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I Was Involved in a Hit and Run. Do I Still Have a Case?

The Haslam Firm Dec. 21, 2023

Consider this scenario: After a long and taxing day at work, you're on your way home, navigating the familiar route with care. Suddenly, the unexpected happens—your vehicle is struck by another. The shock and confusion quickly replace the calmness of your evening drive. Before you have the time to gather your bearings and comprehend what's just transpired, the other driver, speeds off into the distance, leaving you alone to face the fallout of the collision. We understand how traumatizing and disorienting such an experience can be, potentially leaving you with unanswered questions and a sense of injustice.  We have experienced this ourselves.

Dealing with such a situation may seem daunting, but you're not alone. We, at The Haslam Firm, are committed to standing by your side, and guiding you through the complexities of dealing with hit-and-run accidents in Texas. We aim to empower you with the necessary knowledge to understand your rights and the possible legal recourse available in such circumstances. Rest assured, even in situations where the at-fault party flees the scene, leaving you to deal with the aftermath, Texas law provides mechanisms for victims of hit-and-run accidents to seek and secure compensation for their losses. 

Texas Is a Fault Insurance State 

First, it's crucial to know that Texas operates under a fault insurance system. This means that whoever causes an accident is responsible for covering the damages and injuries that result from it. But what happens when the at-fault driver flees the scene? Identifying them can be a real challenge. However, Texas law provides options for victims of hit-and-run accidents to seek compensation for their losses. 

Requirements When an Accident Occurs in Texas 

In Texas, there are several requirements when an accident occurs. These include: 

  • stopping at the scene of the accident, 

  • exchanging information with other drivers involved, 

  • rendering aid to anyone who is injured if possible, and

  • reporting the accident to law enforcement if there are injuries, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000.  

In a hit-and-run scenario, the responsible driver doesn't fulfill these requirements, making it more challenging to gather the necessary information for filing a claim. 

Your Options for Filing a Claim After a Hit and Run 

Even if the at-fault driver can't be identified, you still have options. There are multiple avenues available for you to recoup your losses. Here are a few: 

  • Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage: This component of your insurance policy comes into play when the driver at fault either lacks insurance or cannot be located, as is often the case in hit-and-run collisions. By filing a claim under this provision, you can receive compensation from your own insurer for medical bills, lost income, and other incurred damages. 

  • Collision Coverage: Collision coverage is another part of your own auto insurance policy that could be utilized. It’s designed to cover the repairs to your vehicle following an accident, irrespective of who was at fault. 

  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): PIP is a coverage that pays for medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of who caused the accident. This can be a viable option if you have this coverage as part of your insurance policy. 

  • Lawsuit Against the At-Fault Driver: If the hit-and-run driver is eventually identified, you can file a lawsuit against them for your damages. However, this is contingent on being able to locate the offending party. 

In the face of a hit-and-run accident, remember that you are not powerless. From your own insurance coverage to potential legal action against the at-fault driver, there are various avenues you can pursue to reclaim your losses. While the experience can be distressing, remember that help is available.  

Steps to Take if You Were in a Hit-and-Run 

If you're involved in a hit-and-run accident, it's essential to take several steps: 

  1. Get to safety and do not attempt to chase the person who is fleeing the scene. Your safety is paramount. 

  1. Take note of as many details as possible - the car's make, model, and color, any unique or identifying marks on the car like bumper stickers or dents, the license plate number if possible, and the driver's appearance. 

  2. Use your cellphone and take video and photos of the scene and witness statements.

  3. Speak to any witnesses and collect their contact information. Their statements could be invaluable in identifying the at-fault driver. 

  1. Notify the authorities. Report the incident to the police as soon as possible. 

  1. Contact your insurance provider. Share the details of the accident and provide them with all the information you've gathered. 

  2. Hire an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can guide you through the legal process, help you navigate insurance claims, and advocate for your rights. 

Experiencing a hit-and-run can be stressful and disorienting. However, it's important to remember that you have options and resources to help you through it. By staying informed about your rights and the legal procedures to follow, you're better equipped to cope with the aftermath. 

Overcoming the Challenge of a Hit-and-Run Accident 

At The Haslam Firm, we have extensive experience handling hit-and-run accident cases. We understand the complexities involved and are committed to helping you seek the compensation the law allows. If you've been involved in a hit-and-run, don't hesitate to reach out to us. Remember, you're not alone in this. We're here to fight for your rights. Call us today to schedule a free consultation, and let us help you put this traumatic experience behind you, and move forward with your life. We can provide help on these occurrences across the country throug.