Car accidents are unsavory on the best of days and a real headache on the worst of days. Unfortunately, car accidents happen all too frequently and at that rate, pretty much anybody is likely to get involved in one. According to the Washington State Department of Transportation, there were 115,930 crashes in the state in 2018. A car accident happens once every 4 minutes in the state, leading to the death of at least one person every 20 hours. The sad truth about the data is pretty simple. Accidents happen often and they can happen to anybody. When they do happen, no matter how serious they are, they will most likely bring some level of damage and plenty discomfort. If you have been involved in a car accident, you should know that the law grants you several rights in the event. It also imposes certain obligations on you though. If the other driver was at fault, you may be entitled to claim compensation for any damage done to you.
At Oshan and Associates, we have helped countless clients with cases just like yours obtain the compensation they deserve. Our experience and track record in the area has seen us emerge as a leading coast to coast Seattle to New York personal injury firm. Drawing on our experience, we have created this article to guide you on how to react after a car accident. In this article, you will learn what your rights are in a car accident and how you can assert them. You will also learn what the law requires you to do after a car accident and when your duty is fulfilled.
Although all accidents are important events that should not be taken lightly, some will involve less serious damage than others. For instance, when you only have a torn bumper or a dent on your car. The most important measure is whether the accident is minor and can be measured by the amount of the damage involved. According to the Seattle Police Department, a minor accident is one that involves damage of a value less than $1,000. In the event of such an accident, here’s what you need to do:
If the accident involves injury that causes bleeding, broken bones or fractures, it is considered serious. In serious accidents, your obligations are slightly different. Here’s what you need to do:
Although you may be flustered in the event of a car accident, especially if you think it was your fault, do not leave the scene. If you do, you may be prosecuted for a hit and run misdemeanor or felony. Under Washington and New York state law leaving the scene of a car accident is a crime punishable by jail time and fines. It does not matter whether you caused the accident or not. The law requires that you:
Even if the other vehicle was parked or if the driver is nowhere to be found, you must still provide your details. You are legally bound to write down your details on a note and place it somewhere that the driver would be likely to find it.
Leaving the scene of a car accident before complying with the law may bring some unpleasant consequences. Depending on whether the accident involved just property damage or included injury, it could be a misdemeanor or felony. If you leave the scene of a car accident that involved property damage, you could be prosecuted for a misdemeanor hit and run offence. This could attract up to 90 days in jail and fine of $1,000. For leaving the scene of a car accident that involves injury to another person, you could be prosecuted for a felony hit and run. This is punishable with 5 years’ jail time and a fine of up to $10,000. If the accident results in death to any person and you flee the scene, the penalty is much stiffer. The offense attracts up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $20,000. All of this is apart from the civil liabilities for the offense.
If you have been involved in a Seattle or New York car accident, you stand the best chance of a favorable outcome with the best personal injury firm. Our lawyers at Oshan and Associates are skilled at personal injury law and have the experience to provide thorough representation for you. Take the advantage of our free no-obligation consultation to start a conversation with us today. Call us on 206-335-3880 to book your consultation.