What Happens in Washington State if You Flee a Hit-and-Run Accident?
Here's What Could Happen If You Run Away From An Accident In Washington State
If you're involved in a hit-and-run accident in Washington State, the consequences can be significant.
Depending on the severity of the accident, you could be facing anything from a misdemeanor to a felony charge—and that's not even taking into account any potential civil liabilities you may incur.
Over the weekend, a friend of mine's truck got hit in Richland, and the driver ran away. Richland Police are still looking for the driver and it got me thinking, there have to be consequences for a hit-and-run driver beyond a ticket.
Here are some possible consequences of a hit-and-run so you know what to expect if you're ever in this unfortunate situation.
Misdemeanor Hit and Run Charges in Washington State
If you leave the scene of an accident where only property damage occurred, you can be charged with a misdemeanor. The consequences of a conviction can include up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. You may also have your driver's license suspended for up to a year.
Felony Hit and Run Charges in Washington State For A Hit-And-Run Accident
If someone was injured or killed as a result of the accident, the charges will be more severe. You can be charged with a felony, which is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine. Your driver's license will also be suspended for up to 2 years.
In addition to any criminal penalties you may face, if you're found liable for a hit-and-run accident, you may also be subject to civil liabilities. This means that the victim(s) of the accident could sue you for damages, including pain and suffering, lost wages, medical expenses, and more.
What Are The Consequences Of Running Away From An Accident In Washington?
As you can see, the consequences of a hit and run can be significant—both criminally and civilly.
If you're involved in an accident, make sure to stop at the scene and exchange information with the other driver so you don't end up facing these harsh penalties.
You can check all the laws pertaining to hit-and-run accidents here.