Most drivers understand that if they are involved in an accident with another vehicle or pedestrian, they need to pull over and stay at the scene until police or other first responders arrive. They know that they should exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver or anyone else involved before leaving. Not only is stopping, assisting, and remaining at the scene of an accident the right thing to do, it is also required under Texas law.
But too many drivers fail to follow these obligations, fleeing an accident and disappearing to try to avoid the consequences of their actions. When that happens, injury victims have every right to be outraged. Without knowing who caused their injuries and losses or how to hold the hit-and-run driver accountable, they may also be left wondering if they can obtain compensation or if they will be without a remedy for their suffering.
If you were hurt or lost a loved one in a hit-and-run accident, don’t lose hope. At the Austin personal injury law firm of Sandoval James, PLLC, we never do. We understand that you may not know what to do or where to turn for help after a hit-and-run accident. When you speak with us at your free initial consultation, we will answer your questions, explain your options, and pursue a strategy that offers the best chance of obtaining compensation for your injuries and losses.
If a Hit-and-Run Driver Injured You, You Are Not Alone
Hit-and-run drivers cause thousands of collisions, injuries, and deaths every year. According to data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, hit-and-run drivers are responsible for approximately 1,500 deaths annually, and over 11 percent of all reported car accidents involve at least one driver who immediately flees the scene.
In Texas, failing to remain at the scene of an accident and failing to render aid after a crash involving injury, death, or property damage is a serious crime. In 2013, Texas increased the penalties for hit-and-runs, raising the offense from a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison to a second-degree felony which could result in 20 years behind bars. The police want to find the hit-and-run driver who hurt you and prosecutors want to convict them for their actions.
Compensation May Still Be Available, Even If the Hit-and-Run Driver Isn’t Found
Some Texas hit-and-run drivers are ultimately found and held accountable, both by the criminal justice system and by injury victims who can sue them for compensation. Many irresponsible drivers, however, disappear completely and are never found. Even in these situations, compensation may still be available, depending on the car insurance coverage you have.
Check your policy. If you have uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage, you may be able to make a claim with your own insurance company. Texas law does not require drivers to have UIM coverage, but if you have it, UIM coverage includes compensation for injuries or wrongful death caused by a hit-and-run driver.
As with all car insurance claims, just because your policy provides coverage for your losses doesn’t mean that your insurance company will pay you what they owe. Many insurers try to find any way possible to either deny a hit-and-run claim or pay as little as they can. They know injury victims need the money and that they may not understand their rights and options.
At Sandoval James, we protect the rights of hit-and-run accident victims and won’t let insurers take advantage of our clients. We know their motivations and the tactics they use to convince injury victims to accept lowball and unfair settlements. When you hire us as your attorneys, you can rest assured that we will fight to get you the maximum amount of compensation available for your hit-and-run losses.
Contact Sandoval James Today for Your Free Initial Consultation
At Sandoval James, we help car vehicle accident victims like you get your life back after a hit-and-run driver turns it upside-down. To arrange for your free initial consultation with one of our Austin hit-and-run accident lawyers, call us today at 512-382-7707 or contact us online.