Tragedy struck in the early hours one morning when a one-year-old was with his family in the front yard of his home on Norfleet Street and ran into the road. A dark-colored car struck the boy, and the driver continued on, not stopping to render aid as is required by Texas law. While there appear to be some issues in this particular case involving why the young child was in the yard in the first place, the fact remains that the driver of the car is guilty of a serious offense. Hit-and-run drivers can face serious lawsuits or even, in some cases, prison time.
Victims Deserve Justice
Texas has a vested interest in ensuring that its citizens and their loved ones are able to receive justice if they are injured or killed due to someone else’s negligence. As such, Texas law treats hit-and-run accidents as serious wrongdoing, because failing to stop and render aid has the potential to deny the victim any justice or closure. Without being able to hold someone responsible, a hit-and-run victim may not be able to get their needs met or might otherwise suffer financial harm through no fault of their own.
The Texas Transportation Code states that if you are involved in an accident that results in or is “reasonably likely” to result in death or injury to a person, you must immediately stop your vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so and to return to the scene of the accident. You must remain there until you have given all your relevant information to either the injured person or to law enforcement, as well as providing any “reasonable assistance,” such as summoning the police or an ambulance.
Penalties Are Severe
If someone leaves the scene of an accident where death or injury has occurred, they may be subject to both civil and criminal penalties, where the criminal case usually is tried before the civil. Being prosecuted in civil and criminal court both does not trigger double jeopardy, since both court systems are separate, and impose different punishments (in civil court, the remedy is mostly monetary, while criminal court imposes prison or jail time plus fines.)
The potential sentence if you are charged will vary depending on the outcome of the accident. The driver who hit the toddler on Norfleet Street would potentially face incarceration for between one and five years, as well as a $5,000 fine. However, if the toddler had been seriously injured, the driver could be charged with a third-degree felony, and had he been killed, the charge would be a second-degree felony, which carries prison time up to 20 years, plus a fine of up to $10,000.
Can a New Braunfels Hit-And-Run Lawyer Help You?
While as of this writing, the Norfleet Street hit-and-run driver has not yet been found, you cannot and should not count on evading law enforcement if you have been in a hit-and-run accident. You need an experienced New Braunfels car accident attorney who will help guide you through the process in court, but who also understands how difficult it can be. The Bettersworth Law Firm has been handling these cases in New Braunfels for many years and will work hard to get yours to an appropriate outcome. Contact our office today at 888-392-0039 to schedule a free consultation.