Car accidents happen every single day in America, many of which are minor and have no lasting impact. However, serious, life-changing accidents also occur, such as hit and run accidents. Hit-and-run accidents can be extremely upsetting and stressful, especially if you or someone you love suffered any injuries. Whether you were involved in a hit and run accident as another driver, pedestrian, or cyclist, it is imperative you understand your rights and how to proceed.
A hit-and-run accident is any accident where the driver or responsible party flees the scene without exchanging information or checking to see if everyone is OK. Unfortunately, these types of accidents are quite common and serious. Fatalities are often the result of hit and run accidents, which can make the circumstances surrounding the accident even more difficult to comprehend. In the event the driver who hit you flees the scene, the situation gets rather complex. By Texas law, it is illegal to flee from the scene of any accident. Even if it was just a minor fender bender, the law requires all involved parties to provide the following:
- Name and address
- Vehicle registration number
- Insurance information
- Driver’s license information
The responsible driver must also provide assistance to anyone else involved in the accident. If he or she fails to do so, they may be held liable for their actions and can face a misdemeanor or even a felony, depending on the circumstances. If you are involved in a crash with a driver who flees the scene, here are a few things you should do:
- Report the accident to the police – If you are involved in a hit-and-run, the first thing you should do is contact the authorities and provide them with as much information as possible on the vehicle and the driver. If possible, take as many mental notes as you can about the other vehicle involved in the accident. Some of the things you should make note of include:
- Make and model of the vehicle
- Color of the vehicle
- License plate number
- Any marks or distinguishing features on the vehicle
- Any physical attributes about the driver
- Seek medical attention – If you have sustained any injuries as a result of the hit-and-run, be sure you are checked out by a medical professional right away. Even if you do not see any outward injuries, it is a good idea to see a doctor, as internal injuries are quite common with car accidents.
- Report the accident to your insurance company – Once the police have been contacted and you have gotten a clean bill of health from your doctor, contact your insurance company and let them know the details of what happened. In some cases, your policy may have a clause that requires you to file a report within a set amount of days after the accident, so it is important you do not let this task fall by the wayside.
If you have been involved in a hit-and-run, please keep the above in mind and contact a Brownsville hit-and-run attorney immediately.