According to the Texas Department of Transportation, a vehicular crash occurs every 57 seconds in the Lone Star State. To come up with this statistic, the department counted only “reportable” accidents, so unreported crashes were not figured in. The report does not single out hit-and-run accidents, but notes that injuries and fatalities were on the rise from the year before when the pandemic kept many people off the roads as frequently as pre-pandemic.
Suppose you are traveling down the highway and another driver plows into your vehicle, forcing you off the road with damage to your vehicle and injuries to you. That driver then speeds away before you can even get the license number. What do you do? Will your insurance company believe you? Will they compensate you for your injuries and losses?
If you have been the victim of a hit and run in or around Missouri City, Texas, contact me at K.E. Bradley Attorney & Counselor at Law. As a personal injury attorney, I will assess the circumstances with you and help you file a claim to recover for your injuries and property damage. I will handle the insurance company claims adjusters and fight for the best possible settlement. My firm proudly serves clients in Sugar Land, Katy, Friendswood, Pearland, Fresno, and the rest of Texas.
Texas is an At-Fault Auto Insurance State\
When you’re involved in an accident in Texas, you have the option of reporting it to your insurance company and letting them file a subrogation claim against the at-fault driver, dealing directly with the other driver’s insurer, or filing a lawsuit for personal injury and/or property damage.
If you’re involved in a hit and run and you have no information about the other driver and whether that person was even insured, the second two options are unavailable unless your accident report to police turns up the other driver. If that doesn’t happen, you’re left with the sole option of filing with your own insurance company, or perhaps eating the losses and expenses yourself.
A Basic Auto Policy & Available Options
A basic auto policy in Texas covers only injuries and property damage you cause to others, and not to your vehicle or yourself. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to “load up” on your auto insurance — for instance, if you purchase an uninsured motorist rider to your policy, you could possibly tap into that in a hit and run, and collision coverage should cover damage to your vehicle. Collision coverage is required by lenders if you still owe money on your vehicle.
When it comes to injuries to you or your passengers, you can purchase medical payments coverage with your policy. If not, you may have to rely on your own health insurance to cover medical expenses.
What to Do as a Hit-and-Run Victim
If you can get the license plate number off the fleeing vehicle, that would be ideal, but things happen so quickly in a hit and run that memorizing a license plate sometimes becomes almost impossible. You should report the incident to police and when they come to investigate, they will file a report. The report can be useful if you ever do track down the other driver and also as justification for your insurance company claim.
Despite the urge, it is not a good idea to chase after the other driving who is speeding away to avoid liability. You could only end up in a worse situation—and if you’re already injured, you’re just delaying the treatment you need.
At the scene, if you or your passengers don’t need immediate medical attention, use your smartphone to take images or even videos of your vehicle, your injuries, and the traffic scene itself, especially of any roadside traffic signs that may have been violated.
If there are any witnesses, ask them to tell you what they saw and ask for their contact information. When you get a chance, but definitely as soon as possible, record everything that happened to the best of your recollection.
Insurance companies have clauses in their policies requiring timely reporting of claims, so you will want to notify your insurer fairly quickly, within a day or two perhaps. Before doing that, reach out to a car accident lawyer and personal injury attorney. Your attorney is experienced in dealing with the tactics of insurance company claims adjusters and can answer their questions and negotiate for a better settlement. Let your attorney handle the legal details.
Get Caring Legal Guidance
Being involved in a hit and run can not only be emotionally and physically draining, but it can also pose several challenges in receiving compensation for your medical expenses and property damage. A lot will depend on how much coverage you have on your vehicle. If you’ve been injured in a hit and run in Missouri City or anywhere else in Texas, contact me immediately at K.E. Bradley Attorney & Counselor at Law. I will assess what happened and work with you on mapping out the next steps to seek compensation for your injuries and losses.