More than one hit and run crash occur every minute in the United States. Hit and run accidents in Texas are far too common. Texas is among the nation’s leaders in hit and run deaths each year. According to research from Safe Transportation Research & Education Center (SafeTREC), there are many characteristics associated with hit and run accidents.
Some of those factors include:
- visibility (lower visibility = more accidents)
- time of day (midnight to 4 am = more accidents)
- day of the week (more social activity = more accidents)
- environment (roadside distractions like construction = more accidents)
- behaviors (driving under the influence = more accidents)
- perpetrator gender and age (young males = more accidents)
Hit and run drivers may leave the scene because of obvious factors such as being unlicensed or intoxicated, but making that decision leaves them vulnerable to consequences beyond what they would face if they reported the accident.
By hiring a Texas personal injury lawyer, you can rest assured that you have an advocate fighting on your behalf and that the full scope of justice will be served. Call Patterson Law Group at 817-784-200 to schedule a free consultation with our legal professionals.
Steps to Take at The Scene of a Hit and Run Accident
If you’ve been a victim of a hit and run accident in Arlington, Texas, you have options, but the sudden nature of a hit and run can leave you with a lot to process. It is vital to remain calm, avoid making any regrettable decisions, and document as much as you can.
After a hit and run, follow these steps.
- Get to a safe location: The first thing you want to do is get to a secure place out of traffic flow.
- Do not try to stop or chase down the driver yourself: For many drivers, the first instinct in a hit and run accident is to chase down the at fault driver in an attempt to retrieve information. However, chasing down the driver could put your life and the lives of others at risk with reckless driving.
- Try to document the make, model, and license plate of a vehicle: The more information you have on the vehicle, the easier it will be for authorities to try to track down the driver.
- Call the police immediately: It is important to report the accident to Texas authorities. Try to provide as many details as possible.
- Obtain information from any witnesses: You will want to retrieve names, addresses, and phone numbers for any bystanders who witnessed the accident. Their statements could also help authorities track down the runaway driver.
- Take photos of the accident scene and any damage or injuries: There is no such thing as too much evidence. Make sure to document the damage to your property, the street the accident occurred on, and any injuries you sustained. This evidence will help when your claim is filed with the insurance company.
- Contact a local Texas car accident attorney: Even if you do not decide to retain an attorney’s services, most attorneys offer a free initial consultation. It is worth scheduling a consultation to have your accident reviewed and receive legal advice regarding your case. Nevertheless, it is to your benefit to hire an attorney. Our trained attorneys can help you investigate the accident and pursue a claim to earn the compensation you deserve. Give us a call at 817-784-200.
Arlington, Texas Hit and Run FAQ
What Should I Do if the At-Fault Driver Leaves the Scene of the Accident?
If the at-fault driver leaves the scene of the accident, you might be inclined to chase them. Avoid that inclination. Instead, document the make, model, and license plate for the vehicle and write down any details about the driver, passengers, or the vehicle that you can recall. Call the police immediately before taking any photos. Allow the police to collect evidence, but you should also photograph that evidence and get the names of any witnesses. Once you are equipped with all of that information, contact an Arlington, Texas lawyer about your next steps.
What Type of Compensation Can I Get from a Hit and Run Accident Claim?
Compensation can range from economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages are damages awarded to compensate for financial losses. Economic damages include medical bills, property damage, household services, vocational rehabilitation, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity. It is essential to understand that calculating medical expenses should be about more than what you have already paid. Your future medical expenses (surgeries, treatments, prescriptions, etc.) related to the accident should also be factored into your economic damages.
Non-economic damages are harder to estimate because the damage is not as tangible. Non-economic damages include compensation for pain, suffering, reputational damage, humiliation, loss of consortium, and loss of life enjoyment. Make sure to document these damages so that you can make sure the insurance company pays you maximum value.
Unlike economic or non-economic damages, punitive damages are not awarded for a loss. Instead, punitive damages are awarded as punishment for the other driver’s actions to prevent similar conduct in the future. Punitive damages are most commonly awarded in drunk driving or speeding-related accidents.
Several factors impact your settlement potential, so it is crucial to contact Patterson Law Group to find the right hit and run lawyer in the Arlington, Texas area.
How Long Do I Have to File a Hit and Run Claim in Texas?
Your time to file a claim for a hit and run in Texas is limited. The statute of limitations is the deadline to file a claim and differs by state. In Texas, the standard statute is two years from the date of the accident; however, the details of a case can change these deadlines. For example, minor victims have a different window of opportunity. After this time passes, pursuing legal action against the party at fault is nearly impossible. Two years seems like a long time, but building a case before filing in court could take months, especially when part of that time is spent finding the perpetrator of a hit and run and recovering from your injuries.
After an accident, you are faced with a lot of choices. The best choice you can make is finding a personal injury lawyer who will work with you and for you like the Patterson Law Group team.
Seek Expert Legal Counsel from a Dedicated Patterson Law Group Attorney
The expert legal counsel at Patterson Law Group is ready to help build your hit and run case. To get the compensation you deserve after a hit and run accident in or around Texas, contact us at 817-784-200. We will help you achieve justice with our free initial consultation and our award-winning practice.