In Texas, all drivers are required by law to pull over and give aid if they’ve been in an accident. Unfortunately, not everyone follows this law, and sometimes, drivers will speed off without even stopping to make sure you’re okay.
If you’re in a hit-and-run accident, it’s understandable to be terrified. But you should know that you do have options, and with assistance from an experienced Austin car accident attorney like Stephen Stewart, you can prevent the burden of the car accident from all falling on your shoulders.
Read on to find out what you should do after you’re involved in a hit-and-run accident.
What to do immediately after your car accident in Texas
There are a number of important steps to take at the scene of the accident itself:
- Pull over: While it may be tempting to pursue the fleeing driver, this will likely only make matters worse and may cause further damage.
- Call the police: Report the accident to the police immediately so that they can fill out an accident report. Try to remember as much information as possible about the accident and the other driver to help the police track them down. This kind of information can include:
- The make, model, and color of the vehicle
- A physical description of the driver
- Any part of the license plate that you can recall.
- Get medical help: If you or anyone else in your vehicle is injured, call an ambulance. Document any medical treatment you receive to strengthen a personal injury claim that you might make in the future.
- Document evidence: Take photos or videos of damage to your vehicle, the environment around the accident, and any injuries that your or someone in your car received.
- Talk to witnesses: Take the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the accident.
Once you’ve completed these steps on the scene, you’ll have to wait to see if the police are able to track down the other driver. If they can’t, then documenting evidence about the accident will help you obtain as much coverage from your insurance company as possible.
Getting compensation for the accident
Victims of hit-and-run accidents not only have to deal with damage to their vehicles and possible injuries, but also have the added burden of handling a claim entirely on their own without the cooperation of the other driver. This begs the question: who is going to pay for all this?
In many cases, if the at-fault driver is never identified, you may have to rely on your own Uninsured Motorist or Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. However, the amount your insurance company offers may not be sufficient to cover all of your costs. This is where an experienced car accident attorney can assist.
Using the police report, law enforcement will be on the lookout for the person responsible for the hit-and-run. If they are able to find him or her, an attorney can help you file a claim with their insurance company, and if you wish, file a personal injury lawsuit directly against the driver to seek damages for the accident.
If the driver was intoxicated or distracted while they were driving, you may even be able to sue them for punitive damages, in addition to compensation for your injuries and vehicle damage.
If, on the other hand, the other driver is never found, you still have plenty of options. An attorney with experience helping victims of hit-and-run accidents will be able to maximize your compensation from your insurance company.
At The Stewart Law Firm, we are well versed in the tactics used by insurance companies to diminish claims, and have years of experience negotiating fair and just settlements, as well as litigating car accident cases in court. We are prepared to fight to make sure that you receive the compensation you both need and deserve.
Hire a car accident attorney in Austin today
Hit-and-run claim cases can be complex, which is why seeking advice from the experienced team at The Stewart Law Firm is your best bet to get the full compensation you deserve. Contact us today or call (512) 271-511 to schedule a free consultation.