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What if I’m the victim of a hit-and-run accident?

On Behalf of | Nov 14, 2023 | Car Accidents

People have certain expectations after a motor vehicle collision occurs. One of the most basic is that the other party will stop. They need to report the matter to local authorities and to the relevant insurance companies. In some cases, there may even be a need for emergency response, such as when the vehicles catch fire or someone has obvious injuries.

Despite Texas laws requiring that people stop to check on one another and report collisions to the appropriate authorities, a small percentage of people drive off from the scene of a crash. They may know that they are at fault and want to avoid consequences. They may not have a driver’s license or active insurance. They may also be aware that they did something illegal, like driving while under the influence.

What steps should someone take after a hit-and-run crash in Texas?

Contact local authorities

Even if the other motorist does not stop as they should, the person left at the scene of the crash still has an obligation to report the collision to the local authorities. When someone takes the time to file a police report, they create an official record of the collision. They will also start an investigation. Police officers will have to try to locate the driver who caused the crash and then left the scene.

Bring in outside help

Unless a hit-and-run collision results in someone dying, police departments may not allocate very many resources to the investigation. An individual seeking justice will often need to repeatedly reach out to the police department handling the case, but they may struggle to do so in a calm and appropriate manner. Those impacted by the misconduct of others often retain attorneys to advocate for them when they must communicate with police departments and other relevant entities.

Review insurance options

Some people carry very robust insurance coverage that can help them after a hit-and-run crash. Uninsured motorist coverage is a perfect example. People who have added this extra coverage to their own policies maybe a little to make a claim to cover crash-related costs until they can locate the driver at fault for the crash.

When officers do locate the driver who caused the collision, it may be possible to file a claim against their insurance. If they do not have insurance or their policy offers insufficient coverage, then a lawsuit may be necessary. Those injured in a hit-and-run crash will often have the option of pursuing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court to recoup everything from property damage costs and hospital bills to their lost wages.

It can be very difficult to deal with the aftermath of a crash caused by someone who is irresponsible enough to flee the scene of the wreck. Knowing what steps to take and seeking legal guidance promptly can help someone reduce the lasting consequences they may otherwise have to absorb due to someone else’s misconduct.