Hit-and-run incidents are immensely stressful for victims. As well as the standard difficulties that always come with road accidents, there’s the added confusion and frustration of having the at-fault party flee the scene and potentially leave you to foot all the bills by yourself.
If you decide to work with Crain Brogdon, LLP, you’ll have access to a hit-and-run lawyer in Dallas with years of experience and an in-depth knowledge of Texas traffic laws. We’ll ensure that your rights are protected and do our best to win you justice.
There are a few steps you can take to maximize your chances of recovering compensation after the at-fault party leaves the scene of your accident without sharing their details.
Remember, the minutes, hours, and days directly after a crash are frequently crucial in the context of pursuing justice and recovering compensation later on. If you can remember to stay calm and take the appropriate steps, you’ll make things much easier for yourself.
Texas law states that every party to a road accident that causes property damage or bodily injury must do certain things before leaving the place where the collision took place. The requirements are:
It’s important to note that these rules apply to all parties to a car accident, not just the individual who is apparently at fault. So, it’s not a valid defense for a hit-and-run driver to say they left the scene because they didn’t think they were responsible for what happened.
Texas is an at-fault state, which means the insurance company of the party responsible for causing an accident must cover all the compensation that arises from it. Of course, if the at-fault party happens to have been on the road without valid insurance, it will be very difficult to recover funds from them. Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage allows you to recover compensation from your own policy in a case like this, and this applies to unsolved hit-and-run cases as well.
You should note that uninsured motorist coverage is not a legal requirement in Texas, as it is in other states. However, many policies do include it. You can check the extent of your coverage by researching your policy document or speaking with your insurer.
While your hit-and-run attorney will investigate the evidence related to your case, the job of actually tracking down a hit-and-run driver must fall to the police. There are a number of sources Texas police can turn to for potentially useful evidence, including:
At Crain Brogdon, LLP, we focus on personal injury issues. That means we help our clients recover financial compensation from people or organizations who have caused them some form of harm; we don’t deal with criminal matters.
A hit-and-run is a criminal issue, and drivers who commit this type of offense deserve to have the criminal justice system assess their case; but this process takes place independently of any civil action you file against the driver who hit you.
The penalties for hit-and-run offenses are set out in Texas transportation codes. Generally, they are as follows:
There are certain aggravating factors that may make things worse for a defendant in this situation; for example, if they were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if they were speeding at the time of the crash. Hit-and-run drivers may also have their driver’s license revoked.
Are bicyclists and pedestrians covered by the same rules as drivers in relation to hit-and-run accidents?
Yes, Texas hit-and-run laws protect all road users. If a driver flees after hitting you while you were walking or cycling, they have committed a hit-and-run offense. You may even be eligible for compensation under your own auto insurance policy if you have uninsured motorist coverage.
What if the hit-and-run occurred in a parking lot and I wasn’t present?
Parking lot hit-and-runs are common. If your car was damaged by another vehicle while parked and the responsible party didn’t leave a note, the situation will be treated like any other hit-and-run. Document the damage, see if there are witnesses or surveillance cameras, and file a report with the police and your insurance provider.
How does a hit-and-run affect my insurance premium?
The impact of a hit-and-run on the victim’s insurance premium varies based on the insurance company and policy details. In many cases, if you’re not at fault, your rates may not increase. This is not always the case, though; unlike other states, Texas does not have a law preventing insurers from increasing the premiums of hit-and-run victims.
Hit-and-run incidents are always traumatic, and their legal implications can be complex. However, with the right legal guidance, you can navigate the aftermath with confidence.
At Crain Brogdon, LLP, your lawyer for hit-and-run accidents will be in your corner from the moment you come through our doors, providing the expertise and compassion you need. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation. You can reach us over the phone at (214) 522-9404 or via our online contact form.
Quentin Brogdon has over thirty years of experience and expertise in the field of personal injury trial law. He is board certified in both personal injury trial law and civil trial advocacy. Quentin has received an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating. This rating reflects an attorney’s ethics and abilities according to reviews from fellow attorneys. [ Attorney Bio ]