Hit And Run Car Accident Investigation Process
Hit & Run Car Accident Investigation Process
Hit and run accidents have been increasing in Texas and nationwide according to research by the American Automobile Association. This is despite the fact that law makers in Texas have passed laws that contain strict penalties for hit and run offenders. Hit and run accidents are the most frustrating car accidents because the victims do not know the insurance details of the offending driver. Making your own insurance company to help cover the damages of a hit and run accident is very difficult.
What Is A Hit And Run Accident
A hit and run accident involves a driver knowingly hitting another vehicle and deliberately driving off without leaving contact information. That is why a hit and run accident is referred to as “leaving the scene”. Without contact information and insurance information, the driver that was hit cannot file a claim to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The only options the hit driver has in this situation to:
- Try and find the driver that hit them
- Or Pay for the accident damages out of pocket
- Or try and get their own insurance company to pay for those damages
It is extremely expensive to pay out of pocket if you suffered a serious injury or your vehicle was totaled in your accident. Consult a car accident attorney to advise you on what to do if you find yourself in a hit and run situation.
Why Drivers Flee The Scene Of The Accident
Drivers who leave the scene do it because they were breaking traffic laws when they caused the accident. For example, a driver may leave the scene without giving insurance information because the driver was drinking and driving, or speeding, or ran a red light and so on. They know that if they stay in the accident scene they may face criminal charges. Other reasons why a driver may flee the scene of the accident include:
- The offending driver is on probation for a previous traffic offense and fear that the new accident may result in having to serve time in prison
- The driver does not have any insurance and fears that they may have to pay out of pocket for the damages
- The offending driver was driving a stolen vehicle during the accident and does not want to get caught by the police
- The driver fell victim to a “Fight or flight” reaction
- The driver consciously wanted to evade liability
However, leaving the scene of the accident may actually result in harsher penalties. If you flee the scene of the crash without rendering aid, it becomes a second-degree felony and you face 20 years in prison. That is the same penalty for intoxicated manslaughter.
Steps To Take In A Hit And Run Accident
To avoid frustrations with expenses related to your accident you need to take the following steps:
- Collect all possible information about the car such as its license plate number, make of the car , its color, and more
- Write down the contact information of eye witnesses
- Look around if there are any surveillance cameras that may have recorded the incident
- Take pictures of the damage to your car
- Call 911 so that the police can prepare a report
All this information can help law enforcement track down the hit and run driver.