According to Texan law, drivers must stay at the scene after an accident involving motor vehicles on the Houston roads. Drivers should exchange information and ensure that the appropriate medical care is arranged for injured individuals.
However, during the chaotic and stressful aftermath of a car accident, some people make poor decisions and leave the scene without exchanging details. Others do so in a calculated way to avoid the consequences of their actions. Sometimes, the driver has no car insurance or driver’s license or there is an outstanding warrant for their arrest.
This can lead to problems for victims when it comes to personal injury claims as well as potential criminal proceedings against the driver who left.
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident, it’s not fair to be left having to pay for medical expenses, damaged property, and the pain and suffering you endure as a result of a negligent driver’s actions.
At the DeHoyos Law Firm, PLLC, we can help you claim your rightful compensation and seek some measure of justice for your injuries.
A hit-and-run accident is any incident where a vehicle causes an accident on the roads with another vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist, or collides with another person’s property — and the driver fails to remain at the scene.
The driver leaves without providing contact information or offering assistance to an injured party and, in doing so, breaks the law.
What should you do after a hit-and-run accident in Texas?
Hit-and-run accidents can quickly become complicated. You have no idea why the driver left the scene. It is important, therefore, to go through the correct procedures so that you can get the treatment you need for your injuries, repair your vehicle, and be compensated for your pain and suffering.
If you are injured in an accident where the driver flees the scene, the steps you take will depend on your condition. The most important step is to get the medical treatment you need. If possible, you should see to the following:
Call 911 to report the incident and provide as many details as possible while they are still fresh in your mind — if you can recall the license plate number, that will help a great deal.
Never attempt to follow or track down the driver, who may be dangerous or have a warrant out for his/her arrest — law enforcement must be notified and they can handle it.
Try to find and speak to witnesses and gather contact information.
Take pictures/video of your car and the scene of the accident.
After taking these important first steps, your next move after receiving the necessary medical attention should be to seek legal advice from Ryan DeHoyos.
As an experienced personal injury attorney who has assisted many hit-and-run victims in Houston to recover the compensation they need, he can help you no matter how complex your situation is.
What is the statute of limitations for a hit-and-run accident in Texas?
Under Texas law, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver that caused accident injuries. It is important to identify the driver as soon as possible, or you may have to waive the right to a lawsuit.
Speaking to Ryan DeHoyos as soon as possible after your hit-and-run accident will ensure that you have the maximum time available to track down the driver, consider your legal options, and file the necessary claim(s).
We will start by listening to your version of events and examine the accident report, which is usually the key piece of evidence when seeking compensation for damages.
Delaying the investigation process can mean that evidence is lost or spoiled and witness testimony may become less reliable.
Generally speaking, in motor vehicle accidents in Texas, you file a claim against the at-fault party, negotiate with the insurance company of the defendant and agree on a settlement out of court.
Sometimes, litigation (or the threat of litigation) is required to recover the full amount of compensation due. This usually includes the following:
Medical expenses: all past and future medical expenses, including emergency care, hospitalization, surgery, physiotherapy, medications, etc.
Property damage: the costs of repairing your car, motorcycle, bicycle or any other items damaged in the accident.
Loss of earnings: past and future loss of earnings can be compensated if you need to take time off work because of your accident injuries.
Pain and suffering: you can claim compensation for non-economic damages like the pain and suffering caused you by the accident and your subsequent injuries.
Loss of quality of life: if your life has been negatively impacted by your injuries (such as the inability to play sports, exercise, or play with the children), these can be compensated.
With hit-and-run accident injuries, the driver fled the scene. There is nobody to file a lawsuit against until that driver can be identified.
Once they have been identified, further complications may arise. For instance, what do you do if the driver has no third-party insurance?
That’s against the law but criminal proceedings against the driver do not help you recover your losses from the accident. It can be challenging for hit-and-run victims to receive what they are due and, in the meantime, medical bills need to be paid and vehicles need to be repaired.
Your personal injury lawyer can help. If the driver who hit you is identified, Ryan DeHoyos can help you file a lawsuit — if that is considered the best course of action.
However, if the driver has no insurance or is under-insured, as is often the case in hit-and-run accidents, a lawsuit may not be the right move (see the following section). There may be other options for claiming compensation through your insurance policies.
How to claim compensation from uninsured or under-insured motorists?
If the driver is uninsured or under-insured, you will need to weigh up the likelihood of being able to recover losses from the driver directly rather than the insurance company.
Sometimes, if the driver has no insurance, he or she also has no means to cover your losses from personal assets.
However, your lawyer can help you check your various auto insurance policies. If you have uninsured motorists (UM) or underinsured motorists (UIM) coverage, Ryan DeHoyos can help claim the maximum compensation for your damages through these channels.
Most drivers in Texas should — and do — have this type of insurance. It was created precisely for this type of scenario where your insurer can cover you to the limits of your policy in the event of an accident with an uninsured or under-insured driver.
While efforts have been made to increase awareness amongst drivers, accidents and serious injuries are all too common still.
If you are a cyclist, motorcyclist or pedestrian injured in a hit-and-run accident, a family member may need to contact the DeHoyos Law Firm on your behalf.
Your best chance of claiming the maximum possible compensation for any hit-and-run accident in the Houston area is with the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer like Ryan DeHoyos. Contact us today for a free consultation to evaluate your case.
“As a client to this Law Firm, I found it to be rewarding base on their work ethics. With there expertise, knowledge, flexibility and being responsive to their client needs. They will see that their client receive the best outcome on there case. There are many people out there that have bad ideas about lawyers, but DeHoyos Law Firm will make sure that you’re not stressed about anything pertaining to your case. I’ll recommend that you seek this Lawyer and Law Firm for any unraveling situation you might face.”
“I can’t say enough good things about DeHoyos Law! Mr. Ryan DeHoyos is extremely knowledgeable in his field of Personal Injury. I was injured in a motor vehicle accident last year and Mr. DeHoyos stopped at nothing to get me the compensation I deserved. He kept me updated on my case regularly and guided me to get the medical care I needed. Additionally, his staff is so kind and caring, especially Ashley… Thank you, DeHoyos Law for your professionalism in closing my case…and WINNING big!”
DeHoyos Law Firm, PLLCDeHoyos LawDeHoyos Law Firm, PLLC is a Personal Injury law firm in Houston, TX. We have helped countless accident and injury victims obtain the fair compensation they deserve across Texas.