On the night of July 21-22, a bicyclist was struck by a driver at the intersection of Brady Blvd and Driftwood Street, causing a lacerated spleen and other significant injury. The driver did not stop to render aid, but the bicyclist was taken to University Hospital, where he is in stable condition as of this writing. If the driver is located, they may face serious legal issues in both the criminal and civil arenas. If you have been injured in a hit-and-run crash, know that you may be able to seek compensation from the person who struck you.
Hit-And-Run Crashes Are Common
Unfortunately, hit-and-run crashes occur with regularity in Texas. It is not unusual for a driver to make a mistake, get spooked, and try to flee the scene. However, if they do this, the victim of their negligence may have no way to get their medical bills paid. Texas law is on the side of the victim, and allows them to bring suit under a theory of negligence in addition to any criminal penalties that might be assessed.
If you were involved in an accident and you were injured due to another person’s negligence, you have the right to try and seek compensation. Texas law allows an injured person to potentially recover even if you are held partially responsible – for example, the bicyclist in the Brady Blvd accident was alleged to have ignored the stop sign, which might result in his being found partially at fault.
Driver Cannot Leave the Scene
One major factor that may not be well known about Texas law is that leaving the scene of a hit-and-run accident is actually a crime. The Texas Transportation Code states that if you leave the scene of an accident where serious bodily injury or death has occurred, you have committed a second or third degree felony, and if the accident caused injury or property damage, the charge is a misdemeanor punishable by up to $5,000 in fines and up to 5 years in jail.
It is important to keep in mind that any criminal penalties will generally be assessed before civil penalties, but it is possible to do both, so do not think you have no recourse solely because the driver may be charged with a crime. For example, O.J. Simpson went through a criminal trial, and after its conclusion, was then sued for wrongful death in civil court. If he had been given a sentence of prison time, he still would have been required to pay any award the civil court granted to the plaintiffs.
Can a New Braunfels Hit-And-Run Lawyer Help You?
While the bicyclist on Brady Boulevard escaped the incident without life-threatening injury, you might not be as lucky if you are in the same situation. The skilled New Braunfels hit-and-run accident attorneys at the Bettersworth Law Firm are ready to assist you in trying to seek compensation for your injuries. Contact our office today at 888-392-0039 to schedule a free consultation.