When an at-fault motorist attempts to flee the scene of an accident to avoid facing civil or criminal penalties, it is considered a hit-and-run. These accidents may involve a motorist striking a pedestrian, parked car, another moving vehicle, building, or structure.
Though it may be difficult to identify the responsible party, a seasoned auto wreck attorney could help injured parties recover compensation in a hit-and-run car accident in The Woodlands. Our team could help plaintiffs locate and file a claim against the negligent driver who caused their injuries. Call our office today to speak with a dedicated legal professional about your case.
Hit-and-Run Accident Laws in The Woodlands
Under the Texas Transportation Code §550.022(a)(1)-(3), motorists involved in a collision resulting in the damaging of a vehicle are required to stop at the scene immediately. If stopping was not feasible to do under the circumstances, drivers must return to the scene and remain there until authorities arrive.
Tex. Transp. Code § 550.021(a)(1)-(4) (2019) also states that drivers who are involved in an accident resulting in severe injury or death of another person must:
- Stop at the scene of the accident immediately
- Return to the scene if it was not viable to do so at the time of the accident
- Determine if there is a person involved in the accident
- Check to see if the person involved requires medical attention
- Wait for authorities to arrive
If a motorist collides with an unattended vehicle, they are responsible for attempting to locate and notify the owner of the car. If the owner cannot be found, the at-fault motorist must leave their name and address somewhere on the vehicle for the other driver to find it upon returning. A local attorney could help someone build a hit-and-run accident case by citing these statutes.
Penalties for Fleeing the Scene of an Accident
Fleeing the scene of an accident is a misdemeanor offense under Tex. Transp. Code § 550.022(c) (2019). If a hit-and-run involves damage to a vehicle under $200, the negligent motorist may be charged with a Class C misdemeanor. The offense is brought up to a Class B misdemeanor if the damage is over $200.
Fleeing the scene after a collision that causes the other driver to sustain a serious injury is a third-degree felony under Tex. Transp. Code § 550.021 (c)(1)(A) (2019). If the accident results in a fatality, the at-fault driver may be charged with a second-degree felony. Drivers could also face penalties for these collisions that cause damage to structures or buildings. An experienced hit-and-run car wreck lawyer could use the prosecution of a negligent driver as evidence in a hit-and-run civil claim.
Discuss Hit-and-Run Car Accidents in The Woodlands with a Lawyer Today
Hit-and-run accidents are one of the most common types of car crashes, but they can be difficult to prosecute if the identity of the negligent driver is unknown.
If you sustained injury or property damage as a result of a hit-and-run, our firm could help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a skilled attorney capable of handling hit-and-run car accidents in The Woodlands.