Mar 17, 2020 Car Accidents, Insurance, Texas Law, Vehicle Wrecks
Hit-and-run crash and fatality rates are rising in the U.S.; experts believe that a hit-and-run occurs every 43 seconds.
Thankfully, you may have legal options. Keep reading to learn more about hit-and-run crashes in Texas, what role your insurance company will play, and how an experienced car crash attorney can help.
How to Report a Hit-and-Run Crash: A Victims’ Checklist
Protect your claim and your health by following this checklist if you’ve been the victim of a hit-and-run collision:
- Remain at the scene
- Call 911 and cooperate with the police’s investigation
- Write down details about the vehicle and driver
- Take pictures of the scene and damage
- Collect eyewitnesses’ contact information
- Allow paramedics to check you for injuries
- Visit a doctor for a follow-up or go to the emergency room
- Obtain a copy of the police report
- Consult with an experienced injury lawyer
- File claims with the appropriate insurance companies
Why Do People Flee the Scene of an Accident?
Under Texas law, anyone involved in a crash must stop, render aid, and exchange insurance information. These rules apply to any collision involving two vehicles, a vehicle and a pedestrian, or a vehicle and other property damage. So why do people leave the scene of a crash?
Many times, the at-fault driver did not have insurance. Even though Texas has mandatory auto insurance laws, an estimated 20% of drivers are uninsured. People may also flee the scene if they’re driving without a license, intoxicated, have an outstanding warrant, or are violating other laws.
“Even though Texas has mandatory auto insurance laws, an estimated 20% of drivers are uninsured.”
Will My Insurance Cover a Hit-and-Run in Texas?
Texas has a fault-based liability system, and the driver who caused your crash is typically responsible for your losses. Therefore, when you can’t identify a hit-and-run driver, you need to look for alternate sources of coverage. Depending on your situation, you may have several options.
Uninsured/underinsured Motorist Coverage (UM/UIM)
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) is one of the most common insurance policies involved in hit-and-run claims. Uninsured motorist coverage applies to cases where the negligent driver does not have insurance or fled the scene.
What to Do If You’re Hit by an Uninsured DriverRead More
Unfortunately, while Texas does require insurance companies to offer all drivers UM/UIM coverage, the state does not require drivers to take it. Some drivers opt out of this coverage to reduce their insurance premiums, not realizing UM/UIM’s crucial role. However, you must reject uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage in writing – if you did not do this, you probably have a UM/UIM policy.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
PIP is a type of optional, no-fault insurance. If you have PIP coverage, it will help cover your medical bills and lost income regardless of who caused the crash. Like UM/UIM, Texas insurers must offer you this coverage. Unless you rejected PIP insurance in writing, you should have at least $2,500 in PIP coverage.
Medical Payments Coverage (Med Pay)
This optional coverage only covers your medical bills if you’re injured in a crash. Unlike UM/UIM and PIP, the insurance company does not have to offer this option to you.
This type of insurance steps in if your car suffered damage during the crash. Typically, collision coverage is not based on fault and will cover damage during a hit-and-run.
An Injury Lawyer’s Role After a Hit-and-Run Collision
When you meet with an injury lawyer, they should help you identify sources of insurance coverage that apply to your claim. If the police identified the hit-and-run driver, your attorney will determine whether they were insured at the time of the crash. However, since many hit-and-run drivers are never caught, your lawyer will also look for alternate sources of coverage.
For example, Crosley Law represented a mother of two young girls. She experienced every parent’s nightmare when her ex called, telling her that their daughters had been involved in a head-on collision. To make matters worse, neither the at-fault driver nor the girls’ father had insurance.
Thankfully, our client was a responsible car owner. She had UM/UIM coverage; because her daughters lived with her, they were covered. We were able to get fair settlements for both young women.
RELATED: Protecting Her Children After a Head-On Hit-and-Run: Kasandra’s Story
Next, you and your lawyer will need to review the terms and conditions of the policies and file claims. However, identifying your insurance options and filing claims is just the beginning. Don’t be surprised if your insurance company denies your claims – they may even try to blame you for the crash.
Again, your legal team should fight back and demand fair compensation for your injuries.
Crosley Law Fights for Victims of Hit-and-Run Crashes
Request Your Free Consultation
At Crosley Law, we’ve helped many hit-and-run victims rebuild after a crash. Our attorneys have experience investigating crashes and helping clients get the compensation they deserve.
If you’ve been injured in a hit-and-run accident in Texas, contact our attorneys today for a free consultation to discuss your case and options. Call us at 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000 or complete this brief contact form to get started.
Hit-and-run crashes: Prevalence, contributing factors and countermeasures. (2018, April). AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Retrieved from https://aaafoundation.org/hit-and-run-crashes-prevalence-contributing-factors-and-countermeasures/
Insurance verification. (n.d.) Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. Retrieved from https://www.txdmv.gov/motorists/register-your-vehicle/texassure-insurance-verification
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
Related ArticlesView All Blog Articles
How to Deal With a Private Investigator After a Car AccidentApr 21, 2023
After a car wreck, you may feel like your every move is being scrutinized. Unfortunately, it may not be just your imagination. If you notice an unfamiliar car parked in front of your home, school, or workplace; or if you receive a strange friend request on social media, a private investigator might be tracking your […]
What Is the Average Payout for a Rear-End Collision?Mar 13, 2023
You were stopped at a red light, minding your own business. Suddenly, a truck rear-ends you, pushing your car into the middle of an intersection. Now, you’re living with severe back pain and your doctors are suggesting surgery. Your car accident case is worth a lot of money, right? Maybe. The reality is, there’s no […]
Who Is at Fault in a Multi-Car Accident in Texas?Mar 09, 2023
After a multi-car accident, drivers and insurance companies often point fingers at each other, trying to shift blame to someone else. But if you suffered life-changing injuries, you deserve to know exactly what happened, which driver (or drivers) were responsible, and which liability insurance will pay for your medical bills and other damages. But getting […]
I’m Being Blamed for a Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault—What Should I Do?Feb 22, 2023
“My word against your word” scenarios happen all the time after auto accidents, especially when there are few other witnesses at the scene. Being accused of causing a car crash that wasn’t your fault can make you feel helpless and angry, especially when no one else is around to support your story. Getting blamed for […]
What Is the Texas Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury (and When Should I File My Lawsuit)?Feb 01, 2023
One of the first questions many people have an injury is, “How long do I have to make a personal injury claim?” While that’s an extremely important piece of information to know, it can also be misleading—and in some ways, the wrong question to ask. Here’s the short answer: In most cases, you have two […]
Who Is At Fault in an Intersection Accident?Jan 15, 2023
Most car accidents happen at intersections, plain and simple. According to the Federal Highway Administration, roughly half of car accident injuries and one-quarter of car accident fatalities occur at intersections. But it can be difficult to determine who is at fault in an intersection accident—with many turning into a “he said, she said” situation. In […]
What Should You Do After a FedEx Truck Crash in Texas?Dec 09, 2022
With more than 100,000 vehicles, nearly 125,000 drivers, and an annual revenue estimated at around $84 billion, FedEx is easily one of the largest trucking companies in the United States. With numbers like these, it’s no surprise that FedEx freight trucks are involved in injury-causing truck crashes nearly every day on American roads. In fact, […]
What Happens if You Get in an Accident With a Delivery Truck Driver?Nov 01, 2022
If your neighborhood is anything like ours, chances are you see a steady stream of delivery trucks, vans, and other vehicles pass by your house or apartment on a daily basis. The trend really took off at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it certainly shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Nowadays, […]
How to Prepare for a Deposition in a Texas Personal Injury CaseOct 24, 2022
If you’ve suffered a personal injury that wasn’t your fault and you need to file a civil lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve, sooner or later you will likely have to provide your personal testimony in a deposition. Although depositions are not given before a judge, the things that you say will be considered […]
The Dangers of 15-Passenger Vans (and What to Do After a Passenger Van Accident)Oct 10, 2022
Traffic safety experts and auto manufacturers have known for decades that large passenger vans are especially likely to be involved in certain kinds of serious crashes. While these vans are a convenient way to transport groups of people, larger vehicles require a greater degree of driving skill to operate safely—particularly when fully loaded with passengers […]
Do you or a family member
need legal advice?
Crosley Law Firm, PC is a professional corporation of trial lawyers focused on representing individuals and families who have suffered serious personal injuries or wrongful death.