Hit-and-run accidents can be some of the most challenging collisions to experience. In addition to the physical pain, injury survivors often have to process the mental and emotional pain that comes from being hurt by someone who chose to do the wrong thing.
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a hit-and-run driver, here are two critical things you should know.
Hit-and-Run Accidents Can Lead to Criminal Charges
According to Texas Transportation Code Chapter 550, leaving the scene of an accident is a crime. The law requires drivers to stay at the scene of accidents involving death or personal injury. If a driver strikes another vehicle or person and causes that person’s death, leaving is a felony of the second degree.
If the driver causes serious personal injury, leaving is a felony of the third degree. The driver can be sentenced to jail or prison time and fined up to $5,000.
When the crash causes property damage only, leaving the scene without leaving personal information (name, address, and registration number of the vehicle they were driving) is a misdemeanor.
The police may be able to track down the person who hit you and hold them accountable under the law. Sometimes witnesses come forward, security footage can be used, or later evidence leads to the responsible party.
PIP, UM and UIM Coverage Can Protect You In The Event of a Hit-and-Run Accident
You can protect yourself in the event of a hit-and-run accident by planning ahead and purchasing certain types of coverage, just in case. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is one kind of insurance coverage that you can purchase from your own insurance company, just in case of a hit-and-run accident or another similar event.
The coverage means that your own insurer will cover you and the passengers in your car if another driver’s insurance won’t, regardless of who is at fault. You are not required to purchase PIP, but your insurance company is required to offer it to you as an option.
You may also be able to purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM). This kind of coverage generally has higher coverage limits than PIP but covers you only when the other driver is at fault. To recover, you must prove that the other driver was to blame for the accident.
If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle collision in Dallas or the surrounding areas, contact our Texas, law office to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney. You can reach us by phone at 800-TedLyon or send us a message.
Our law firm handles personal injury cases on contingency, which means that you do not need to pay upfront for a lawyer. Home or hospital visits are available by request, especially in serious cases such as life-changing personal injuries caused by a hit-and-run driver.