The decision to flee the scene of an accident may be a normal human flight reaction, but it is also illegal. Texas law requires that drivers involved in a collision take certain actions. A hit and run is a criminal charge resulting from failure to stop after a vehicle collision. The Texas Transportation Code requires drivers to take the following steps:
- In the event of a collision with an unattended vehicle, drivers are required to stop and locate the owner of the vehicle. If the owner is nowhere to be found, the driver causing the collision should leave a note on the vehicle with his contact information.
- In an accident involving an occupied vehicle, the driver must stop and render aid, provide his contact information, and show his driver’s license.
- In a collision resulting in injury or death, the driver must stop or immediately return to the accident scene, render aid, provide his contact information, and show his driver’s license.
Texas Criminal Charges and Penalties
If a driver leaves the scene of an accident, he may face severe criminal penalties. Failure to stop and render aid may result in the driver being arrested and charged with the following:
- Hit and run damage to a vehicle resulting in less than $200 in damage is a Class C misdemeanor, carrying a fine of up to $500. If the damage exceeds $200, it is a Class B misdemeanor, carrying up to six months in a county jail.
- If the occupants of the vehicle sustain minor injuries, the driver leaving the scene may be charged with a felony. He faces up to one year in a county jail or up to five years in a state prison, and a fine of up to $5,000.
- In the event of serious injury or death, the driver leaving the scene may be charged with a third-degree felony, punishable by 2 to 10 years in a state prison.
You Need an Attorney
If you’ve been injured by a hit-and-run driver, you need the guidance of an experienced legal professional to help you protect your rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. To learn more, contact the Cain Law Firm by using the form on this page.