Not all drivers make good choices. Sometimes, when a driver hits another vehicle, they refuse to stop – which is against the law – and become guilty of causing a hit and run accident. In Texas, under Texas Transportation Code §550.023, drivers involved in a car accident causing the injury or death of another person are expected to stop and provide contact information, vehicle information, insurance information, and importantly provide reasonable assistance to anyone hurt in the crash. When drivers fail to obey the law, they can leave tragedy in their wake and be subject to both civil and criminal consequences. Hit and run accidents are a crime in Texas and often result in a criminal case; however, only by hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer and pursuing a civil lawsuit can victims recover financial compensation for their damages. At the Ezequiel Reyna Law Office, our team of dedicated personal injury lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience.
Reasons Why Hit and Run Drivers Don’t Stop
More than one hit and run accident occurs every minute in the U.S. and 20% of pedestrian deaths in the last 10 years were caused by hit and runs. You might wonder why someone would rush away from a motor vehicle accident they cause. Some common reasons why drivers fail to stop after a hit and run include:
- Lack of insurance – uninsured or underinsured drivers
- Suspended driver’s license or no license
- Driver has too many tickets
- Driver might not have permission to be using the vehicle they are driving
- Driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- On probation for other criminal conduct, including having a warrant out for their arrest
- Driving a company car and does not want to suffer consequences at work
When the law catches up to hit and run drivers, the victims can hold them accountable for their selfish and reckless actions with the assistance of a South Texas car accident attorney. A jury often awards punitive damages to punish them for their disregard for others as well. Even if the hit and run driver is not able to be found, you still have options. Our legal team can help you recover financially through your own personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and/or an uninsured/underinsured motorist policy.
What Do I Do After a Hit and Run Collision?
Being the victim in a hit and run crash can be terrifying and cause serious injuries. If a driver or passenger is able to during or after the collision, they should try to:
- Identify the make, model, and license plate of the hit-and-run driver’s vehicle
- Call the police immediately and give them as much information as possible
- Stay at the accident scene until the police arrive to ensure an official report is made
- Try to look for and remember any identifying characteristics of the driver
- Obtain contact information from witnesses, including names, addresses, and phone numbers
- Take pictures of the damaged car and the accident scene
- Notify your insurance company of the incident
- Contact a personal injury lawyer for help
Even if your hit and run accident felt minor, you likely sustained some type of physical injury. Many car accident victims suffer from delayed symptoms due to adrenaline and shock triggered by a vehicle crash. This is why all victims of hit and run accidents should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Possible injuries include:
- Brain injury
- Soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains
- Post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological problems
- Internal injuries
- Broken bones
Trial Lawyers for Weslaco, Texas Hit and Run Accidents
If you or a loved one have been involved in a hit and run accident, you should contact an experienced Texas personal injury attorney as soon as possible. In these cases, the hardest part can be finding the at fault, responsible driver. Once the driver is found and criminal charges are pressed, you still have options to recover damages in civil court as well. Texas’ statute of limitations for car accident claims is two years. This means that from the time of the crash, you have two years to file your claim; however, you should begin working with an attorney immediately after the accident to preserve evidence and begin investigating how to find the offender.
A lawyer who focuses on hit and run cases knows what steps to take to get you compensated for the injuries and other damages you have incurred. Ezequiel Reyna, Jr. grew up in Weslaco, Texas and has served his community as a trial lawyer for over 40 years. He leads a team of experienced lawyers and staff and has bilingual team members always available to speak with Spanish speaking members of the community in need. To inquire about representation, call the Ezequiel Reyna Law Office at (956) 968-9556 today.