It is illegal to flee the scene of an accident. In the state of Texas, potential penalties for committing a hit and run vary depending on the extent of the damage, and doing so can be either a misdemeanor or a felony pursuant to Transportation Code Chapter 550.
Because the penalties for committing a hit and run are more severe than those for driving without insurance, most people stick around and cooperate with the police, but sadly, there will always be motorists who do not. As if sustaining serious injuries in a collision is not devastating enough, the thought that you will not be able to secure compensation from the liable party because they fled only adds to the stress.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take immediately following a hit and run accident to help police find the at-fault motorist and preserve your right to sue. These include remaining at the scene, documenting everything you can remember, and calling an accident attorney to start building your case.
If you were hurt in a hit and run accident and you are not sure how to proceed, contact the Robson Law Firm. We have recovered more than $26 million for our clients, and we can use our experience to investigate your accident, gather evidence, and structure your claim. Call 512-345-8200 to schedule a free case evaluation with an injury lawyer in Austin.
Read on to learn what you should do immediately following a hit and run collision:
- Remain at the Scene
You may be tempted to follow the hit and run driver, but doing so will only jeopardize your case. Instead, pull over to a safe place near the scene and call the police immediately.
- Gather Evidence
While you wait for the police to arrive, get out and take photos of the scene. Make sure you capture the weather and road conditions, as well as any traffic signals in the near vicinity.
You should also write down everything you can remember about the collision as soon as possible. If you do not have a pen and paper in your vehicle, create a digital note on your smartphone. Even if you were not able to get the motorist’s license plate number, the police will be able to work with any other details that you can remember about the culprit, including the make, model, and color of the vehicle.
- Approach Any Witnesses
Although you may not remember much about the accident, others who witnessed it might. Look around for any other motorists, pedestrians, or shopkeepers who might have witnessed the collision. Ask them to write down everything they remember about the incident, and get their contact information in case you need to follow up with them.
- Call an Accident Attorney
Once your health has stabilized after the collision, call an injury lawyer. Your attorney will be able to assess the information that you gathered at the scene and help you determine the best way to proceed.
- Contact Your Insurance Company
Although you do not know who was responsible for the collision, your attorney will likely advise you to call your insurance company to review your policy. Depending on your current coverage, you may be able to recover compensation even if police never find the liable motorist.
If you were injured in a hit and run collision, contact the Robson Law Firm for quality legal counsel. We can help you structure your claim and quantify the damages you incurred to ensure you pursue the compensation you deserve.
Call 512-345-8200 to schedule a free consultation with an accident attorney in Austin. You can learn more about car accident claims in Texas by visiting the USAttorneys website.