Recovering From Injuries Sustained In Hit And Run Accidents
Imagine the situation where an accident occurs and the driver leaves the scene after causing harm to others. These injuries can be to people (such as pedestrians or occupants of another vehicle) or to property (such as parked cars). This situation is commonly known as a hit and run accident.
Leaving the scene of an accident constitutes a criminal act in Texas and in fact is a third-degree felony with significant consequences. But bringing a criminal charge against a hit and run driver, assuming he or she can be identified and found, doesn’t help the injured victim recover. So what can a victim of a hit and run accident do? It helps to understand what the law requires and why a driver might flee.
What Are A Driver’s Duties In Case Of An Accident And Why Might They Not Comply?
Under Texas law, a driver involved in an accident is required to stay at the scene and provide aid and failure to do so is a criminal act. TX Transp. Code Ch. 550.
There may be a wide variety of reasons a driver would flee from an accident including:
- Other illegal behavior such as if a driver is operating the motor vehicle with a suspended or otherwise invalid license.
- If the driver is operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- If the driver is wanted by the police for other criminal activity.
- If the driver does not have adequate insurance.
To be clear, none of these reasons justify leaving the scene of an accident nor are they an excuse for violating the law which is clear in Texas.
What Should A Victim Of A Hit and Run Accident Do?
To preserve your rights and maximize the chances of recovery, it is essential that a record be made of the accident. The police should be called and the accident reported, witnesses should be interviewed, and evidence collected that may in fact lead to identification of the responsible party. In addition, the insurance company should be notified as you may be able to make a claim under the uninsured or underinsured coverage of your policy.
There are complex legal and insurance questions that arise in the context of a hit and run accident. Victims of a hit and run can get a free case evaluation and gain the benefits of our 25 years of experience. Call our Dallas car accident attorneys today at (214) 231-0544 or Toll Free (800) 738-4046.