Hit and run accidents are considered particularly severe, as one of the drivers involved leaves the scene before authorities arrive. This act of evading responsibility is illegal in Texas and is viewed negatively by the courts.
However, hit and run victims still have the right to receive compensation for their injuries and damages, including the possibility of punitive damages. To help with this, there are professionals available, including lawyers specializing in car accidents, truck accidents, drunk driver accidents, pedestrian accidents, and motorcycle accidents.
Hit-and-Run Accidents in Texas
In Texas, hit-and-run accidents are treated differently from other types of accidents. A hit-and-run accident is considered a criminal offense under Texas law and can result in severe penalties for the driver who fled the scene. The driver may face criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident and failing to report the incident to law enforcement. Additionally, the victim of a hit-and-run accident may be entitled to seek compensation from the driver or their insurance company, although this can be more challenging without identifying the driver who fled the scene. It’s best to consult a car accident lawyer if you’re involved in a hit-and-run accident in Texas to understand your legal rights and options.
It’s important to keep in mind that innocent individuals may mistakenly be accused of a hit and run if they move their vehicle after an accident. To avoid this, it’s best to pull over as close to the accident scene as possible, but it’s acceptable to move your vehicle a short distance if staying at the scene would pose a danger to you or other drivers. Before moving your vehicle, make sure to inform the police and the other involved party, and stay within sight of the accident scene.
How Can I Recover Money if the Driver Fled?
Regardless of the circumstances, you have the same legal rights in the event of a hit and run. The best course of action is to remain at the accident scene and wait for the arrival of the police. If possible, try to obtain the license plate number of the vehicle that hit you. Once the hit and run has been reported, the police will make efforts to locate the vehicle involved. In many cases, the damaged vehicle is easily recognizable and found within a short period of time.
In other instances, the police will conduct a more extensive search, which often leads to successful results through various means such as:
- Obtaining information from witnesses who saw the license plate or details about the car’s color, make, and model.
- Tracing the license plate to the registered owner.
- Conducting a neighborhood search for cars that match the description.
- Making the information about the car public to encourage the community to report any sightings.
There have been instances where the hit and run driver has voluntarily surrendered themselves after some time has passed. In cases where the police are unable to locate the vehicle involved, an injury lawyer’s accident investigators may be able to assist.
It is possible to receive punitive damages in a hit and run case in Texas, but the exact circumstances and requirements for receiving such damages may vary from case to case. Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for their actions and to deter others from engaging in similar conduct. To receive punitive damages, the plaintiff must usually prove that the defendant acted with a high degree of fault, such as gross negligence or intentional misconduct. It is recommended to consult with a personal injury attorney in Texas to determine the specific requirements for receiving punitive damages in a hit and run case.