In Texas, the law requires drivers to pull over and render aid if they’re involved in a car accident and this car accident resulted in an injury. That said, not everyone always does. Some drivers will take off after a crash, leaving you wondering who will pay for your repairs and medical bills.
There are challenges in pursuing a hit-and-run driver claim, but legal options exist. Our Texas hit-and-run accident attorneys at Pastrana & Garcia Injury Law can walk you through the steps in detail.
Texas Is a Fault State for Auto Accidents
This means that the at-fault driver must pay for your accident injuries and property damages. In a typical accident, you would file a third-party injury claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company. Or, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver, who their auto insurance company would represent.
If the driver flees the scene, the situation changes dramatically.
What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident
Suppose another driver hits you at a busy Pflugerville intersection and flees the scene. You’re most likely upset and confused, so what should you do? Follow these steps:
- Pull your vehicle over. You won’t improve the situation by chasing the hit-and-run driver, and doing so could lead to a worse accident.
- Call law enforcement. Call the police to report the hit-and-run accident immediately. They will come to the scene and complete an accident report. Calling them quickly will also allow them to be on the lookout for the hit-and-run driver. Give the police your best description of the vehicle and any part of the plate number you can recall.
- Get medical attention. If you or a passenger were hurt, call 911. Document your injuries immediately to improve the chances of a successful personal injury claim.
- Take photos and videos. Get pictures and video footage of your injuries, damaged vehicles, vehicle positions, and the overall scene.
- Speak to witnesses. If anyone saw the accident, get their version of events and contact details. Ask if they remember the type of vehicle and license plate number.
Once you take these steps, you’ll have to wait to see if law enforcement can track down the driver. If not, obtaining accident evidence on your own will help you make a claim with your personal auto insurance policy.
Challenges in Identifying the Responsible Driver
As the victim of a hit-and-run driver, you must deal with property damage and possibly injuries. Also, you’ll need to handle the claim independently without the other driver’s insurance company. So who is going to cover the cost?
If the hit-and-run driver is never found, you can usually get at least some damages covered if you had uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage with your insurance at the time of the accident. Texas insurance companies must offer it, but you can waive this critical coverage by signing a rejection form. When checking this coverage you should always request a copy of the rejection forms signed by you as a proof that you, in fact, rejected that coverage.
Pursuing Compensation After a Hit-and-Run Accident
The amount your auto insurance provider gives you may not be enough to cover severe injuries and property damage. This is where a skilled hit-and-run accident attorney in Texas can help. The police will search for the driver, and if they are found, your attorney can assist you with filing a claim with their auto insurance provider. Or, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the hit-and-run driver.
If the other driver isn’t found, your attorney can help you maximize your payout from your insurance company. Pastrana & García Injury Law is experienced in negotiating with insurance companies and can help you get a fair and just settlement.
Remember, even though you are a customer, your insurance company may still try to minimize or reject your hit-and-run claim. Therefore, it’s critical to have an experienced personal injury attorney negotiate this tricky situation.
Speak to a Texas Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney
Were you injured in a hit-and-run accident in Pflugerville? The personal injury attorneys at Pastrana & García Injury Law can assist you with filing a claim for your losses. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.