Hit and Run Accident Attorneys in Kemah, TX
Motorists involved in an accident are required by the Texas transportation code to stop and exchange details with other road users involved in or affected by an accident after one occurs. In case a motorist leaves without exchanging details, the incident is referred to as a hit and run accident.
Hit and run accidents often involve:
- Collisions between two moving cars
- A vehicle hitting a cyclist – bicycle accidents
- A road user hitting a pedestrian – pedestrian accidents
- Hitting a stationary vehicle or other building
Guidelines to Drivers in the Event of an Accident
Depending on the injuries that are sustained after the accident, a hit and run accident can be treated as a serious violation which may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or felony.
After an accident, the guidelines below apply.
- Each motorist needs to return to the accident scene if it leads to death or injury and exchange personal details. The drivers involved also need to produce legitimate driver’s licenses when requested to by law enforcement officials.
- In case a driver hits an unoccupied car, he or she is supposed to stop, look for the vehicle’s owner, and share contact details. If the vehicle’s owner is not easy to locate, the motorist needs to leave a note explaining what happened. The note should include contact details of the driver.
- In the event of an accident with highway landscaping fixtures, a driver is required to take reasonable action. This includes filing a police report if damages are likely to exceed $1,000.
Hit and Run Penalties
Any driver who leaves an accident scene prior to exchanging personal identification and insurance details can face harsh penalties. If convicted, below are the applicable punishments:
- Class C misdemeanors result in fines of up to $500
- Class B misdemeanors result in up to 6 months in jail
- For felony hit and run cases, the culprit, if found, is subjected to a fine that does not go beyond $500 or a jail term of up to 5 years
- Persons accused of 3rd-degree felonies can be punished by as much as 10 years of prison time
- If a hit and run accident does not lead to death and such an offender has not had a felony conviction before, he or she could face probation or community service
Why Drivers Fail to Stop After Accidents
Even though motorists recognize the tough penalties of not stopping after an accident, many drivers still do not stop after hitting other motorists and instead choose to flee the scene. Some reasons for this are:
- The driver is operating under a suspended license
- The driver has too many traffic citations or tickets
- The driver was intoxicated or driving under the influence
- The driver has an outstanding warrant for arrest
- The driver has no car insurance
- The driver could be an employee using a company car and does not want any trouble with their employer
- The driver does not have permission to drive the car in question, or the car is stolen
How is Evidence for a Hit and Run Accident Gathered?
After a hit and run accident, you are advised to gather as much information as you can about the at-fault driver and their vehicle. Avoid chasing after a hit and run driver as this could lead to further injuries or even threaten the safety of other road users. Additionally, if someone is bold enough to run away after an accident, he or she could harm you should you attempt to catch them. Simply try to note:
- The vehicle’s license number
- The color of the car
- Whether the vehicle is old, broken down, or new
- Any rust on the vehicle or other identifiable marks
- Distinctive vehicle stickers
What if the Hit and Run Driver Leaves the Scene Unnoticed/Unidentified?
Unfortunately, a significant number of hit and run drivers disappear unnoticed. In such cases, our lawyers still try to gather the information that could lead to capturing the driver by:
- Using traffic camera footage
- Using dashboard camera recordings of other vehicles
- Obtaining police speeding and DUI tickets
- Interviewing witnesses about accident-related details
If a hit and run driver is identified, you can seek compensation from their insurance cover.
In case the hit and run driver manages to evade the scene of the accident completely unidentified, you will then need to seek compensation from your uninsured motorist cover. This will be used to cover damages incurred in your accident, and our lawyers can help you through the negotiations you will have to undergo with your insurance company so that you get the most out of it. Your health insurance cover may also complement your personal injury protection cover.
Our Hit and Run Accident Attorneys Are Just a Call Away
The sooner you act, the more likely you are to capture the hit and run driver and get the compensation you deserve. Our lawyers are ready to help you throughout the process, all the way from the initial stages of filing a claim until it is settled. You’ll have to pay nothing until your case is won and, as a sign of our commitment, we are ready to get you started with a free, no-obligation case evaluation. Contact us today at 713-677-2179 to get started.
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