Last month, a Texas man was killed after being struck by a vehicle on State Highway 155, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). The DPS is looking for a dark-colored truck, potentially a Chevrolet, which was traveling west on SH 155. The victim was standing at the end of his driveway when the truck apparently veered onto the shoulder and hit him. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the vehicle did not stop at the accident and render aid as required by law. The DPS is looking for the driver who may be charged with hit and run.
The Criminal Consequences of a Hit and Run
Texas law requires that any individuals who are involved in an accident stop immediately, keeping their vehicle out of the way of traffic. For an accident involving damage to another vehicle, a driver must stop, provide their information, and if possible, render aid. If an individual does not stop and fulfill these requirements, then they can be charged with a misdemeanor. The level of the misdemeanor depends on the amount of damage to the vehicle. For a minimal amount of damage valued at less than $200 it will be a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine. A greater amount of damage results in a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and up to a $2,000 fine.
If an individual is involved in a traffic accident that results in injury to another person or someone’s death, they are required to immediately stop and wait to comply with emergency personnel. If a driver flees the scene of an injurious or deadly accident, then they can be charged with a felony. For an accident that causes injury that is minor or not serious, then it can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. A misdemeanor charge is punishable with up to one year in jail, while a felony charge can result in up to five years in prison. For an accident that results in serious bodily injury, the driver will be charged with a third degree felony, punishable by two to 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. A hit and run accident that causes a person’s death is a second degree felony, which can result in imprisonment between two and 20 years and up to a $10,000 fine.
The Civil Consequences of a Hit and Run
Hit-and-run accidents that result in injury or death leads to both criminal and civil liability. Not only is the individual who caused an accident that hurt another person liable for the criminal charges and penalties associated with the offense, but they are also civilly liable for compensating the other person for their physical, emotional, and financial injuries.
Anyone who has been injured by a hit-and-run driver should immediately contact a dedicated New Braunfels personal injury attorney from The Bettersworth Law Firm. That individual has the right to seek compensation through a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit. Evidence that the person fled the scene of the accident is also evidence of negligence, which is a necessary element to gaining compensation. If the person is convicted of a hit-and-run misdemeanor or felony, then this is even stronger evidence of negligence.