Any collision with another vehicle can be traumatic for you and your passengers. Hit-and-run accidents, however, can cause even more serious issues for you financially and legally. Knowing what to do when you are involved in a Houston auto accident and the other driver flees the scene can help you to protect yourself against these unwanted consequences of hit-and-run accidents. Here are some tips to remember if you are the victim of a hit-and-run driver.
Get That License Plate Number
If possible, take down the license plate number of the vehicle as soon as possible after the accident occurs. This can provide added information for police in tracking down and apprehending the hit-and-run driver. It will also be helpful to note the make, model and color of the car even if the license plate number is not visible.
Call the Police
Even if the damage to your vehicle is relatively minor, calling the police right away after a Houston auto accident can help to document the situation for your insurance company. This is especially true for hit-and-run accidents in which you may not have witnesses. The police can provide added support for your negotiations with your insurance company in dealing with needed repairs.
Don’t Attempt to Pursue
Chasing a hit-and-run driver is unproductive at best and, at worst, could be dangerous for you and your passengers. Even if the other driver did so first, leaving the scene of a serious accident before the police arrive is never a good idea. Trying to chase down another driver could put you at risk of another Houston car accident and may lead to charges being filed against you.
Move to the Side
If your vehicle is still drivable, you should move it out of the line of traffic and over to the side of the road. This can reduce the risk of further accidents and can allow you to wait for the police to arrive in greater safety.
Hit-and-Run Drivers in Texas Subject to Harsh Penalties
Under Texas law, leaving the scene of a fatal accident is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Even if no one was killed in the incident, drivers could be subject to serious penalties for leaving the scene of the accident and failing to provide aid to the other party in the collision.
If you have been the victim of a hit-and-run driver, consulting with the experienced Houston vehicle accident lawyers at DeSimone Law Office can provide you with the guidance and representation you need during this challenging time. We can negotiate with your insurance company and pursue compensation from the other driver if he or she is apprehended by the police. Call us today at 713-526-9000 to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to protecting your legal rights.