When you cause a car accident, the law says you must remain at the accident scene. Otherwise, you could be charged with hit and run, which comes with serious penalties depending on the extent of the damage involved. It could be charged as a misdemeanor or felony.

A Washington man is facing hit and run charges for his involvement in a crash that critically injured a stranded motorist. The accident happened on November 5 on Interstate 5 near Shoreline. The motorist, a  43-year-old man, was on the shoulder of I-5 standing by his disabled car when he was hit by a Honda Element. The driver of the Element did not stop at the scene.

Police found the registered owner, a 45-year-old man. He was arrested two days after the crash and booked into King County Jail. He faces felony hit and run charges. The motorist was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he is in stable condition.

Washington Hit and Run Laws

Under RCW 46.52.020, a person involved in a car accident that results in vehicle damage or injury or death to a person must remain at the accident scene until he or she has given the others involved his or her name, address, license plate information and insurance information. A person must also render medical aid to injured people, if needed.

Those who leave the accident scene without meeting the above requirements can face criminal charges. Leaving an accident scene that causes vehicle damage is considered a gross misdemeanor. The penalty is up to 364 days in jail and a fine of $5,000.

A hit and run accident resulting in personal injury is classified as a Class C felony. The penalty is up to five years in prison and $10,000 in fines. A person can be charged with a Class B felony for causing an accident that results in death. The penalty is up to 10 years in prison and $20,000 in fines.

Get Help for Your Criminal Case

A hit and run accident can be serious for all involved. The victim may suffer critical injuries, while the driver who caused the accident can face felony criminal charges.

Nobody wants to face prison time. Fortunately,  the criminal defense lawyers at the Nahajski Firm can defend your case. We have many years of experience helping those accused of hit and run accidents and other traffic offenses. To learn more about how we can help you, schedule a free consultation by contacting the Nahajski Firm at (206) 621-0500.