I Was Involved in a Hit and Run. Do I Still Have a Case?
Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatizing experience, but hopefully, whatever damage comes from it, you’re able to be compensated by the at-fault driver. But what about a hit-and-run accident? If you’ve been injured but the other driver left the scene, you may be asking, “Can I file an accident claim after a hit and run?”
There are options for you if you’ve been in this kind of car accident, and meeting with a personal injury attorney can help you better understand your choices and how to get the compensation you deserve.
Call me, Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law, for help in Houston, Webster, South Houston, and Pasadena, Texas. I can also represent clients in Clear Lake, Friendswood, League City, Alvin, Dickinson, Bacliff, Kemah, Seabrook, and Santa Fe.
Texas Is a Fault Insurance State
The first legal concept to understand is that Texas is an at-fault state when it comes to insurance claims. This means that the driver who caused the accident is also responsible for paying damages. In a typical scenario, this means you would file a claim on the other driver’s insurance policy and contact the police, but in a hit and run, you won’t be able to do this. Instead, you may have to file a claim against your own insurance.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Provision
Texas requires drivers to carry liability coverage of $30,000 per injured person, $60,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage. The law does not require you to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist protection, though this would help you out in a situation like this. Another optional insurance add-on is collision coverage, which can also pay out in a hit-and-run accident.
Steps to Take if You Were in a Hit and Run
Knowing what to do after a hit and run is crucial to ensuring you stay safe and you’re able to pursue compensation when the time comes:
Stay safe: Never try to pursue the person who is fleeing the scene and instead focus on getting to safety.
Gather information: Take note of as many details as possible, such as the car make, model, and color, and any identifying marks on the car like bumper stickers or dents. Any details you can provide to the police may help them find the driver.
Talk to witnesses: In many hit and runs, there will be witnesses who saw the crash happen and may be able to identify the at-fault driver. Get their name and contact information.
Call the police: The police will investigate the scene of the accident and file a report that can later help you with your claim.
Contact your insurance provider: You will then have to report the crash to your insurance so you can begin to receive compensation for property damage or injuries.
Hire an attorney: Especially in cases of a hit and run, an experienced car accident attorney can be an indispensable resource. They can help you through the claims process and help you file a lawsuit if necessary. If the other driver is located, they can be held liable for the accident as well as be charged with certain crimes. This could include felony charges if someone was seriously injured or killed, or misdemeanors if there was only property damage. In any case, your attorney can walk you through your options so you can seek help.
Uncover What You Are Entitled To
If you live in or around the Houston, Texas, area, including Webster, South Houston, or Pasadena, and have recently been involved in a hit-and-run accident, reach out to me, Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law, for help.