What is the hit and run law in Houston?
According to Texas Transportation Code § 550.021(c)(2), “the operator of a vehicle involved in an accident that results, or is reasonably likely to result, in injury to or death of a person shall:
- immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the scene as possible;
- immediately return to the scene of the accident if the vehicle is not stopped at the scene of the accident;
- immediately determine whether a person is involved in the accident, and if a person is involved in the accident, whether that person requires aid; and
- remain at the scene of the accident until the operator complies with the requirements of Section 550.023.
Section 550.023 states that the operator of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in the injury or death of a person or damage to a vehicle that is driven or attended by a person shall:
- give the operator’s name and address, the registration number of the vehicle the operator was driving, and the name of the operator’s motor vehicle liability insurer to any person injured or the operator of, occupant of, and/or the person attending a vehicle involved in the collision;
- if requested and available, show the operator’s driver’s license; and
- provide any person injured in the accident reasonable assistance, including transporting or making arrangements for transporting the person to a physician or hospital for medical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary, or if the injured person requests the transportation.
Much like being involved in a drunk driver accident or a wreck with an uninsured motorist, the legal specifics of being involved in a hit and run accident in Houston can become exceedingly complex. Whether you’re looking for an uninsured motorist lawyer or a pedestrian accident lawyer in Houston, the attorneys at Grimes & Fertitta have the knowledge and experience to help.
What is the penalty for hit and run in Texas?
Hit-and-run cases involve one party colliding with another individual (whether on foot, on a bicycle, or in a vehicle of their own) before fleeing the scene without stopping to assess the damage, exchange information, or provide assistance. The charge for this is called Failure to Stop and Render Aid in Texas and carries the following penalties:
- If the accident results in bodily injury, charges for failure to stop and render aid are punishable by imprisonment of up to five years and a fine of up to $5,000 dollars.
- If the accident results in serious bodily injury, charges for failure to stop and render aid are punishable by imprisonment from two to ten years and a fine of up to $10,000 dollars.
- If the accident results in wrongful death, charges for failure to stop and render aid are punishable by imprisonment from two to twenty years and a fine of up to $10,000 dollars.
It isn’t always the case, but hit-and-run accidents are more common when the fleeing driver either:
- Does not carry insurance
- Is under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Has a current criminal record
Because of these factors that often contribute to hit-and-run cases, charges for failure to stop and render aid are not the only thing on the table. If you want to ensure that justice is served and that your rights are protected, you need to make sure that you work with an experienced hit and run lawyer in Houston, TX, who also has deep experience as a drunk driving accident lawyer.
How to sue the person who hit you and ran
Here’s what you should do after you’ve been hit in a hit-and-run accident:
- Seek medical attention. Get the medical attention that you need before you think about filing a hit-and-run claim.
- Call the police. Report the hit and run to police as soon as possible, to get a report of the incident and witnesses on the scene.
- Gather evidence and information. This could include details about the vehicle that hit you, evidence from the scene, and information or testimonies from eyewitnesses.
- Call an experienced hit and run lawyer. Your attorney can help guide you through the legal process and ensure that you have the time that you need to heal, and hopefully get back to your life.
- Document all injuries and damages. Keep thorough medical records and print copies of all communications with the police and the insurance company.
The major complicating factor of any hit and run accident in Houston, however, is whether or not the fleeing driver can be found. If the driver cannot be found, you may have to seek compensation from your own insurance company, although this may only be an option if you carry Uninsured Motorist Coverage.
Call the Houston hit and run lawyers at Grimes & Fertitta
Our Houston hit and run lawyers hope to provide a light at the end of the tunnel for victims of hit and run accidents in Houston. We understand that this may be one of the most difficult times you and your family have ever had to face, and we hope that by navigating the complexities of the case, advocating for your rights, and pursuing the compensation that you deserve, we can get you one step closer to moving past this traumatic experience.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in Houston on foot or while driving, and whether you need a Houston truck accident lawyer or a bicycle accident lawyer, the winning personal injury attorneys at Grimes & Fertitta are here to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call Grimes & Fertitta at (713) 224-7644 or contact us online today for a free case evaluation.