Hit & Runs: What to Do in a Car Wreck When Another Driver Flees the SceneNovember 20, 2018
Texas Car Accident Lawyer
When motorists are in crashes anywhere in Texas, state law1 requires them to stay at the accident scene and exchange driver- and insurance-related information with the other involved parties. Texas law also requires drivers to always call police whenever the accident involves:
· Damaged vehicles that cannot be moved
· Suspected driver intoxication
Despite these laws, however, many drivers still flee the scenes of accidents, leaving those who remain with little to no information to pursue an accident claim. This is when you should contact a Texas car accident lawyer.
Whenever hit-and-run accidents occur, it’s important to remember that:
· You may still have options and recourse for seeking financial recovery.
· The steps you take immediately after the crash can go a long way towards helping you recover the compensation you may deserve.
To help you protect yourself and your rights after a hit and run, the following shares the most important steps to take after another drivers flees the scene of an accident.
Have You or a Loved One Been Hurt in a Hit & Run or Any Type of Crash?
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7 Steps to Take after a Hit-and-Run Accident
1. Record as many details as you can remember about the other motorist – While the details are still fresh in your mind, write down (or record yourself speaking) the details you remember, like the make, model and color of the other vehicle; part or all of the license plate number; any distinguishing features of the vehicle (like bumper stickers); and any details about the driver (like gender, approximate age, etc.). These details may be helpful to identifying the driver who fled.
2. Call police – Police can investigate the wreck and write up an official report for the accident. Even if police investigations do not yield the identity of the driver who caused the hit and run, police reports can still contain a lot of important evidence, like witness accounts of the crash.
3. Take pictures of the accident scene – Get as many pictures as you can of the damage, your injuries and the scene as a whole. Take close-up pictures of different points of damage; also, when possible, try to include a point of reference (like a quarter or hand) so it’s easier to see the extent of the damage in your photos. These pictures can include important details related to the points of impact and possibly even the precise cause(s) of the crash. They can also clearly depict the severity and extent of the damage caused by the wreck.
4. Get medical attention – Whether you let an emergency medical technician (EMT) check you out at the scene or you see your doctor immediately after the wreck, getting medical attention is crucial. Not only will it facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of your car accident injuries (which can result in better prognoses), it can also result in official documentation (via doctor’s reports and medical records) regarding the physical harm you suffered in the crash. This will be important when it’s time to financially recover for things like medical bills and suffering.
5. Take down witness information – If there are any witnesses to the crash (including those who were passengers in your vehicle), record their accounts of what occurred, along with their name(s) and contact information. Please remember that witnesses may come forward after the crash, contacting police in the hours or days that follow. So, be sure to request a copy of the official police report for your crash.2 It can give you important witness accounts, along with various other key evidence.
6. Report the accident to your auto insurance provider – Try to do this as soon as reasonably possible after the crash. When reporting the accident, only discuss the facts of the crash. Do not guess any details, and never admit or accept blame for the accident. Also, do not agree to give an “official statement” (i.e., a recorded statement) if you are not ready to only discuss the details of the crash. Insurers can use anything you tell them to try to reduce or deny your claim – and adjusters are commonly focused on limiting claim payouts in an attempt to protect their employer’s bottom line.
7. Talk to an experienced car accident attorney – An experienced lawyer can explain your legal options and help you take all of the necessary steps to build and present the strongest possible claim. In fact, while a lawyer can conduct additional investigations and track down more helpful evidence, (s)he can also help you identify all at-fault parties – and hold them all accountable. That can be integral to assuring you obtain the full financial recovery you deserve for your crash-related medical bills, lost wages, property damage, pain, suffering and other losses.
A Houston Car Accident Lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm Can Help You Recover from a Hit & Run: Contact Us
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a hit-and-run accident or any type of motor vehicle crash, you can turn to an experienced Houston car accident lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm for exceptional representation in the pursuit of justice and financial recovery.
Call (877) 892-2797 or Email our Firm for Your FREE Consultation.
We are ready to provide you with the advice and information you need to move forward with a potential claim and position it for success.
1: Texas law regarding motorist obligations after a crash
2: Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) System for Requesting a Police Car Accident Report