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How to Report a Hit and Run to Police

  1. Filing a Collision Report in Washington
  2. Information That Can Go on Your Driving Record Even If You Did Not Cause the Crash
  3. Reporting Uncompensated Damages After an Accident with an Uninsured Driver
  4. How to Get Help Paying Your Losses from a Hit and Run Accident
  5. Recoverable Damages After Getting Hurt in a Hit and Run Collision
  6. Our Team Can Help You After a Hit and Run Accident

You can report a hit and run car accident by calling 911 immediately. Getting the police involved at once gives them the best possible chance of catching the driver who fled the scene.

Filing a Collision Report in Washington

You do not have to file a crash report if a law enforcement officer investigates the collision since they should file one, according to the Washington State Department of Licensing

If a law enforcement officer does not investigate the crash, every driver involved in the accident must file a collision report within four days of the collision. You have two options for filing your own collision report:

  1. You can get a collision report form from the Washington State Patrol district office or your local county sheriff’s office or police station.
  2. You can submit a collision report online through the Washington State Patrol website. 

Check with law enforcement if you have questions about the online form. You can get a copy of either type from the Washington State Patrol, whether you or a law enforcement officer submitted the accident report.

Information That Can Go on Your Driving Record Even If You Did Not Cause the Crash

If any of the vehicles or other property sustained at least $1,000 in damage or if anyone was injured in the collision, Washington state will add this information about the crash to the driving record of every driver involved in the collision, not just the at-fault driver:

  • The date of the collision
  • How many vehicles were involved in the accident
  • Whether anyone suffered injuries or died
  • The crash report number
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Reporting Uncompensated Damages After an Accident with an Uninsured Driver

Some people leave the scene of a collision illegally because they do not carry the required automobile insurance. They might turn themselves in later and promise to pay the damages they caused. 

If the uninsured driver does not, however, pay your losses within 180 days of the crash, you can report the nonpayment to the state. Here are the requirements to file a report against the uninsured driver for failing to pay your damages:

  • There must have been an injury or at least $1,000 in property damages.
  • You must attach copies of receipts and estimates to prove your losses.

The state will not process reports that do not include the required documentation. It might suspend the driver’s license of the uninsured driver if they fail to pay the losses they caused.

How to Get Help Paying Your Losses from a Hit and Run Accident

Unfortunately, some hit and run drivers do not turn themselves in or get caught by the police. If you were hurt in a collision with a hit and run driver and you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your automobile insurance policy, you can likely make a claim for at least some of your losses. As such, insurance companies treat hit and run drivers like uninsured motorists.

If they eventually find the hit and run driver, the insurance companies will sort out which party is ultimately responsible and which party is entitled to receive compensation. It is useful to work with personal injury lawyers on your hit and run crash case.

Recoverable Damages After Getting Hurt in a Hit and Run Collision

When the hit and run driver gets caught or voluntarily goes to the police, you might be able to file an injury claim against them if they caused the accident. An uninsured driver is still legally responsible for the injuries and other damage they cause. Your attorneys could help you pursue options for collecting your losses from the at-fault driver. 

Here are some of the common types of recoverable damages you could seek after suffering injuries in a motor vehicle crash in Washington:

  • Lost income. You might miss paychecks when you are recuperating from severe injuries from a hit and run accident.
  • Lost future wages. After completing your prescribed medical treatment, you might not be able to earn as much money as before if you have lingering problems from your injuries that impact your work performance.
  • Medical expenses. Typically, the cost of the healthcare services you need to treat your injuries is recoverable.
  • Rehabilitation facility. Catastrophic injuries, like severe head trauma, might call for specialized therapeutic intervention.
  • Long-term care services. If you suffered a life-changing injury, like paralysis from spinal cord damage, you might be unable to live independently without daily assistance with medical treatment and personal care.
  • Pain and suffering. This category of losses after a hit and run collision is for the physical discomfort and emotional distress of the accident and your injuries.
  • Other intangible losses. If you develop extensive or highly visible scars, you might have a claim for disfigurement.
  • Wrongful death. If your close relative lost their life in a hit and run crash, you and your family might be able to seek additional compensation for their losses.

Every car accident case is different, so the specific damages you could seek will depend on the facts of the hit and run accident situation.

Our Team Can Help You After a Hit and Run Accident

You only have up to three years to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit under RCW § 4.16.080. If you miss the filing deadline, Washington law could forever bar you from seeking compensation for your losses from the at-fault party.

Herschensohn Law helps those who suffer injuries because of the negligence of others in Washington State. If you were hurt in a hit and run crash, you can reach out to us today for a free initial consultation. We work on contingency, so you’ll pay nothing up front.

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