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Ask a Car Accident Attorney: I Was the Victim of a Hit and Run... What Happens Now?

Ask a Car Accident Attorney

Leaving the crime of an accident without identifying yourself is a serious offense in Texas. If you've been the victim of a hit-and-run, then you need to get in contact with a car accident attorney in San Antonio as soon as possible. Your attorney will know what to do after a hit-and-run.

Ask a Car Accident Attorney in San Antonio: What Should I Do After a Hit and Run?

1. Write Down Everything You Know

If you've been involved in a hit-and-run, then write down every detail you remember about the incident. Important information includes the make and model of the driver's car, the license plate (or as much of it as you can remember), a description of the driver and passengers, and the time and location of the incident.

The time and location of the incident are especially important, as there may be security or traffic cameras nearby that can help identify the driver. The driver can also be identified using their license plate.

2. Check Your Dash Cam Footage

If you have a dash cam, then check the footage. It may have caught details that you didn't see at the time of the accident. Save this footage so you can share it with your attorney, as it can help identify the other driver.

3. Contact an Attorney

Once you have all the details written down, you can start looking for an attorney to contact. It's essential to write down the details before you complete this step, as your search for an attorney can make the details of your accident fade in your memory. Find a firm you trust, then have a consultation with a lawyer. Find out more about how to contact an attorney by following the link provided.

What Can the Attorney Do After a Hit-and-Run?

1. Identify the Driver

If you provide enough information about the incident, your attorney will most likely be able to identify the driver. It'll be easier if you have footage of the license plate.

2. Build Your Case

It's very unlikely that someone who's been hit by another driver would drive away after the incident, so you already have that in your favor. This shows that the driver who hit you and drove away is most likely liable. However, your attorney can help build a stronger case to show that you were not at fault for the accident.

3. Negotiate Compensation

The attorney can negotiate compensation for you. They'll do this by speaking to the other driver's insurance company going back and forth until the insurance company offers a settlement that fully covers the damages you've suffered. Your attorney can also help you calculate these damages before negotiations begin.

What If My Attorney Can't Find the Other Driver?

If you and your attorney can't identify the other driver, then you're not out of luck. Your insurance policy may have collision coverage, personal injury protection, uninsured motorist bodily injury, and uninsured motorist property damage.

The latter two can also apply if you find the other driver but they don't have insurance or are underinsured.

Will the Other Driver Be Punished for Committing a Hit-and-Run?

A hit-and-run is a serious offense, and the punishment varies. The consequence is more severe in cases where someone in your vehicle was injured or killed in the accident.

When Is It a Felony?

A hit-and-run is classed as a felony in Texas if somebody was injured or killed in the accident. In the case of a serious injury or death, the other driver may face 2 to 10 years in state prison.

Non-serious injuries are punishable by a fine of up to $5,000. The liable driver may also face up to five years in a state prison or up to a year in county jail, depending on the circumstances.

When Is It a Misdemeanor?

Hit-and-runs are misdemeanors when there are no injuries or deaths involved. The other driver would be charged with a class C misdemeanor and a fine of up to $500 if there was less than $200 of damage done to your car or property in the car.

If the damage exceeds more than $200, then the other driver can be charged with a class B misdemeanor with a punishment of six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.

If you were involved in a hit-and-run accident, then an attorney can help you identify the other driver. Even if you can't identify the other driver, your insurance policy should cover the cost of some or all of your medical bills and property damage.

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