Auto Accident Attorneys in Centralia, WA Can Help Victims and Hit-and-Run Drivers

by | Feb 4, 2016 | Accident Attorneys

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For a person hurt in a hit-and-run accident or for someone who’s lost a family member, it’s clear that the nature of the event can be devastating. For one who causes an accident and leaves the scene in a panic, even if they hire auto accident attorneys in Centralia, WA consequences can be long-lasting and severe. The definition of a hit-and-run varies by jurisdiction, as do the consequences.

The Nature of Hit-and-Run Accidents

Hit-and-run crashes can cause death and serious injury, but they can also cause property damage if no one else is involved. For instance, a driver who runs over a road sign hits a tree or ruins a homeowner’s sprinkler system can be guilty if they leave the scene. However, an injury is a frequent result and it’s also the cause of panic for the fleeing driver.

A Driver’s Duties After an Accident

While traffic law varies by jurisdiction, in all places, drivers must stop after an accident. Drivers should exchange information with others affected by the crash; if property owners aren’t available, they should be identified and notified as soon as possible. Local law enforcement should be contacted and the accident should be reported. In some areas, failure to report the accident is a separate offense. If someone is injured, they should receive medical attention immediately.

Consequences of a Hit-and-Run

These accidents may lead to criminal liability on the part of a fleeing driver. Punishment may include incarceration, license suspension or revocation and hefty fines. If there is substantial property damage or if the crash results in death or serious injury, the incident can be a felony with a punishment of up to a year’s incarceration. Where minimal damage occurs, the offense is classed as a misdemeanor punishable by a jail term of less than one year. Drivers can also face civil liabilities and they can be forced to pay the victim’s compensatory, consequential and punitive damages.

If one is victimized by a hit-and-run driver, they should first call local police and then they should call Putnam Lieb Potvin Attorneys. If a person causes a hit-and-run accident, they should also hire a lawyer. Even if charges haven’t been pressed, auto accident attorneys in Centralia, WA can advise drivers of their legal duties and they can tell the client how to protect their assets and their interests.