A car accident is bad enough without the at-fault driver failing to take responsibility – or even stopping at the scene of the accident to find out if anyone is injured. Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents happen often in Vancouver, Washington. If you or a loved one gets injured in a hit-and-run, you may still have the ability to recover financial compensation. Learn more with assistance from a car accident attorney in Vancouver.
Recent Hit-and-Runs in Vancouver
All drivers in Washington have a legal responsibility to stop at the scene of a car accident. A hit-and-run means that a driver broke the law by failing to pull over, exchange information and render aid at the scene of a car accident. Hit-and-runs are especially dangerous because injured victims may fail to receive the medical care that they need to survive. Sadly, this type of collision is not uncommon in Vancouver. Here are three recent examples:
- On January 14, 2022, a woman who was eight months pregnant, along with her father, survived a hit-and-run accident in Vancouver that occurred at around 11:30 a.m. A wrong-way driver crashed into the victim’s driver-side door and pushed the car into a nearby pole. The driver then fled the scene and has not yet been identified. Luckily, the victim, her child and her father all survived.
- On January 23, 2022, a driver ran a red light at Northeast Highway 99 and 99th Circle and T-boned the driver’s side of another vehicle. Sadly, the victim died from his injuries. The at-fault driver took off on foot and has not been identified. The vehicle he was driving had been reported stolen out of Washington County, Oregon.
- On January 24, 2022, a driver was seen driving erratically around Cascade Park and the Fred Meyer parking lot, where he caused a chain of destructive hit-and-run accidents that endangered pedestrians and caused property damage. The suspect was identified as Rodney Jarvela and apprehended two days later, where he was charged with driving under the influence, second-degree assault, reckless driving, and hit-and-run.
Hit-and-runs can involve not only motorists but vulnerable bicyclists and pedestrians, as well. They can cause serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. They are often fatal due to the serious nature of the injuries inflicted as well as delays in the victim receiving necessary medical treatment.
What to Do After a Hit-and-Run
If you get involved in a hit-and-run accident in Vancouver, do your best to stay calm and take the steps that are necessary to report the wreck and get the help that you need. Remembering the correct steps can help you build a stronger injury claim. They include:
- Put safety first. Pull to the side of the road or move your disabled vehicle (or bicycle) out of the flow of traffic, if you can. Check yourself and others involved in the crash for injuries.
- Call 911 immediately. Always report a hit-and-run car accident to law enforcement in Vancouver. A police report can help you with an insurance claim, and the police can investigate to try to identify the perpetrator.
- Gather evidence. Take photographs while you are still at the scene of the crash. Be sure to capture anything that may point to the perpetrator, such as pieces of a vehicle left behind. Get eyewitness information, as well.
Collecting evidence and notifying the police are crucial to ultimately catch the perpetrator. Unfortunately, the rate of hit-and-run accident cases solved is low in Washington. These cases can be difficult or impossible to solve due to a lack of information about the perpetrator. This may leave you with no choice but to recover financial compensation from your own insurance company. A car accident attorney can help you determine your options after a hit-and-run, so contact our firm today.