At least one person was injured recently in Spokane County when a motor vehicle and semi-truck crashed while both were traveling in opposite directions on SR 195 six miles south of Spangle. Washington State Patrol reported that the semi-truck rolled over and trapped the driver in the crash. The crash was investigated as a vehicular assault.
Vehicular assault is viewed as one of the most serious criminal traffic offenses in the state of Washington. This article reviews a few important details about this offense that you should understand.
What Constitutes Vehicular Assault?
In Washington state, vehicular assault involves hurting another individual while either driving under the influence or driving recklessly. A person is found guilty of vehicular assault if that person drives or operates a motor vehicle:
- Recklessly and causes another person to encounter substantial bodily harm. Driving “recklessly” means operating a vehicle in a rash manner and being indifferent to the consequences.
- While under the influence of alcohol or drugs and causes another person substantial bodily harm. “Substantial body harm” involves a temporary but substantial disfigurement or impairment.
- With disregard for others' safety and causes substantial bodily harm to another person. “Disregard” means an aggravated type of either carelessness or negligence that is more serious than ordinary negligence.
If You Were the Victim of Vehicular Assault
Vehicular assault in Washington state is categorized as a class B felony, which can lead to a person facing a prison sentence, stringent probation conditions, and even a driver's license suspension. Beyond the criminal case, however, the at-fault party can be held liable for the victim's damages after the accident. A person injured by vehicular assault can pursue compensation for their losses - including medical bills, lost wages, future lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, and much more.
How Many Vehicular Assault Cases Occur
In Washington state, a large number of vehicular assault cases occur due to motorists who drive while under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. Washington state treats driving under the influence charges differently from vehicular assault, however. If you or a loved one is in an accident and law enforcement believes that you are under the influence of either alcohol or drugs, the police can take you to the hospital and draw your blood regardless of whether or not you consent to the testing. Motorists who are charged with driving under the influence, but not vehicular assault, have the right to refuse such testing.
Obtain the Assistance of an Experienced Accident Attorney
Whether you have been charged with vehicular assault or you have been injured in an incident involving vehicular assault, you need the assistance of a skilled Spokane attorney. Contact West Law Office right away for guidance you can trust.