If you or someone you know has been accused of a hit and run accident, you’re not just looking at a traffic ticket. A hit and run is a criminal offense that occurs when a driver fails to stop and exchange information after being involved in an accident.
In Texas, hit and run is a serious offense that can result in severe penalties for the driver responsible.
For the person who has been hit, it’s important to get compensation. Our car accident attorneys at The Stewart Law Firm in Austin, Texas can help.
What Is the Penalty For a Texas Hit and Run?
Under Texas law, the penalty for a hit and run will depend on a number of factors, including:
- the severity of the accident,
- the extent of the damage or injuries caused, and
- whether anyone was killed in the crash
In general, hit and run penalties in Texas can include fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment.
If a hit and run accident results in only minor property damage, the driver may be charged with a Class C misdemeanor, which is the lowest level of criminal offense in Texas. The penalty for a Class C misdemeanor hit and run in Texas can include fines of up to $500.
However, if a hit and run accident results in serious bodily injury or death, the driver may face much more severe penalties.
- If the accident caused an injury, the driver may be charged with a third-degree felony, which can result in fines of up to $10,000 and a prison sentence of between two and ten years.
- If the crash results in death, the driver may be charged with a second-degree felony, which can result in fines of up to $10,000 and a prison sentence of between 2 and 20 years.
In addition to criminal penalties, a hit and run driver may also be subject to civil liability for any damages or injuries caused by the accident. This can include compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. Under Texas law, there is no upper limit to these damages.
What About Hit and Run Victims in Texas?
Victims of hit and run accidents may also be entitled to punitive damages, which are intended to punish the driver for their actions and deter others from hitting and running in the future.
Punitive damages are totally separate from civil liabilities, but they’re capped based on the total economic and non-economic damages.
In Texas, punitive damages are limited to double the economic damages, plus non-economic damages, up to a limit of $750,000. The minimum punitive damage cap is $200,000, although juries may choose to award a lesser amount.
I’ve Been Hit by a Hit and Run Driver in Texas – What Should I Do?
If you are involved in a hit and run accident in Texas, it’s important to take immediate steps to protect your rights and ensure that the responsible driver is held accountable.
- contacting the police,
- seeking medical attention if necessary,
- gathering information from any witnesses or bystanders who may have seen the accident, andcontacting a dedicated Texas car accident attorney who can help you fight for the compensation you deserve after this traumatic accident.
Don’t Take Chances – Hire the Stewart Law Firm in Austin, Texas
As you can see, Texas hit and runs can be complicated, and the consequences depend on the circumstances. Depending on the severity of the accident and the extent of the damages or injuries caused, hit and run penalties in Texas can range from fines to imprisonment.
If you are involved in a hit and run accident in Texas, it’s important to take immediate steps to protect your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. The Stewart Law Firm in Austin, Texas, has years of experience in handling personal injury cases. Contact us today for a consultation!