A hit-and run-driver in Texas can face severe legal penalties for fleeing the scene of a car accident. Occasionally, these situations happen without the driver even realizing they have committed an offense. To avoid this scenario, it’s necessary for both drivers to exchange insurance information and wait for law enforcement officials to arrive after an accident occurs.
Unfortunately, drivers may flee the scene of an accident for more reprehensible reasons:
- The driver doesn’t have a valid driver’s license
- The driver doesn’t have an insurance policy
- The driver is already facing legal troubles
- The driver is intoxicated
However, regardless of negligence or fault, the driver who flees the scene must face the charges. To aid future victims of hit-and-run accidents, our Austin hit-and-run accident attorneys have compiled a list of the 5 steps you must follow if you intend to pursue justice and damages.
The 5 Steps
Step #1: Take Mental Notes
While it may be difficult, it’s important to take as many mental notes as you can about the other driver and their vehicle.
This information can help the police track the vehicle in question:
- The model, color, distinguishing features, and license plate number of the vehicle
- Physical characteristics of the driver, including: gender, race, age, etc.
- Which direction the car fled to
Step #2: Call 911
Even though the other driver has fled, you still need to call for emergency services and ensure that everyone in your vehicle is safe and unharmed. Also, by reporting the hit-and-run accident, your information from Step #1 may give the police an advantage in tracking down the other driver.
Step #3: Document the Scene
It’s important to document the scene as soon as possible. This information is essential evidence for both your insurance company and your legal team.
If possible, compile the following evidence:
- Take pictures of your vehicle, any property damage, your injuries, and the general scene of the accident
- Talk to any witnesses and write down their names and phone numbers
- Take screenshots of your receipt if you are a rideshare passenger
- Write down the names and badge numbers of any law enforcement officials who show up at the scene
Step #4: Seek Medical Attention
It’s important to seek medical attention even if you don’t think you’re injured. After an accident, it may take time for your injuries to develop noticeable symptoms. Only a medical professional is trained to properly identify and treat these injuries. This is particularly important if you hit your head or if your head was jostled during the accident. This can lead to dangerous brain contusions and/or a concussion. Plus, this step is essential in validating your personal injury claim. Your medical record is proof that you sought treatment and that your injuries were appraised and treated by a doctor.
Step #5: Hire an Attorney
At The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC, our legal team has represented thousands of accident victims and can help you file an insurance claim and a personal injury claim. Our Austin hit-and-run accident lawyers can gather evidence, investigate your case, interview witnesses, and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.
We’re available 24/7! Contact The Stewart Law Firm, PLLC at (512) 271-5112 to schedule a case evaluation.