Although the majority of drivers involved in incidents take responsibility for their actions, some drivers flee the scene after hitting another car or person. Drivers flee from the scene for a variety of reasons – not having insurance, not having a valid driver’s license, fear of arrest, and so on. If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident in Texas, follow these steps to help law enforcement find the perpetrator of your accident and assist you in filing your insurance claim or lawsuit.
#1: Memorize the License Plate
In the moments immediately after a hit-and-run, you only have moments to memorize the details of the other driver. The first action you should take is to memorize the other driver’s license plate before he or she speeds off. Write it down so you do not forget it. If you can, try to look at the make and model of the car as well.
#2: Examine Your Surroundings
If a driver hits your vehicle and speeds off, examine your surroundings and find a safe place to pull over. Turn on your hazard lights and turn off your car before you call 911 for police and medical attention. Do not attempt to chase the other vehicle – you don’t know if their reckless actions led to other accidents. Whatever you do, do not leave the scene of the accident.
#3: Write Down the Facts
After you phone emergency services, write down a few facts about the accident to assist law enforcement. The following information can greatly improve your case’s outcome.
- The location of the accident, including the road name and number, the city, and other identifiers, such as the closest cross street, off-ramp, or landmark
- The direction you and the other driver were traveling
- Details of the other driver’s vehicle, such as the license plate number or a partial plate number, the direction the vehicle traveled after the accident, the make, model, and color of the car, and any unusual markings, cracks, or dents
- The injuries you and any passengers suffered
- The names and contact information of any witnesses
#4: Call Law Enforcement to the Scene
The police will be a valuable resource in tracking down the hit-and-run driver, as well as provide crucial pieces of evidence to assist you in your insurance claim. Describe the emergency in a straightforward, factual way to the police. Give them as much information as you can about the incident and collect any responding officers’ contact information.
#5: Take Photographic Evidence and Speak to Witnesses
While waiting for law enforcement to arrive, you can begin collecting information for your claim. If the scene is safe for you to exit your vehicle and take photographs, take advantage of the situation. Take photos of your vehicle and the area around the accident, as well as any traffic signs and signals. If you encounter bystanders or witnesses in the area, ask them if you could have their contact information to assist with your insurance claim or lawsuit.
#6: Seek Medical Attention
Even if you do not feel as if you are suffering from any injuries, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible after your accident. Your medical records will greatly assist you in your claim. In addition, you may not know the extent of your injuries at the moment – and emergency services can provide you with the care you need.
#7: Contact a Car Accident Attorney
Hit-and-run accidents and insurance claims often involve complex litigation and negotiation processes. To help you navigate these processes, contact a Houston car accident lawyer as soon as possible. He or she can help investigate your accident and argue for maximum compensation on your behalf.