Getting into an accident is always frustrating. When the other driver hits you and leaves the scene, it is not only frustrating but also dangerous. They do not bother to check and ensure that no one has injuries that need emergency medical care, so you are more likely to suffer unnecessary physical pain or complications.

The primary goal is to locate the hit-and-run driver. However, that is not always possible. Unless a wreck results in a homicide, the police are unable to devote substantial resources to finding the driver. There are ways to get compensation, even without locating the at-fault driver. One of our experienced car accident attorneys could help you get compensation after a the incident. Victims should talk to an attorney about potential remedies after hit-and-run car accidents in McAllen.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident

Texas Transportation Code § 550.021 outlines a driver’s responsibilities after an accident causing personal injury or death. They need to stop as close to the scene as possible or return to determine whether someone requires aid and remain at the scene until they fulfill other legal requirements.

Failure to stop at the accident scene is a crime. If the accident results in a death, it is a second-degree felony. If an accident results in serious bodily injury, it is a third-degree felony. If it results in a less severe injury, it is punishable by a sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

These criminal consequences may not help a victim after an accident. In fact, if someone leaves an accident, their potential for facing criminal charges may keep them from coming forward. However, they can make it easier to establish negligence after a McAllen hit-and-run wreck.

Compensation After a Hit-and-Run Accident

There are two ways a McAllen resident could seek compensation after a hit-and-run crash. The first is to try locating the driver. Depending on the evidence at the scene and witness testimony, it may be possible to track down the vehicle. For example, locating the car may be much easier if a witness or camera captures the license plate number.

The second way to pursue compensation is through an individual’s auto insurance policy. Texas provides an option for people to carry coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorists, and it applies to hit-and-run accidents. Plus, since the victim is not at fault, making a claim should not increase their insurance premiums.

If someone does not have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, they may still have a claim against their own insurance coverage. People who have comprehensive or full coverage insurance may get compensation from their own insurer. However, this option is suboptimal because it usually results in someone’s own insurance premium increasing.

Types of Damages Available in a Hit and Run

Regardless of whether someone is claiming the other driver or their own insurance companies, they can seek compensation for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages compensate people for direct and indirect financial losses. Medical bills, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity are examples of economic damages. Non-economic damages compensate people for non-financial losses. They attempt to put a dollar value on things like pain and suffering and emotional trauma.

In Texas, punitive damages are only available when someone acts outrageously or maliciously. A victim in McAllen who claims their own insurance company cannot collect punitive damages after a hit-and-run wreck, as there is no reason to punish their insurer for malicious behavior. However, if they can locate the driver, they may be entitled to punitive damages from the driver.

Connect With a McAllen Attorney About Hit and Run Car Crash Suits

When the other driver leaves the scene of the crime, it can complicate the recovery process. You already have to deal with the physical and emotional trauma associated with recovering from injuries. Instead of struggling with the financial aspects, let an attorney help you with hit and run car accidents in McAllen. Schedule a consultation to learn more about your potential remedies.