Civil Justice Warriors

Dallas Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney

While getting involved in any type of car accident in Texas can be overwhelming, being a victim of a hit-and-run is especially disconcerting. Without the other driver staying at the scene and providing information, you may not know how to seek financial compensation. If you suffered serious injuries in a hit-and-run, you may need a car accident lawyer to help you recover.

What Are Texas’s Hit-and-Run Laws?

A hit-and-run car accident describes a motor vehicle collision in which one or both drivers leave the scene without stopping to render assistance and exchange information, as required by law. A hit-and-run is a crime in Texas.

According to Texas Transportation Code Section 550.021, a driver has the following responsibilities after a car accident:

  • Immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close as is practicable.
  • Return to the scene without delay if the vehicle was not stopped immediately at the scene.
  • Determine if anyone involved in the collision requires aid.
  • Provide anyone injured in the collision reasonable assistance, such as transportation to a hospital.
  • Remain at the scene of the accident until the required information has been exchanged.

Failing to stop and comply with these requirements is an offense in Texas that can be classified as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the severity of the crash and the harm caused.

How Common Are Hit-and-Run Accidents in Texas?

According to a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, in the most recent year data is available, Texas had the second-highest number of hit-and-run car accidents in the country behind only California. Texas reported 233 hit-and-runs in 2016, an increase from 179 the year before. By comparison, California reported 337 hit-and-run accidents in 2016.

Who Pays for a Hit-and-Run in Texas?

When a driver in Texas flees the scene of a car accident, it is often an attempt to avoid accountability for causing the crash – especially if the driver was breaking a law at the time, such as driving under the influence. Texas is a fault-based car insurance state, which means the at-fault party is held responsible (liable) for paying for a motor vehicle collision.

If one of the drivers involved in a car accident does not stop at the scene and provide his or her information, the other driver may not have the option of filing a third-party insurance claim. The only option may be a first-party claim, or a claim filed with the driver’s own car insurance provider.

After a hit-and-run accident, contact your own car insurance company to ask if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance. If so, this type of insurance will pay for your accident as if the hit-and-run driver had remained at the scene but did not have insurance. If you have collision or comprehensive car insurance, this could also help cover your losses.

What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Car Accident

If you get injured in a hit-and-run crash in Texas, you may need to hire a car accident attorney to help you collect fair financial compensation to reimburse you for your medical bills and property damage. Your Dallas car accident attorney can take over negotiations with your car insurance company to achieve a fair settlement.

A Dallas personal injury lawyer can also help you explore other legal options, which may include filing a claim against a third party. If there is evidence that an auto part defect contributed to your crash or injury, for example, the product manufacturer may be held liable. Speak to an attorney as soon as possible after your hit-and-run accident for advice and assistance.