A couple of weeks ago, a 40-year-old Houston man died in the street after the driver of an SUV veered onto the sidewalk while making a turn and struck him. The victim was dragged several feet before the car sped off.
As far as we can tell, this hit-and-run driver has not yet been identified, but we can probably guess why the scumbag drove off.
Although it is unlawful to flee the scene of an accident, hit and run accidents are more likely to occur when the other driver:
- Does not have automobile insurance;
- Has a suspended license or a prior record traffic violations; or
- Is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
There is no good reason for a responsible person to leave the scene of an accident.
The most common excuse hit-and-run drivers give is that they “didn’t know they hit anyone.” If you buy that, I’ve got some ocean front property in Arizona you might be interested in purchasing.
Don’t Wait And See
If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident it can be tempting to wait and see if the irresponsible driver can be caught, but waiting may not be the best idea. Even in the modern world, where technology makes it easier to figure out who was in a particular location at a specific time, hit-and-run drivers can be impossible to track down.
It is often wise to go ahead and file an Uninsured Motorist (UM) claim with your automobile insurance company. All insurance companies in Texas are required to offer such coverage to policyholders, and UM covers hit-and-run situations. However, not everyone buys UM insurance, so the first thing to do if you want to file a claim is check your insurance policy to see if you purchased UM coverage.
If you purchased UM coverage, the minimum amount of coverage, which is required by state law, is:
- $30,000 for each injured person
- $60,000 for injuries per incident
- $25,000 for property damage
You, of course, may have purchased much more than this.
No matter how much coverage you have, your claim may be denied if you wait to long to file. This is why it is important to get in touch with your insurance company right away rather than waiting to see if the cops can track down the hit-and-run driver.
Why You Might Want To Hire An Attorney
If you find the insurance claims process overwhelming, or you want to make sure you aren’t low-balled, you may want to hire an experienced attorney to manage your paperwork and negotiate your claim. This also puts you in a good position to file a personal injury lawsuit if the hit-and-run driver is ever found.
The Sherman Law Firm has handled many hit-and-run cases in the Houston area over the years. If you are looking for help with your case, you should contact us immediately to schedule an appointment.