If you've been hit by a driver who then fled the scene, you might wonder what your options are to recover the losses. You are probably stressed about the incident and facing injuries. You may want to seek out the help of a San Antonio hit and run car accident lawyer so you can try to get your life back in order again.
Reasons Someone May Flee the Scene of an Accident
Most people will stop when they get into an accident to exchange information and make sure everyone is okay. However, it's not completely uncommon for someone to hit another car and then keep on driving. Why would someone hit a car and then run from the scene of the accident? Unfortunately, there are plenty of reasons they may do this, such as:
- They were impaired while driving, either by alcohol, illegal drugs, or prescription drugs, and they didn't want to be arrested.
- They are already in trouble with the law. Maybe they have a warrant out for their arrest, or they are driving on a suspended license.
- They were distracted while driving and know they will be in trouble.
- They don't want to have their insurance rates go up.
Texas Hit-and-Run Law
Whatever the reason the person had for the hit-and-run accident, it is clearly a violation of the law. Texas law indicates that if there is a hit-and-run with an occupied vehicle that results in damage, it is a Class C misdemeanor – with a fine of up to $500 If the damage to all vehicles is less than $200. If the damage is more than $200, it is a Class B misdemeanor, and the person can get up to six months in jail.
Driving Without Insurance
Texas requires that drivers keep their vehicles insured. Most drivers do this, but some fail to purchase auto insurance. You are supposed to have a minimum of $30,000 of coverage for any injuries for each person, up to a total of $60,000 per accident. In addition, drivers must carry $25,000 coverage for property damage. This coverage is also referred to as 30/60/25 and is the minimum amount a driver is supposed to carry.
Many drivers will purchase more than that because they know the damages could cost more. When you get hit by a driver that flees, you have to rely on your own insurance, which can help to offset costs. You may have purchased Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage. This special insurance is not required, so there is no guarantee that you will have it. It is offered to you when you bought your policy, and it will help with hit-and-run accidents. The amount it covers will vary, based on your policy.
You can also tap into your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage. This coverage is one you'll automatically have because it is mandatory in Texas. You will have some degree of coverage for your personal injuries. The minimum amount under most policies is $10,000.
Your health insurance is another option that can assist you with paying for medical costs, as the bills start coming in. You may still have to pay co-payments and deductible costs, though. A San Antonio hit-and-run car accident lawyer can help you explore additional methods for paying for the damages you've suffered.
Filing a Lawsuit
If the hit-and-run driver is found, then you will have the opportunity to seek damages from their insurance. This is the ideal situation because an attorney will have the opportunity to negotiate a fair settlement for you, especially considering the person fled the scene.
Your attorney will work with the police authorities, so it is vital to tell them everything you remember about the accident. If you can help identify the vehicle, that will provide a valuable clue to the authorities. Eyewitnesses may be able to assist with the case as well. You can count on a San Antonio hit-and-run car accident lawyer to pursue all avenues of compensation on your behalf.
Statute of Limitations
The Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code Section 16.003 describes what your timeline is for filing a claim. The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury case is up to two years from the time of the accident. This allows adequate time for your lawyer to find the best way to recover your losses.
Injuries in a Hit-and-Run Accident
Most accidents unfortunately cause some degree of injury. Whether it's minor or severe, you must take care of the medical needs you have after a hit-and-run accident. Different types of accidents may cause more injuries for people. A head-on collision would be the worst that could cause significant injuries and damages. However, other types of accidents can be severe as well. Some common injuries from a car accident include:
- Head injuries or concussion
- Spinal injuries
- Cuts or lacerations
- Facial or dental injuries
Get Compensation for Your Losses
The losses and damages you incur from a hit-and-run accident can be many. You may be out of work for a period of time while going in and out of a doctor's office which can all add up. Plus, there are the pain and suffering damages that occur from car accidents as well. Some of the damages you can seek compensation for include:
- Medical costs
- Loss of income
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
Consult a Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer
A San Antonio hit and run accident lawyer is here to help you get your life back together again. A lawyer can assist you to get compensation for the many losses you've faced due to your car accident. With an attorney's expertise, you can move forward and reclaim the losses you've incurred. At the Dolman Law Group we will provide you with a free, confidential consultation to assess your case. To learn the best legal options available and to seek maximum compensation, contact us today.
San Antonio Office
921 S St Mary's St #2
San Antonio, TX 78205
Phone: (210) 361-2039