The Aftermath of a Hit-and-Run: Protecting Yourself and Seeking Compensation

The aftermath of a car accident can be stressful and confusing, but when the other driver flees the scene, the situation becomes even more alarming. Hit-and-run crashes leave victims with a sense of injustice on top of physical injuries and property damage. The Dallas car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Tim O’Hare understand the challenges of hit-and-run claims. This article empowers you with the knowledge to move forward to help secure the compensation you deserve.

Understanding Hit-and-Run Crashes in Texas

Texas Transportation Code § 550.023 mandates drivers involved in accidents to stop, exchange information, and render aid if necessary. Unfortunately, hit-and-run accidents happen all too frequently in Texas. Data from AAA indicates Texas has the 8th highest number of hit-and-run accidents nationwide. Over a recent study period, Texas averaged a troubling 181 hit-and-run crashes per year that resulted in at least one fatality. These statistics paint a clear picture: hit-and-run crashes are a serious problem in Texas, and the risk of injury or death from such an incident is significant. These crashes can involve pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles, leaving victims feeling vulnerable and uncertain about how to proceed.

The Challenges of Hit-and-Run Claims

The primary challenge in a hit-and-run case is identifying the at-fault driver. Without this crucial information, filing an insurance claim or pursuing legal action becomes significantly more difficult. Adding to the complexity is the possibility that the at-fault driver may not have insurance. Driving without insurance is against the law in Texas, but some drivers break the law, and it’s important to make sure you’re protected.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage: If you have uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance (UM/UIM) on your policy, you can file a claim with your own insurance company to get coverage up to your UM/UIM policy limit. This also applies if you’re injured by a hit-and-run driver or “phantom vehicle” that is never found. We always recommend speaking with a qualified attorney first before speaking with your insurance company about the accident.

Limited Options Without UM/UIM: If you don’t have uninsured and underinsured motorist protection, your options are much more limited. However, a car accident attorney may be able to investigate and identify other possible sources of compensation depending on the circumstances.

The Importance of Taking Immediate Action

Despite the challenges, there are steps you can take to protect your rights and increase your chances of recovering compensation after a hit-and-run crash. Here’s what you should do:

Seek Medical Attention:

Your well-being is paramount. If you sustained injuries, regardless of severity, visit a doctor or emergency room immediately. A documented medical record is essential for pursuing any future compensation claims.

Report the Accident to the Police:

File a comprehensive police report as soon as possible. Provide all the details you can remember about the accident, including the time, location, description of the hit-and-run vehicle, and any potential witnesses.

Gather Evidence:

If possible, take pictures of the scene of the accident, your damaged vehicle, and any visible injuries. Look for nearby security cameras that may have captured the incident.

Contact a Lawyer Before Dealing With Your Insurance Company.

Even your own insurance company might have procedures that can delay the process or limit your claim. To ensure you receive the full compensation you deserve, we recommend contacting a Dallas car accident lawyer.

Why Hire a Dallas Car Accident Attorney for Hit-and-Run Claims?

While navigating a hit-and-run claim on your own is possible, securing a skilled Dallas car accident attorney offers significant advantages, especially when facing for-profit insurance companies:

Uncovering Benefits: Your attorney will thoroughly review your insurance policies to identify all available coverages that can compensate you for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

Maximizing Compensation: Insurance companies may try to minimize payouts. Your attorney will aggressively negotiate to secure the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage.

Exploring All Avenues: Beyond identifying the at-fault driver, your attorney will explore every option to secure compensation, such as the possibility of the driver owning assets or accessing secondary insurance coverage.

Legal Expertise: Personal injury laws and insurance policies are complex. Your attorney will ensure your rights are protected, guide you through each legal step, and handle any legal complexities that may arise.

Litigation Strength: If needed, your attorney will represent you in court with the necessary expertise and aggression to fight for the compensation you deserve.

Maximizing Insurance Benefits: Even without UM/UIM coverage, your attorney will ensure you receive all the benefits you’re entitled to under your existing policy. By seeking legal representation, you gain a powerful advocate who will fight for your best interests throughout the recovery process.

The Aftermath of a Hit-and-Run: Protecting Yourself and Seeking Compensation

The Law Offices of Tim O'Hare: Here to Help After the Crash.

At the Law Offices of Tim O’Hare, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial burden a hit-and-run accident can cause. We are committed to helping residents across the Dallas-Fort Worth area navigate the complexities of hit-and-run claims and achieve a just outcome. Let us ease your burden and guide you towards a positive resolution.

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We offer a free consultation to discuss your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal options.

Contact us today or schedule an appointment, and we’ll do everything in our power to help you get back on the road to recovery.