If you were injured in a hit-and- run accident in Texas, you may be feeling overwhelmed and at a loss for what to do. After all, because the other driver remains unknown, there is no one to take the blame, which means that you are stuck with the medical bills, property damage costs, and other expenses associated with the accident…or are you?
Unfortunately, there always have been and always will be runaway drivers. Because of this, many states require drivers to carry other forms of protection or for insurance companies to offer other forms of protection upon the purchase of a standard auto insurance policy. If you were injured in a hit-and-run accident in Dallas, take a deep breath and know that you do have options. Our Dallas car accident attorneys here at Udeshi Clark and Associates can help you explore those options and fight on your behalf for fair compensation for your damages.
Typically, the Other Driver's Insurance Company Pays
In Texas, drivers are responsible for any damages that they cause. Damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, future lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. If a driver has insurance (which, by law, all drivers should), then his or her insurance company foots the bill. However, because the negligent driver often remains unidentified in hit-and-run accidents, the injured parties do not have this option.
If you were involved in a hit-and-run, you do have other options, which we will explain shortly. However, if you can help authorities identify the vehicle, they may be able to find the negligent driver and hold him or her accountable for your damages and charge him or her with a hit-and-run, which is a third-degree felony in the state of Texas.
Some things you can do to help law enforcement identify the vehicle include:
- Specifying the color of the vehicle;
- Noting any unique traits, such as a bumper sticker or rust spots;
- Knowing the make, model, and year of the vehicle;
- Noting nearby stores that may have cameras; and
- Trying to remember the license plate number.
Even if you can only remember the color of the vehicle, the fact that it had a "My Son's a Marine" sticker, and the first three digits of the license plate, share that information. Each small piece comes together to form a whole puzzle, so no detail is too small to share.
You May be Able to File a Claim With Your Own Insurance Company
Though liability coverage does not pay for or treat your injuries—it only covers the cost of damages that you cause—other forms of insurance might. For instance, if you have personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, MedPay, or underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage, your insurance company would have to pay for the cost of damages up to the limit. Collision coverage is exclusively for damage to your vehicle and any private property ruined. Even if you do not think you have these types of coverage, double check just in case. Insurance companies are required to offer other forms of coverage, and you may have agreed to a few different add-on policies.
Work With an Experienced Dallas Personal Injury Attorney
Though you cannot file a lawsuit against an unidentified person, a skilled personal injury lawyer can use his or her resources to investigate the accident, find out as much about the other party as possible, and help you recover damages. The only way to find out for sure whether your case is a lost cause or more easily solved than you initially thought is to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Call Udeshi Clark and Associates today to discuss your case.
(image courtesy of Matteo Paganelli)