Ultimate Guide to Hit-And-Run Accidents in Washington

A hit-and-run accident on a Spokane or Washington roadway is a tragedy on many levels. Physically, a victim may be left suffering from a serious injury with no immediate help around. Emotionally, a victim will feel completely alone after becoming victimized without knowing the identity of an at-fault driver. Financially, a wounded victim may be left with thousands of dollars in medical bills and car repair bills with no way to seek help paying them.

Hit-and-run accident victims don’t have to face these challenges alone. Even when a hit-and-run driver remains on the run, valuable support for an injured victim and the victim’s family is available.

Contact a Spokane Hit-And-Run Accident Lawyer

After a hit-and-run accident in the Spokane area, you may feel completely abandoned and alone. Please don’t lose hope. Speak with a skilled Spokane hit-and-run lawyer to find out about every benefit that you and your family have available.

Contact CCD Law serving Spokane and eastern Washington hit-and-run victims. We offer a free, no-obligation case consultation. It’s a no-risk way to find out what your injury is worth and how to hold a car insurance company 100% responsible for recovery costs.

If you feel we can help you get the most out of your hit-and-run injury claim, you don’t need to worry about having the money to hire us. We don’t get paid unless we win your case for you.

Hit-and-Run Accident Dangers in Washington

Washington’s Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) recorded 23 fatal accidents involving a hit-and-run driver in our state in 2021. 21 of those victims were pedestrians. 2020 saw 17 fatal hit-and-run accidents in Washington. Of course, these tragic deaths are on top of thousands of injuries caused by hit-and-run motorists each year.

While the WTSC recorded zero fatal hit-and-run accidents in Spokane and Spokane Valley in 2021, authorities in both cities still document dozens of hit-and-run collisions a year. According to KREM-TV, Spokane Police can respond to over 3,000 hit-and-runs in a single year.

Those accidents often cause injuries. And when a driver decides to flee the scene, the inaction often leaves wounded victims to wait even longer for vital medical attention. Those victims are frequently pedestrians who are defenseless in a crash and could need ambulance care to save their lives.

If you or a loved one are the victims of a hit-and-run accident, it may seem like finding justice will be impossible. But the Spokane hit-and-run lawyers at CCD Law can find financial support for you, even when an at-fault driver isn’t found and arrested.

Filing an Insurance Claim After a Hit-And-Run Accident in Washington

A hit-and-run accident in downtown Spokane, or in Airway Heights or Cheney, can leave victims and family members to face the consequences completely alone. Fortunately, there are benefits available to injured victims even after an investigation doesn’t reveal the identity of the hit-and-run driver.

Generally, there will be two routes for victims and their close relatives to file insurance claims and seek support:

  • Hit-And-Run Driver Gets Away with It. Unfortunately, hit-and-run suspects sometimes escape justice and never have to accept the consequences of what they did. But injured victims are able to file a claim with their own car insurance companies. This is why uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is offered under most Washington auto insurance plans. Victims ask for support for their recovery costs and financial losses. When victims don’t have car insurance of their own, they are often covered by another family member’s policy.
  • Hit-And-Run Driver Arrested. If there’s positive news and a hit-and-run driver is found and taken into custody, a civil claim for damages can be filed immediately. The hit-and-run suspect will face a criminal trial, but the civil claim can proceed and be settled separately. This claim is filed against the hit-and-run suspect’s auto insurance company.

Victims and their families should know that dealing with their own insurance providers can be just as frustrating and unfair as dealing with another driver’s coverage. The victim’s own company will still be trying to limit the insurance money the victim receives.

Without the help of a skilled Washington hit-and-run lawyer, you may be offered far less than you need to pay for your physical and financial recovery. Your attorney would help you recognize any hit-and-run settlement offer that wasn’t fair. Your attorney would reject it and would demand more for your family

What To Do After a Hit-And-Run Crash in Washington

You’ll want to be armed with every piece of evidence available when you seek damages from a hit-and-run driver or a car insurance company. The more proof you have showing that you did nothing to cause your accident, the more you can expect in a settlement check.

Some of the strongest evidence will be found on the scene of a hit-and-run collision. This evidence can help prove your case to an insurance adjuster and may even aid investigators in capturing a hit-and-run driver.

If your injuries will allow, try to collect these details on the scene of a Washington hit-And-run collision:

  • Make a note. If you are in a safe place, jot down everything you can remember about the accident. Use your phone to type in descriptions of the car and driver who hit you. Try to remember the license plate number, or even a partial number, and the state the plate was from. Make a note of the make and model of the car if you remember.
  • Call 911. Give a full report to local Police or the Washington State Patrol. Tell ambulance crews about every pain you have. Go to the emergency room if necessary. Ask someone with you or a witness to help you collect evidence.
  • Take pictures. Show the damage to your car. Get photos of any visible injuries. Get shots of traffic signs, crosswalks, and any tire marks left behind.
  • Find out what witnesses saw and get contact information from them.
  • Check to see if local businesses or homes had security cameras rolling when the hit-and-run occurred. Ask witnesses if they had dash cams on.
  • Hang on to evidence. Keep damaged or bloody clothing. Keep damaged personal items and your damaged bike if you were struck while riding.
  • Get yourself checked out by your physician in the following days. Make sure you don’t have injuries that an ambulance crew missed. Follow your doctor’s orders. See specialists and complete physical therapy.
  • Alert your insurance company about what happened. You may have to count on coverage from your own provider to get help in recovery if a hit-and-run driver isn’t caught.

Compensation Available to Washington Hit-And-Run Accident Victims

Hit-and-run victims can suffer broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and many other debilitating injuries. Victims’ medical expenses and expensive car repair bills can build while a hit-and-run driver remains on the run.

When it comes time to file an accident claim with the victim’s insurance company or a hit-and-run driver’s provider, every hardship a victim and the victim’s family faces must be listed. This also applies to a family who loses a loved one in a hit-and-run collision. Every leftover bill they face and the loss of support they suffer must be included in a claim.

These and other factors all determine the size of a hit-and-run settlement check:

  • Medical bills now and those expected in the future.
  • Support for physical pain endured during a difficult recovery.
  • Lifelong support for victims who suffer a permanent physical disability.
  • Support for emotional trauma experienced. This includes depression, anxiety, and a general loss of enjoyment of life victims may be forced to battle.
  • Travel costs for patients who can’t drive during recovery. This can mean trips to out-of-city specialists and to see surgeons.
  • Property damage replacement. Car repairs.
  • Past and future lost earnings and benefits.
  • Wrongful death benefits. Families who have lost a loved one ask for help with funeral costs. They earn support now that the deceased will no longer be able to provide emotional support and weekly income to a spouse and children in the coming years.

Frequently Asked Questions by Hit-And-Run Accident Victims

What is the statute of limitations on filing a Washington hit-and-run accident claim?

Three years. Washington hit-and-run victims have up to three years from the date of the accident to file an injury claim. Victims should act quickly to make sure evidence is still fresh and witnesses are easily located.

Should I talk to the insurance company representing a hit-and-run driver?

No. Only give basic information to a driver’s insurance company that calls you after an accident. They hope to get a recorded statement from you, but refuse. This statement can be twisted and used against you later.

Do I need a lawyer after a Washington hit-and-run accident?

After any accident involving more than a very minor injury, you should speak with a hit-and-run accident lawyer. Your lawyer will build a strong case to either take to your own insurance provider or the at-fault driver’s provider.

Contact a Washington Hit-And-Run Lawyer

After a serious accident involving a hit-and-run driver in the Spokane area, please speak with an experienced Spokane Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer. You could be facing off against a hit-and-run driver’s insurance or your own insurance provider. Insurance adjusters aren’t legally required to tell you about every benefit available to victims and their families.

Contact CCD Law for a free, no-obligation case consultation. It’s a no-risk opportunity to find out how to get the most out of your hit-and-run accident injury claim and who to hold responsible when a hit-and-run driver eludes justice.

Crary, Chuang & Domanico, P.S., has been protecting accident victims for over 70 years.  You can trust CCD Law attorneys to give you an honest assessment of your case and help you determine what you should demand for your hit-and-run case.

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