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Hit and Run Laws in Texas

When drivers are involved in a crash, they are supposed to stop and exchange information with other drivers. Yet, sometimes, they flee the scene, usually because they’re afraid of the consequences of their actions.

Hit-and-run crashes frequently involve pedestrians and bicyclists. In some cases, if the driver had stopped to help instead of leaving, or had called 9-1-1, the crash victim might have survived. For the families of those killed in hit-and-run crashes, it’s difficult to imagine a driver being so unconcerned about fatally injuring someone.

If you’ve been injured in a hit-and-run crash, or lost a loved one in a hit-and-run accident, you could be entitled to compensation.

Thanks to the widespread use of outdoor surveillance cameras, many hit-and-run drivers are later apprehended. When police catch those offenders, the victims have an opportunity to pursue justice.

The Evans/Reilley Law Firm has helped families in Austin and throughout Texas get the settlements they need to move on with their lives following a serious or fatal crash. Don’t wait to ask for help. Call us today to request your free, no-obligation case consultation: (855) 414-1012.

Pedestrian Fatalities on the Rise

Between 2012 and 2017, hit-and-run fatalities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area increased 85 percent, and a total of 50 people died in hit-and-run crashes in 2016. One of the 2017 crash victims was an 8-year-old girl who died a few hours after a car speeding through her neighborhood struck her as she rode her scooter.

A state law enacted in 2013 raised the maximum prison sentence for leaving the scene of a fatal crash, from five years to 20 years, but that change doesn’t seem to have reduced the incidence of hit-and-run crashes.

In 2017, Austin police investigated three hit-and-run crashes in three months’ time:

  • In August, police found and arrested a driver who struck and seriously injured a man in an intersection. The driver got out of his car to ask if the man was OK, then got back in his car and drove off without calling 9-1-1.
  • In September, a driver struck and injured a child. Surveillance footage showed the driver slowing down briefly after the accident before speeding away.
  • In October, a car speeding through a residential area struck and killed a woman and left the scene.

Types of Injuries

When two vehicles collide, the damage may render vehicles inoperable, which would make fleeing the scene impossible (unless a driver flees on foot). But drivers that strike pedestrians, motorcyclists, or bicyclists may be able to speed off with little more than a dent in their fender. The victims of these crashes, however, could be completely immobilized by their injuries.

In March 2016, a horrific hit-and-run crash nearly killed a San Antonio woman. She was riding her bike when a driver in a truck struck her and dragged her for more than a third of a mile before she was able to break free. Her injuries were extreme, and doctors had to amputate one of her legs.

Often, the victims of hit-and-run crashes suffer complex fractures and internal organ injuries that require long stays in the hospital and multiple surgeries. Traumatic brain injuries are also commonly seen in people struck by vehicles. No matter what the injury may be, early medical intervention is crucial for saving lives and preventing complications.

Justice for Crash Victims

Even when they are sentenced to jail time for leaving the scene of a fatal crash, drivers often don’t get the maximum penalty. In February, a woman who struck and killed a 5-year-old boy in Kilgore, Texas, received a 10-year sentence, yet the boy’s parents must live a lifetime without their child.

Drivers who fail to stop and render aid when they injure another person should be held accountable for their actions. A prison sentence may help families find closure, when a loved one is killed in a hit-and-run crash. But it doesn’t help them pay medical bills or fund funeral costs.

If you’ve suffered a serious injury in a hit-and-run crash, or a hit-and-run driver killed a member of your immediate family, contact the personal injury attorneys at the Evans/Reilley Law Firm to find out if you have a case. We charge nothing up-front for our services – our fee comes from any settlement we may secure on your behalf. Contact us online, or at (855) 414-1012, to request a free case consultation.

Attorney Chip Evans

Austin Attorney Chip EvansChip Evans is a partner at Evans & Herlihy. Chip brings to the firm more than 20 years of experience as a trial lawyer representing Plaintiffs. It is the desire to help individuals, not corporations, that attracts Chip to this side of the docket. [ Attorney Bio ]