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TX injury lawyerIn early February, a driver fled the scene after a series of collisions near I-35 and New Braunfels Avenue in San Antonio, leaving his vehicle behind. The first crash involved two other moving vehicles, and the driver then collided with multiple parked cars before removing his car keys and leaving on foot. This chain of events raises questions regarding what victims can do when they suffer injuries and property damage in a hit-and-run accident, especially one involving more than one victim.

Police Can Often Locate Hit-and-Run Drivers

While it is certainly more difficult to identify and locate a driver who flees the scene after a car accident, it is by no means impossible. Law enforcement officers responding to the accident are often able to use evidence from the scene of the crash to establish a trail that leads to the suspect. For example, if the driver’s vehicle is left behind as in the aforementioned case, officers can check the license plate and vehicle registration information to determine to whom the vehicle belongs. Even if the driver leaves with the vehicle, the police may be able to obtain footage from local security or traffic cameras, as well as testimony from witnesses who saw the driver leave. If the police are able to locate the driver, injury victims may have a more clear course of action for recovering compensation.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage Can Help

When the driver responsible for a crash cannot be located, it may be necessary for victims to explore other means of covering the costs of medical bills and property damage. One option in many cases is to file a claim with your own car insurance provider. Insurance companies in Texas are required to offer uninsured motorist coverage, which can take effect when the at-fault driver does not have insurance or cannot be identified after a hit-and-run.

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T accident lawyerIn a recent accident on Marbach Road and Harness Lane in San Antonio, a man was involved in a collision after running a red light and was thrown from his car, suffering a broken arm. The other driver left the scene without stopping and was later apprehended by the police. This accident brings up important questions related to negligence in Texas hit-and-run accidents and the ability of victims to pursue compensation.

Texas Hit-and-Run Accident Laws

Under Texas law, a driver involved in an accident is required to stop and return to the accident scene, provide contact and insurance information to the other driver, and provide reasonable assistance to anyone who needs medical attention. Failure to stop can result in misdemeanor charges for accidents resulting in only damage to the vehicle, and felony charges for accidents resulting in injuries or death. However, if you have been injured in a hit-and-run accident, you will need to file a civil lawsuit against the other driver in order to receive compensation from him or her.

Challenges of Obtaining Compensation After a Hit-and-Run Crash

One challenge for victims seeking compensation is that it may be difficult to identify and locate the driver who fled the scene. In many cases, law enforcement officers are able to find and arrest the other driver sometime after the accident, but in other cases, you may need the assistance of an attorney who can initiate an investigation. If you are unable to locate the other driver, your best option for compensation may be to file an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim through your own insurance policy.

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TX injury lawyerA gas station near the corner of Pleasanton Road and East Vestal Place was the site of a hit-and-run accident on a recent night after a man ran from an argument he had been having with four other individuals. The four all got into one car, appearing to hunt down the man and strike him near a fast-food restaurant. He was transported to Brooke Army Medical Center in “serious” condition. While these suspects appear to have had intent to commit a crime, even a suspect who has not acted with malice or recklessness may still be on the proverbial hook for your injuries. Pedestrian accidents are far too common in Texas, and even if no crime is determined to have been committed, you may be able to file a civil suit for monetary compensation.

Rights and Responsibilities

Texas registered 621 pedestrian fatalities in 2018, which was approximately a one percent increase from 2017. The statistics can also track other trends: for example, that the majority of pedestrian-involved accidents, such as the one involving the man at the fast-food restaurant, happened at night when visibility is lowest and alcohol consumption is highest. There are several reasons why these accidents and fatalities happen in Texas; distracted driving and speeding are near the top of the list, especially when combined with Texas’ higher speed limits in many counties.

If you are out walking or otherwise minding your own business, and you are struck by a vehicle, the potential liability for the driver can be quite serious. Pedestrians do have responsibilities when out using the road, such as crossing only at crosswalks and obeying traffic lights, but even if the defendant argues that you failed in upholding these responsibilities, the odds are in your favor in terms of being able to obtain monetary compensation. Florida honors a doctrine called comparative fault, meaning that even if you are ruled to be partially responsible for your own injuries, you should still be able to recover.

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TXnjury lawyerTragedy 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.

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TX injury lawyerOn February 1, a woman in a Toyota Camry struck a cyclist, knocking him off his bicycle near the area where West 35th Street becomes West 38th Street in Austin. She declined to remain at the scene of the accident, saying she had ‘somewhere to be,’ but provided a phone number. On May 23, the police determined that the number the woman had given was fake, and an arrest warrant for failing to stop and render aid was subsequently issued. If you are ever involved in a bicycle accident, this is perhaps the least appropriate thing you could possibly do, and it may very well result in your being convicted of a third-degree felony - it is critical to be aware of Texas law surrounding this type of crash.

Statistics Show Specific Trends

Bicycling accidents are common, but among reported accidents, it is possible to determine certain trends and prepare accordingly. For example, statistics from Share The Road Texas seem to establish a possible link between gender and age and likelihood of injury, with 81 percent of recorded crash victims being male, and roughly 60 percent being under the age of 25. While some young people are obviously more careful than others, some do tend to take risks while operating a vehicle, and it can, unfortunately, result in significant injury.

Speed is also a major factor. The data shows that more bicycle fatalities occur on roads with higher speed limits, as one might imagine, but more injuries actually occur on roads with lower limits. Bexar County posted the fourth-highest injury total for bicyclists in the years tracked, and while some of the total is due to sheer population, it can also plausibly be due to speed. Many cities impose 45 mph speed limits, but within Austin, speeds can get as high as 65 mph (or could until recently). The woman in the Camry was allegedly speeding when she struck the cyclist, which may compound her problems.

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The sooner you call, the sooner we can build your case, secure evidence and get maximum compensation for your injuries.

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