Hit and Run
Texas law states that you must remain at the scene if you’re involved in an accident. All drivers involved must exchange information as well as file a police report. However, some motorists choose to flee the scene of the accident instead, this is also called a hit and run.
Drivers leave the scene of an accident for a variety of reasons. They could have no insurance, be impaired or have an invalid license. Nonetheless, drivers who flee an accident may be considered negligent for not following Texas traffic rules. If you were involved in a hit and run recently, it’s important that you gain legal representation.
Lawyer for Hit and Runs in Conroe, Texas
Are you a victim of a hit and run? Do you have injuries that are affecting your daily life? If so, it’s imperative that you contact a skilled attorney. An attorney can evaluate your case to see if you’re eligible for compensation.
The attorneys at Evans & Powell, PLLC are passionate about representing wrongfully injured people. We want to help you recover through quality legal service. Contact us today at Evans & Powell, PLLC to schedule a free consultation for your case.
Evans & Powell, PLLC practices law throughout the greater Montgomery County area and surrounding communities including Cut and Shoot, Panorama, North Oakridge, Conroe and Houston.
Overview of Hit and Runs in Texas
- Hit and Run Statistics
- Why Would A Person Leave the Scene of an Accident?
- How Do I Get Compensated After a Hit and Run?
- Damages in a Hit and Run
- Criminal Penalties for a Hit and Run
- Additional Resources
Hit and Run Statistics
In 2015, the AAA Foundation released a report of data they collected of hit and runs across the United States. The organization found that two or more hit and run accidents happen somewhere in the U.S every minute. They also compared hit and run statistics from the last six years and noticed that hit and runs are on the rise.
The table below compares the statistics for hit and runs over the last six years.
|The Year||Hit and Run Crashes||Injuries from Hit and Runs||Fatalities from Hit and Runs|
Why Would A Person Leave the Scene of an Accident?
It isn’t always clear why someone flees the scene of an accident. One of the most common reasons is that the driver isn’t insured. Texas law requires motorists to have adequate insurance. This insurance must have a minimum coverage of:
- $30,000 for each injured person;
- $60,000 for each accident; and
- $25,000 for property damage.
Drivers without insurance have little to no ability to pay for your injuries. Additionally, people who are found driving uninsured could face massive fines. If a driver is uninsured, they are much more likely to leave the scene.
A driver may also flee the scene of the accident for the following reasons:
- They are on the run for another crime;
- Their license is suspended or invalid;
- The person isn’t a licensed driver;
- The person is impaired from drugs or alcohol; and
- The person knows the accident is their fault.
How Do I Get Compensated After a Hit and Run?
If you’re the victim of a hit and run, it’s likely you’re in a stressful situation. Getting the right compensation for your injuries is almost impossible without the other driver’s insurance. Your liability insurance may not be able to help you and instead leave you with growing bills.
It’s important that you call law enforcement immediately after a hit and run. The police can do an appropriate investigation of the hit and run. If they identify the person, then you are able to file a claim for your injuries. Your claim would be filed on the grounds of negligence.
Negligence means that the other driver breached their duty to follow traffic rules and stay aware of their surroundings. As a plaintiff, you must prove that the driver’s negligent actions caused your injuries and you suffered because of it. If you’re filing a claim against a negligent driver, you may want to hire an attorney. An attorney can draft your claim and advise you throughout the legal process. However, if you’re not able to find the driver then you can file a claim against your insurance company.
If you’re filing a claim against your insurance, it’s also highly recommended that you contact a personal injury attorney. Your insurance may not pay without a fight. They could possibly offer you mediocre settlement deals or deny your claim altogether. An attorney can negotiate with insurance adjusters and if it goes to court litigate for you. Having an attorney on your side can significantly raise your chances of winning the case.
Damages in a Hit and Run
Your settlement will be determined by something called damages. Damages are the losses you may have suffered because of the hit and run. Some damages are for easily calculable things like medical bills. Other damages are a little vaguer to determine such as pain and suffering.
Listed below are some common damages in a personal injury case.
- Medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- Reduced earning capacity;
- Rehabilitation expenses;
- Loss of enjoyment for life;
- Loss of consortium; and
- Pain and suffering.
Criminal Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident
It’s not just run to flee from an accident, it’s illegal. Texas law states a hit and run is a class C misdemeanor if the property damage is less than $200. The criminal penalty for a class C misdemeanor is $500. If the property damage is over $200, then the crime is a class B misdemeanor which is punishable by:
- Up to 180 days in jail; and
- A fine of up to $2,000.
If serious bodily injury or death occurs, then the penalties are enhanced to:
- Up to 5 years in prison; and
- A fine of up to $5,000.
Research for Hit and Run Crashes – Visit the official website for the American Automobile Association Foundation to access a research brief for hit and runs. Find more information about hit and runs, how they’re compared state-by-state, and the trend of rising hit and runs.
Just an Accident STOP Hit and Runs – Visit the official website for Just an Accident STOP Hit and Runs, a non-profit organization that aims to lessen the number of hit and run accidents. Learn hit and run statistics, events by the organization and how to get involved.
Attorney for Hit and Run in Montgomery County, Texas
If you were involved in a hit and run, it’s important that you seek trusted legal representation. A skilled attorney can assess you case to see if you’re eligible for a monetary settlement. Don’t suffer or let the other driver go without a fight. Call the attorneys at Evans & Powell, PLLC
Evans & Powell, PLLC has represented numerous people involved in hit and run accidents. We will work tirelessly for the best result for your case. Call us now at (713) 622 - 2000 to schedule a free consultation. Our attorneys accept clients throughout the greater Conroe area and surrounding cities including Houston, Cut and Shoot and Panorama.
This article was last updated on February 13th, 2019.