The rules of the road help keep drivers across Texas as safe as possible. Unfortunately, violations of those rules are incredibly common, which is one of the reasons there are so many collisions to begin with. For example, people know that they shouldn’t go over the speed limit or get behind the wheel after drinking, but they may choose to do it anyway, without worrying about the impact their decision could have on other people.
There are also specific rules regarding what a person must do after experiencing a collision with another vehicle, pedestrians or personal property. Specifically, drivers in Texas should stop their vehicles and contact law enforcement in the event of a crash that produces either property damage or personal injury.
What is a hit-and-run?
Unfortunately, some people will do just about anything to avoid the responsibility that comes with driving. After they cause a crash that hurts someone or damages their vehicle, they might just drive away. Under the law, that is a crime in and of itself, known as hit-and-run.
If you experienced a collision in which the other vehicle sped off after the crash or you came out of your home or a business to discover substantial damage because someone struck your vehicle, there are certain steps you should take to protect your rights after a hit-and-run in Texas.
Take photos of everything, and call the police
Sometimes, with minor fender-benders, it is possible for you and the other driver to reach a resolution without involving the police or your insurance companies. Offering a couple hundred bucks for chipped paint could be all it takes to avoid an expensive insurance claim. However, not everyone has insurance or even a license to drive.
While you may think there is a simple and straightforward solution to your issue, the other driver may feel concerned about possible legal charges or costs associated with the crash. They want to avoid personal responsibility, which could leave you dealing with the legal and financial consequences of their bad decision.
If you witness the other car at all, taking pictures with your mobile phone or trying to memorize and write down the license plate number can make it easier to track the other driver. Even a color and vehicle model can be enough to get law enforcement to take the issue seriously. Before you even start taking pictures, you will want to call the police and ask them to send someone out, as you will need to file a police report regarding the hit-and-run incident.
If you find the other driver, you can hold them accountable
Locating the other driver is going to be a big part of resolving the hit-and-run issue and its impact on your life. Even if the crash occurred while you were in a business or sleeping in your home, traffic cameras or security cameras nearby may have captured the vehicle before, after or even during the crash.
Not every hit-and-run case ends up with law enforcement successfully locating the driver who caused the crash. You also need to be ready to advocate on your own behalf if you can’t find the other driver. You may be able to file an insurance claim or even seek certain benefits as the victim of a crime, depending on circumstances.