By PIeRCE | SKRABANEK
PUBLISHED ON:
April 4, 2023
UPDATED ON:
April 5, 2023

What To Do After a Hit and Run in Texas

Texas ranks high in the nation for hit and run accidents. Find out what to do — and what not to do — in the immediate aftermath of a hit and run collision. Learn about your compensation options even if the offending driver is never found.

Unfortunately, hit and run accidents are all too common in Texas. These crashes can leave survivors feeling unsupported, helpless, and unsure of what to do next. In this blog post, we will discuss Texas hit and run laws and what you can do to best protect yourself and secure compensation after a hit and run accident. 

As a Texas-based personal injury law firm, we at Pierce Skrabanek have seen firsthand the devastating impact that hit and run accidents can have on those injured and their families. That's why it's essential to understand your rights and legal options in these situations. 

For direct legal advice and a free case evaluation, call our Houston offices at (832) 690-7000 or reach out to us online to schedule an appointment. For more information on what to do after a hit and run accident, including how you can access funds to cover the cost of your injuries and losses, read on.

What Are the 3 Things You Should Do After a Hit and Run in Texas?

Here are the three most important things to do after a hit and run car accident:

  1. Stay put and call the appropriate authorities: If you are injured, the first call should be to 911 for emergency services — medics and police. If your injuries are minor, call for law enforcement to report and document the crash. If you are able, take your own pictures and notes of the incident while you are there to keep an accurate record.
  2. Seek professional medical evaluation: For emergency injuries like broken bones, head trauma, or burns, this is an obvious necessity. However, for seemingly minor injuries or if you feel largely unhurt, it is still important to get checked out. Medics or doctors can catch signs of “invisible” injuries like brain trauma or internal bleeding that could worsen to life-threatening levels if not treated right away.
  3. Call an experienced hit and run accident attorney: The driver who hit you should be held responsible for the damage they’ve caused. A lawyer can help locate important evidence to ID this person (such as nearby security cameras or witnesses). A lawyer can also negotiate with your car insurance company if the person who hit you is never found.

After a hit and run, do not leave the scene of the accident in an attempt to chase down the other driver. They may be intoxicated, dangerously distracted, or armed and wanted by police — whatever reason they have for breaking the law by fleeing an accident could make them desperate and a threat to you at that moment.

In most cases, the driver who caused the accident is legally responsible for car crash-related losses. If they are found, your lawyer can help you hold them accountable for compensation in court. If they are not identified, your insurance plan may assist in paying for repairs and injuries. 

Key takeaway: If you’ve suffered due to the actions of a hit and run driver, you may be able to file an insurance claim to help you cover the cost of medical expenses, lost wages, car repairs, and other accident-related losses. Contact an attorney with insurance claim litigation  experience at (832) 690-7000 to assist you.

Texas Hit and Run Laws: Do They Protect You?

The short answer: so long as you stay at the scene of a significant crash until medics or police arrive, you are doing the right thing under Texas law.

Texas hit and run laws require that anyone involved in an accident (regardless of who is at fault) that results in property damage or injury must not leave the scene without performing certain actions. The required actions are: 

  • Rendering aid to any injured person, including calling an ambulance if necessary
  • Exchanging driver's license and insurance information if asked
  • Waiting for the arrival of a police officer if one has been called to the scene

Leaving the scene of an accident before performing the required actions can result in a felony. If the other driver flees the scene, they could be committing a crime. It is not your responsibility to chase them down or detain them, and doing so could endanger your life or well-being. 

The law protects you if you follow it. After a crash, you should stay at the scene, call emergency services, and contact a hit and run lawyer for further legal advice.

Hit and Run Texas Laws: Consequences

The consequences for unlawfully leaving the scene of an auto accident in Texas are covered in the Texas Transportation Code (Chapter 550). The possible criminal charges and consequences could include:

  • Third-degree felony for leaving the scene of an accident involving death or serious injury. This act is punishable by 2-10 years in state prison. For a crash with less serious injuries, it is a felony punishable by up to 1 year in a county jail or as many as 5 years in state prison, plus a fine of up to $5,000.
  • Class B misdemeanor for collisions that involve property damage above $200. This is punishable by up to 6 months in jail.
  • Class C misdemeanor for crashes that involve vehicle damage less than $200. The punishment for this is a fine of up to $500.

Additionally, if the person who fled the scene is identified, you have the option to sue them civilly for your losses, including your medical bills, any lost wages due to missed work, and the pain and suffering they’ve caused to you and your family. 

If you were harmed by a hit and run driver, contact the experienced car accident lawyers at Pierce Skrabanek by calling (832) 690-7000. We can handle negotiations with your own insurance company to secure the full coverage you’re entitled to, and also pursue a lawsuit against the perpetrator of this crash if the driver is found.

Hit and Run Laws in Texas: Statistics

Here are facts regarding the frequency of hit and run accidents in Texas according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT):

  • In recent years, Texas ranks as having the eighth-highest rate of hit and run crashes in the nation.
  • There were 3,896 people killed in car crashes in Texas in one recent year, a 7.54% increase from the previous year.
  • In that same time period, the fatality rate on Texas roads increased a shocking 18.94%.
  • Over 530 of those deaths were the result of head-on collisions, and 865 people were killed at or near intersections.
  • After fatalities, over 200,000 people were injured in Texas traffic crashes during the year, with over 14,000 of them suffering catastrophic injuries.

These crashes happen in every major city in Texas, including Austin, San Antonio, Beaumont, and Houston. Pierce Skrabanek is located in Houston, which is also home to I-45, the most dangerous road in the country.

Contact Texas Hit and Run Attorneys

In the moment, it can be difficult to know what to do after a car accident. In cases of hit and run, your safest option is to stay put and call for medical or law enforcement help as needed. This is also the legally correct action to take after a hit and run, and will serve your best interests later in seeking insurance compensation or potentially suing the driver who hit you (if they can be identified).

For specific, actionable advice after a hit and run accident, contact the Texas car accident lawyer at Pierce Skrabanek by calling (832) 690-7000 right away. We can help ensure your rights are protected, important evidence is collected, and possibly begin investigating your crash immediately.

We have secured multi-million dollar case results for car accident survivors and their families, including $117 million for an auto accident involving a severely injured young mother. We are here in Texas to help you and your family with a proven history of substantial results.

Pierce Skrabanek Proudly Represents Texas Hit and Run Victims

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