Can You Sue A Hit And Run Driver in Texas?
An accident involving a hit and run driver in the state of Texas can be a disorienting experience. You can’t always be prepared for the unexpected, but you might expect that the driver who caused the accident would stick around. This can make for an unpleasant experience, potentially involving damage to your vehicle and/or injuries to yourself and the people you’re with.
Texas law requires drivers to take certain actions following an accident. For one thing, both drivers must stay at the scene long enough to administer first aid to those who may need it. Conversely, if no one on the scene needs first aid, then the drivers are to provide their contact information to each other and to the police.
However, in some cases, the other driver may not care to stick around after the accident for fear of being criminally charged. This is most common if the other driver was driving under the influence or was otherwise impaired or distracted.
If the accident does not involve another vehicle, and there was instead damage to highway infrastructure, the drivers must still contact the police for assistance and to make a report. Not only is this a requirement by law, but it will also help both drivers with their eventual insurance claims.
What To Do If You Are Involved In A Hit and Run Accident
Your first step after you have been involved in a hit and run accident should be to call the police. Even if the other party has fled the scene, you should not leave too unless it is medically necessary, either for you or your passenger(s).
A failure to stay at the scene of an accident in the state of Texas, even if you are the victim of a hit and run, can result in criminal charges against you. In a situation like this, a Dallas car accident lawyer can help you fight the charges against you.
If possible, you should try to document the damage done to your car as soon as possible. Record any information you may have about the other vehicle, especially if you can get statements from eyewitnesses. Any information you can provide to the police may be able to help them track down the other driver.
Plus, you can use the information you collect for a civil or criminal procedure, should you choose to file one against the other driver, once you know his or her identity. A Dallas car accident lawyer can help you file the lawsuit in the event you don’t feel comfortable filing it yourself.
Suing for Damages
Whether you can receive compensation for the injuries and damages you suffered as the result of a hit and run depends on whether the police can locate the other driver. If they do, then you may be able to sue for damages. If not, then you may be stuck paying out-of-pocket for expenses that weren’t even your fault.
A good car accident lawyer can use the information you provide and work with the police to help find the other driver. A traffic lawyer can also hire experts and private investigators to conduct further research into helping you locate the other driver and collect the compensation you deserve.
Types of Damages
To be successful on a damage claim, you must be able to prove that the other driver acted either recklessly or intentionally as to cause harm. The types of damages you may be able to sue for include, but are not limited to:
- Medical expenses
- Car repair bills
- Wages lost as a result of the accident
The amount of damages a court may award can vary based on how liable the court finds the other driver to be, as well as his or her financial situation. Damages can be both actual and punitive. Punitive damages are damages that are awarded to specifically punish the other party for his or her actions in an attempt to prevent them from acting similarly in the future.
If, despite the police and your lawyer’s best efforts, the other driver still cannot be located, you can still file a claim with your insurance company to recover some of the damages. In the state of Texas, insurers are required to offer uninsured motorist insurance to all drivers. If you opted for this coverage when you secured your policy, then you should be able to file an uninsured motorist claim.
You may want to consider hiring a car accident lawyer if you feel you are being pressured into accepting an insurance settlement that is less than you deserve. Insurance companies tend to be less intimidating when they have a lawyer on the other line. This is because they know we won’t quit without a fight, and we won’t let them settle the case just so they can get your file off their desk. We only say “yes” when we hear a number that’s right for you.
Are You The Victim Of A Hit and Run Accident In The State Of Texas? We Can Help!
If you have been the victim of a hit and run accident, you may feel like there is no way you can be made whole again. However, even if the other driver cannot be found, you may still be able to recover damages from your insurance company.
A Dallas car accident lawyer can help you understand your next steps. Hiring a lawyer can help you rest assured that your case is being handled properly so that you can recover from your accident. Give us a call at 214-305-8277, or fill out our contact form, to be connected with an experienced lawyer who can help you get the justice you deserve. Contact us today to stop feeling like a victim and to get back to your normal life!