Hit and Run Accident Attorneys in Pearland, TX
The Texas Transportation Code requires motorists involved in a car accident to stop at the scene to exchange contact details and insurance information with other motorists involved in the accident. If a motorist leaves the crash scene intentionally without exchanging contact details, the accident is referred to as a hit and run accident.
Hit and run accidents may involve the collision of two moving vehicles, a vehicle striking a pedestrian or a cyclist, or even a vehicle hitting a stationary object such as a building or a parked car.
Driver Guidelines in the Event of an Accident
Based on damages or injuries inflicted, hit and run accidents are a serious violation that can be prosecuted either as a felony or as a misdemeanor. Every driver is required to respond in a certain way in the event of a vehicle accident that inflicts injuries or property damage on to others.
Upon an accident, the following guidelines apply:
- Every motorist should return to the accident scene that resulted in an injury or death to offer assistance and share personal details with other affected drivers. He or she should also produce a legitimate driver’s license when requested to. This applies to accidents involving occupied vehicles.
- In the event of a car accident with an unoccupied vehicle, the driver should stop, look for the vehicle’s owner, and then share contact details. In case the owner cannot be located, the motorist should leave a note that explains what happened. The note should include the responsible driver’s contact details.
- If a driver has an accident that damages highway landscaping fixtures, he/she should stop and take remedial action as appropriate. If damages exceed $1,000, the motorist should file a police report.
Why Don’t Drivers Stop After Car Accidents?
Despite the recognition of hefty penalties for not stopping after a car accident, some drivers still don’t stop. Here are some reasons why:
- The driver has too many tickets or traffic citations.
- The driver is using a suspended license.
- The motorist is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- The motorist lacks car insurance.
- There is an outstanding warrant of arrest on the driver.
- The driver might not have permission to drive the given car, or the vehicle is stolen.
- The motorist could be using a company car and does not want problems with their boss.
Penalties For Hit and Run Accidents
Leaving the scene of an accident before sharing relevant details with affected parties is an offense that can lead to extremely harsh penalties. The guilty party can be arrested and, if convicted of a hit and run accident, the following punishments may apply:
- Up to $500 in fines for a Class C misdemeanor.
- Up to 6 months in jail for a Class B misdemeanor.
- A fine not exceeding $5,000 or a jail term of up to 5 years for a felony hit and run.
- A 10-year prison sentence for a third-degree felony.
- A first hit and run conviction could result in community service or probation if no person was killed and if the offender has not had a felony conviction before.
What Should You Do After a Hit and Run Accident?
If you are a victim of a hit and run accident in Pearland, our auto accident lawyers recommend that you follow the steps below:
- Inform the police.
- Take notes about the nature of the accident – If in a position to do so, write down the plate number of the car, its model number, and the at-fault driver’s description.
- Gather witness evidence and share contact details with the witnesses.
- Notify your insurer – If you have an uninsured motorist protection policy, your insurer should compensate you for damages or injuries.
- Seek legal help – Talk to our Pearland, TX hit and run accident attorneys as soon as you can. Our lawyers will help file your claim immediately and protect you from low-ball settlements from your or other insurance providers.
The information you should try to gather after a hit and run accidents includes:
- The color of the car.
- Its license plate number.
- Whether the car was brand new or old and broken down.
- If the vehicle had visible rust.
- Any distinctive bumper stickers on the vehicle.
- If the car was speeding – If so, it may have been captured by traffic cameras.
- Whether stores close to the accident have video cameras.
What is Included in a Pearland Hit-and-Run Accident Claim?
In case the hit-and-run motorist is identified, you can claim damages that result from the accident. If you cannot identify the at-fault-driver by any means, you can seek compensation from your insurance company for losses incurred. These losses will be covered by the uninsured motorist protection part of your policy. Our auto accident lawyers will help you in both cases and see to it that you get the maximum compensation for your case. Below are some of the damages our lawyers will help you recover:
- Medical bills
- Property destruction
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Lost income – Current and future
- Punitive damages
Talk to a Pearland Hit and Run Accident Attorney Today
In every accident claim, time is of the essence. The sooner you have a lawyer on your side, the sooner your claim will be investigated and the closer you will be to having compensation awarded. Fill in your contact information and contact details here or call us at 713-677-2179 for a free and confidential consultation.
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