Many people become involved in hit-and-run car accidents every day on rural roadways, in parking lots and parking garages, and on busy highways throughout Texas. In a hit-and-run accident scenario, the at-fault driver negligently causes the vehicle they’re operating to strike another vehicle. However, the at-fault driver then leaves the accident scene without stopping.
Just as with other types of motor vehicle crashes, hit-and-run accidents can produce serious and debilitating injuries for which the accident victim may require ongoing medical treatment. Following a hit-and-run car accident, you may be able to turn to your own insurance company for monetary compensation via an uninsured motorist (UM) claim. The claim will then proceed in much the same way as any other personal injury claim.
If your insurance company does not offer you the fair damages that you need for the physical injuries you suffered in your hit-and-run accident, you could file an uninsured motorist lawsuit in court, naming your insurance company as the defendant.
UM claims can be difficult to navigate in some circumstances. Therefore, It is important that you talk with a knowledgeable Texas car accident attorney at Cesar Ornelas Injury Law as quickly as possible.
Our legal team can review the circumstances of your hit-and-run accident with you and handle all dealings with your insurance company. We can then work to pursue the monetary compensation you need for your accident-related injuries by filing the appropriate personal injury claim or lawsuit on your behalf. Finally, we can represent you in all legal proceedings, including depositions, settlement conferences, mediations, jury trials, or binding arbitrations.
For a free legal consultation and case evaluation with a skilled Texas car crash attorney, please contact us to learn more.
Tips for Reporting Hit-and-Run Car Accidents in a Timely Manner
Following a hit-and-run car accident that occurs on an area roadway, you should take several important steps as soon as possible after the crash happens. First, you should call 9-1-1 from the accident scene right away. Taking this action will dispatch a police officer, as well as EMTs, to the crash site.
If you were able to obtain a license number or some other identifying information from the vehicle that hit you – including the vehicle’s color, make, or model – you should record that information and keep it in a safe place. You may need it when it comes time to file your insurance claim.
Next, you should speak with a police officer about how the accident happened so that they may prepare an accurate police report. In the police report, the officer will typically note that the accident was a hit and run, along with other information about how the crash occurred.
Furthermore, if you are able, you should speak with any bystanders or eyewitnesses to the accident. In addition to obtaining their names and contact information, you should ask them to relate what they remember about the accident and how it occurred.
Moreover, if they wrote down a license number or other identifying information about the vehicle, you should record that information — or take a screenshot of the information on your phone.
Eyewitnesses to a hit-and-run accident may also become important if your case goes to trial. These individuals could take the witness stand, if necessary, and testify about their observations regarding vehicle speeds and maneuvers leading up to the crash.
Where do Hit and Runs Frequently Happen?
Hit-and-run motor vehicle crashes can happen just about anywhere that vehicles are present. Some of the most common locations for hit-and-run accidents include:
- Multi-lane highways where significant traffic is proceeding in each direction — and where vehicle drivers continually change lanes
- Parking lots and parking garages with tight corners and narrow parking spaces
- Traffic intersections where many vehicles are present
If you suffered injuries in a hit-and-run crash that occurred in one of these locations – or in some other location – you should talk with a knowledgeable Texas car accident lawyer right away. At Cesar Ornelas Injury Law, we can determine if you are eligible to file a UM claim with your insurance company and, if so, will assist you with every step of the legal process.
Common Types of Hit-and-Run Accidents
At-fault motor vehicle drivers may leave the scene of an accident under various circumstances. Some common hit-and-run accidents include:
- Rear-end crashes
- Sideswipe accidents
- Head-on collisions
- Rollover accidents
- T-bone or broadside collisions
Possible Causes of Hit-and-Run Crashes
When drivers negligently cause a car accident, they have an incentive to leave the scene without stopping – especially if they know they are completely uninsured or underinsured. However, it is against the law for a driver not to stop their vehicle following involvement in an accident.
Some of the most common types of negligence that lead to a hit-and-run car collision include:
- Fatigued driving or falling asleep at the wheel
- Violating rules of the road, including right-of-way laws and speed limits
- Distracted or inattentive driving
- Drunk or drugged driving
If you later file a UM lawsuit against your own insurance company following a hit-and-run accident, that claim will sound in both negligence and breach of contract. Under the negligence portion of the claim, you are alleging that another driver committed one or more negligent acts, causing the subject accident (along with your injuries) and then leaving the accident scene before you could exchange insurance information.
Moreover, by filing a UM claim, you are alleging a breach of contract by your own insurance company for not paying you the full compensation that you deserve, pursuant to the terms of your contract with them. That contract provides that the insurance company must supply the necessary coverage in the event of a hit-and-run accident.
The knowledgeable Texas car crash attorneys at Cesar Ornelas Injury Law could assist you with pursuing a UM claim or lawsuit and recovering the full monetary damages you deserve to recover.
Recovering Monetary Damages for Injuries in a Hit-and-Run Car Crash
Victims in hit-and-run accidents may suffer serious injuries, especially if the accident occurs at high speed. In many cases, drivers attempt to get away quickly, preventing accident victims from exchanging insurance information with the at-fault driver or obtaining identifying vehicle information.
The injuries that a crash victim suffers will often depend upon several factors, including:
- The location of the accident
- The circumstances leading up to the accident
- The specific type of accident that occurs
- The way that the accident victim’s body moves in their vehicle during the crash
- Whether a part of the accident victim’s body strikes something in their vehicle
In some accident situations, drivers or passengers may hit their head on the steering wheel, window, or roof of the car, suffering a concussion or other traumatic head injury. If a part of their body makes contact with a part of the vehicle, they could sustain a broken bone or soft tissue contusion to their neck and back. Finally, some accident victims suffer spinal cord or paralysis injuries, internal organ damage, bruises, and open lacerations.
If you become injured in a recent hit-and-run accident, you should go to a nearby hospital facility for observation and diagnosis. You should also follow through with additional treatment if the responding medical provider recommends it.
At Cesar Ornelas Injury Law, we can begin handling the legal aspects of your claim while you focus on making a full recovery from your injuries.
Recoverable Monetary Damages Following a Hit-and-Run Car Crash
If you suffered injuries in a recent hit and run, the experienced Texas car accident attorneys at Cesar Ornelas Injury Law are here to help you pursue the highest amount of monetary compensation available. Our legal team could help you recover monetary damages for your:
- Accident-related medical expenses, including medical procedures and physical therapy costs
- Lost wages from not being able to work following your accident
- Past and future inconvenience, pain, and suffering
- Mental distress
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Permanent disfigurement, disability, or loss of use of a body part
- Loss of spousal companionship
Call an Experienced Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer in Texas Today
If you sustained injuries in a recent hit-and-run car crash that resulted from a fleeing driver’s negligence, you have legal options available to you. In any car accident scenario, time is of the essence since accident victims only have two years from the date of their accident in which to file a lawsuit for damages. This statute of limitations is extremely unforgiving, and if you miss the statutory deadline by as little as one day, the court will promptly dismiss your personal injury lawsuit. Therefore, it is essential that you seek the legal help you need right away.
At Cesar Ornelas Injury Law, our legal team has a strong record of recovering favorable settlement compensation, jury verdicts, and binding arbitration awards for our clients. We can help you recover the damages you deserve following your hit-and-run crash and help you become whole again.
For a free case evaluation and legal consultation, please call us or contact us online to learn more. We are ready to help today.
Originally from Kyle, Texas, Mr. Ornelas is a first-generation college graduate and a first-generation attorney.
Licensed in Texas, Cesar Ornelas’s nationwide practice is entirely contingency fee-based and consists of a wide variety of catastrophic personal injury and death cases. He has represented countless victims of catastrophic accidents across the United States.