Pearland Hit & Run Lawyer
Responsible drivers understand that if they are involved in an accident–even a minor fender bender where nobody is apparently hurt–they are supposed to immediately stop and exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. You should never just speed away from the scene. Not only is this bad form, it is actually against the law.
Yet there are far too many accidents where a driver flees the scene, in many cases because they are afraid of being associated with the crash that just happened. Aside from potential criminal liability, the driver may face civil lawsuits from the injured accident victims. If you are one of those victims, an experienced Pearland hit & run accident lawyer can advise you on an appropriate course of action. Attorney Keith B. French can help you in attempting to locate the hit-and-run driver, and if necessary pursuing other possible avenues for legal compensation.
What You Need to Know Following a Hit & Run in Texas
Texas law states that the driver of any motor vehicle in an accident that results in injury, death, or property damage is required to give their name, vehicle registration number, and the name of their insurance company to the other parties at the accident scene. They must also provide “reasonable assistance” to anyone injured at the scene, such as calling 911 or taking them to the hospital personally. The accident must also be reported to the closest available police department.
If the driver simply flees the scene, they can be charged with a criminal offense comparable to a DWI in Texas. This means possible jail time and a fine. The accident victims may also pursue a separate personal injury claim to recover monetary damages for their medical bills, lost income, car repair costs, and other losses.
But what if the hit-and-run driver is never identified? In that situation, the victims’ own insurance company may be required to “step into” the unknown driver’s shoes and pay the victims directly. Texas requires all auto insurance companies to offer uninsured motorist (UM) coverage as part of their standard policies. You are not required to carry UM coverage, but if you do, it can insure you against damages in a hit-and-run accident.
Indeed, even if the hit-and-run driver is identified they may lack sufficient insurance to cover your losses. (Lack of insurance is often cited as a reason that drivers flee the scene of an accident.) But your own insurance company may still put up a fight over UM coverage, which is why it is always a good idea to work with a skilled hit-and-run accident lawyer who can deal with these issues on your behalf.
Contact Keith B. French Law Today
Anytime you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, you should contact local law enforcement and gather as much information about the driver as you can. You should also contact a Pearland hit & run attorney as soon as possible. If you need to speak with a lawyer right away, contact Keith B. French Law, PLLC, to schedule a free consultation.