Thousands of hit and run accidents happen in the United States every day. In 2015 alone, there were an estimated 737,100 hit-and-run crashes (NHTSA, 2016). A hit and run accident is when one or both drivers involved in a motor vehicle accident flees the scene before offering any (or enough) information or help to the other involved people involved in the crash.
Car accidents are a hassle and burden – physically, financially, and time wise – and a hit and run situation adds to the stress because it can be a challenge to track down the at-fault party to hold them responsible for the accident.
If you or a loved one was injured in a hit and run accident, you may be wondering if you can file an injury claim for your losses. If you were injured in a hit and run accident and want to receive fair compensation for your losses, it’s important to get help from a car accident attorney as soon as possible. You have three years from the date of the accident to file a claim but the longer you wait, the longer you will be navigating the claim on your own and the harder it will be to get accurate witness accounts.
Why do people flee the scene of an accident?
Each person has their own reasons for fleeing the scene of an accident but it generally comes down to self-preservation over personal responsibility. In many cases, people flee because they are driving without a license, they are illegal immigrants, there is an active search warrant for their arrest, or they are intoxicated. Their hope is that by fleeing they can avoid legal consequences or deportation but the reality is that they usually end up in even more legal trouble.
- Unlicensed drivers are found to be 66.36 times more likely to be a hit-and-run driver than a licensed driver.
- A report by FARS indicated that the seven states with the highest hit and run fatalities directly corresponded to the states with the largest populations of illegal immigrants.
Bellingham woman and 13-year-old passenger injured in hit and run accident
As reported by the Bellingham Herald, two people were injured on Tuesday, March 7 just after 5:30 p.m. when a vehicle attempted to pass a 2007 Mazda 6 heading east on Blaine Road near milepost 11 in Whatcom County. The driver of the Mazda overcorrected and hit the concrete barrier on the right shoulder and was thrown from her vehicle upon impact. Both the driver and her 13-year-old passenger were taken to St. Joseph hospital in Bellingham. The driver of the other vehicle fled the scene.
What to do if you are in a hit and run accident
Here are some things you should do if you are involved in a hit and run accident:
- Gather any information you can about the fleeing driver (and write it down so you don’t forget).
- Call the police and wait at the scene.
- Take pictures of the scene and any damage to your vehicle.
- Get contact information of any witnesses.
- Seek medical treatment for your injuries.
- Schedule a free consultation with a local car accident lawyer.
Seek the help of a car accident lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured in a collision because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!