Hit and Run Accidents

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- Eduardo G.

Austin Hit & Run Accident Attorney

Recovering Compensation for Victims of Hit and Run Accidents

The only thing worse than getting injured in a car accident is when the driver that hit you takes off. Without the driver, you may be wondering how your expenses will be paid and whether you’ll have to cover the costs of medical bills yourself. Fortunately, you have options, and our Austin hit and run accident lawyer is available to help you take advantage of them so you don’t have to worry about paying out of pocket. At Chris Morrow Law, PLLC, our lawyer’s priority is helping clients recover completely. Attorney Chris Morrow accomplishes this goal by thoroughly investigating accidents, connecting injured clients to trusted medical professionals, and putting his litigation skills to work. He can also protect you from insurance companies that may be tempted to offer you less than what you deserve.

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Texas Hit & Run Laws

Like most other states, Texas law requires all drivers to stop if they’ve been involved in a car accident that results in injuries, fatalities, or property damage. When drivers fail to stop or provide their information, they can be charged with leaving the scene of an accident, an offense that can range from a misdemeanor or felony depending on the damages involved.

Some of the criminal charges and penalties for leaving the scene of an accident are as follows:

  • Third-degree felony: When drivers leave the scene of a crash that results in serious injury or death, they can be punished by two to 10 years in state prison. Less serious injuries are felonies that can be punished by up to a year in county jail, five years in state prison, and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
  • Class C misdemeanor: Drivers can face fines up to $500 if the hit and run involved damaged to a vehicle totaling less than $200.
  • Class B misdemeanor: If damage to a vehicle is more than $200, at-fault drivers can face up to six months in county jail.

Drivers can also face these charges if they hit a parked car and fled without leaving behind their contact information. Unfortunately, the reality of hit and run accidents is that many drivers who flee the scene are never caught by police.

There are a few reasons why a driver may feel tempted to flee the scene of an accident, one of them being that the driver is fearful of being arrested. The driver may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident and fear getting a DUI, or they may have an active warrant out for their arrest already and are evading the authorities. Some drivers flee the scene because they don’t have a valid driver’s license or lack insurance coverage.

What to Do After a Hit & Run

If you’ve been injured in a hit and run accident and the driver fled, you may be able to help the authorities catch the driver by taking down important information.

If the driver in your accident leaves the scene, follow these steps:

  • Call 911: Law enforcement will respond to your accident and file a crash report that you can access as evidence later, and they also may immediately search the area for the driver.
  • Take photos and jot down information: If possible, try to use your phone to take photos of the other car, property damage, and your injuries. Try to remember details about the other car and driver, such as the color of the car, license plate number, what the driver was wearing, and any identifying details like dents in the car, bumper stickers, or facial features.
  • Get witness information: If you didn’t see the driver, it’s possible others did. Make sure to get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses who can provide valuable information that can help identify or locate the driver.
  • Get medical attention: It’s important for your case and your health that you seek medical attention for your injuries, even if you don’t think you were harmed. Documentation of your injuries is important when you’re filing your hit and run accident claim.
  • Call an attorney: Our hit and run lawyer in Austin can walk you through the steps of notifying your insurance company, investigate your accident with our resources, and get you the treatment you deserve after a harrowing experience.

What to Do After a Hit & Run

How Do I File a Case Against a Hit and Run Driver?

Texas law requires auto insurance companies to offer customers uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, so unless you actively rejected it, chances are you have this type of coverage. Individuals involved in hit and run accidents can file claims with their insurance companies to cover damages like medical bills, lost income, disability, and pain and suffering up to their policy limits.

Do Insurance Companies Cover Hit and Runs?

It’s important to know that not all insurance companies will honor their customers’ policies. Having an attorney on your side who can determine whether your policy will cover your damages and protect your rights from predatory insurance adjusters is necessary if you want a full recovery.

How Long Do You Have to Report a Hit and Run in Texas?

Texas law allows you to file a police report up to 2 years after the hit and run accident occurs. However, there are downsides to waiting this long to file a claim:
  • You won’t be able to file a claim with your insurance company
  • Valuable evidence can be lost if you don’t act quickly

Let Chris Morrow Help You!

At Chris Morrow Law, we work for you and we won’t stop until you get the compensation you deserve.

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