner.

Often, a small clue can lead to an arrest. Many times, the police find the driver when the driver is stopped for a traffic offense.

You shouldn’t try to track down the driver yourself when an accident happens. The health and safety of the victims is paramount. As we’ll discuss, there are other ways to obtain compensation for your injuries.

How does having an uninsured/underinsured policy provide compensation?

All drivers and car owners must purchase liability insurance. When they buy liability insurance, they normally also buy uninsured/underinsured insurance (UM/UIM) coverage for the same amount. Car insurance companies must offer both liability and UM/UIM insurance together.

At Smith McBroom, we work to locate hit-and-run drivers. If the driver cannot be found, you can file a UM/UIM claim with your own insurance company. UM/UIM policies cover hit-and-run drivers. Your claim is the same as any car accident claim. Evidence of the hit-and-run is normally enough to prove liability. Many hit-and-run accidents are rear-end collisions.

If you are injured due to a hit-and-run driver, we file a claim for all your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and property damage up to the UM/UIM policy limits. We also file wrongful death claims through the decedent’s UM/UIM policy if a hit-and-run driver killed your loved one.

We file UM/UIM claims for hit-and-run accidents on behalf of the UM/UIM policyholder and anyone who lives in the policyholder’s home at the time of the accident.

Do you have a Seattle hit-and-run accident lawyer near me?

Smith McBroom represents injury victims and families at our Seattle office at 16400 Southcenter Parkway Suite 210. If your injuries prevent you from coming to our office, we’ll arrange to meet you at your home or a healthcare facility. Our lawyers also conduct phone and online consultations.

We understand how angry you are. It’s bad enough being in an accident. It’s exasperating knowing that the person who caused your accident refused to take responsibility. We’ll help you assert your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve.

Contact our Seattle hit-and-run lawyers today

Hit-and-run drivers should be caught and they should pay for your damages. They should face criminal charges for fleeing. At Smith McBroom, we work to find the driver who hurt you or took the life of a loved one. We also help you obtain the compensation you deserve through your UM/UIM policy. Don’t give up hope. If you’re insured, you should be able to obtain compensation. To assert your rights, call our car accident lawyers or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We represent car accident victims in Tukwila, Seattle, and across Washington state.