Serious automobile accidents are on the rise in the United States. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that highway fatalities hit a 13-year high in 2020, despite a drop in driving due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With that in mind, it is normal to be concerned that someone you know might have been involved in a crash. This raises an important question: How can you find out if someone was in a traffic collision in Washington? Here, our Spokane auto accident lawyers highlight three options that you can use to find out if someone you know was involved in a serious car crash.
Three Options to Find Out if Someone Was Involved in a Car Accident
- State or Local Law Enforcement
As a starting point, you can reach out to the state or local law enforcement agency that patrols that area you are concerned about. If an accident occurred and a report was entered into the system, the police may be able to give you some basic information. It is helpful to have the name and (if possible) vehicle information available for the person you want to check on. You may be able to get information from the:
- Spokane Police Department;
- Spokane County Sheriff Office; or
- Washington State Patrol.
Unfortunately, law enforcement agencies do not always have the most up-to-date information. In some cases, it can take a little bit of time for crash reports to be entered into their system. You can also reach out to a local hospital or health provider if you are worried. Under federal law (HIPAA), medical providers are restricted from disclosing much in the way of information. That being said, in general, a hospital can tell you whether or not someone is a patient at the facility.
Finally, if you are worried that someone you care about may have been involved in a serious car accident, do not neglect to reach out to your family members and other personal contacts. It is not uncommon for information to be shared slowly across a person’s wider social network. For example, someone involved in a crash may initially make contact with a single family member while they seek medical attention. The person may not immediately share the details of the crash with everyone they know. Your family and friends may know more than law enforcement or hospitals.
Get Help From a Auto Accident Lawyer in Spokane, WA
At Albrecht Law PLLC, our Washington car accident attorneys are devoted to helping people recover the full financial support that they are rightfully entitled to under the law. If you or someone you know was hurt in a crash, we are available to help. Contact us today for your free, no obligation initial case evaluation. With an office in Spokane, we represent injured motor vehicle accident victims in Spokane County and throughout all of Eastern Washington.