Any person who has experienced a car accident knows that the entire experience can be unsettling and frightening. If a victim suffered injuries as a result of a hit and run accident, the typical emotions involved in a car accident often have an additional layer of stress, leaving the victim unsure of their next steps and wondering how they can ever get justice.
If you or a loved one were injured in a hit and run accident, an Austin hit and run accident lawyer with Ben Crump Law, PLLC can help you understand your legal rights and fight for the compensation you deserve. To learn more, contact us today at (800) 598-7557 to speak with a member of our team.
Hit and Run Accident Laws in Texas
Texas Transportation Code §550.022 directly addresses hit and run accidents in the state of Texas. All drivers have a legal responsibility to stop at the scene of an accident in which they have any kind of involvement. Additionally, any motorist involved in a car accident must remain at the scene of the accident in order to provide all contact and insurance information and speak with law enforcement.
In some cases, a driver may fail to understand that they caused an accident or were even involved in an accident. In other cases, a driver knows that they do not have correct insurance coverage or a proper driver’s license, causing them to fear the consequences and leave the scene of the accident. However, Texas law is extremely clear that any person who makes the choice to leave the scene of a car accident has actually violated the law. Failure to stop at the scene of an accident in which a driver had any involvement can result in criminal and civil charges.
For a free legal consultation with a hit and runs lawyer serving Austin, call 800-959-1444
Insurance Coverage Laws in Texas
According to the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), every motorist in the state of Texas has the right to receive a Consumer Bill of Rights for auto insurance, which is typically provided by their insurance company. Texas law requires that every motorist carry car insurance in order to pay for any property damage or injuries resulting from an accident in which they are legally liable. While every motorist must have liability coverage, there are several other types of coverage that a motorist may choose for additional insurance coverage in the event of an accident, including uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage
The state of Texas requires that all insurance companies offer uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage as an option to motorists—however, a driver has the legal right to refuse this additional coverage. Every car insurance policy has different coverages as well as different amounts of coverage. If you suffered injuries or losses as a result of a hit and run accident, you may have the legal ability to turn to your own insurance coverage for compensation if you opted to purchase uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. You can contact your insurance company after a hit and run car accident to determine the exact amount of coverage available under your specific policy, but there are many reasons why you may want to consult with an Austin hit and run accident lawyer first. Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC today to learn more.
Austin Hit and Runs Lawyer Near Me 800-959-1444
Insurance Company Tactics Following a Hit and Run Accident
In most car accident cases, victims look to negotiate with the insurance company of the negligent party. But when a hit and run accident occurs, a victim may need to negotiate with their own insurance company—the company to which they pay premiums—to receive compensation for their injuries and losses.
However, an accident victim should never enter these conversations in a cavalier manner. No insurance company, even one negotiating with their own covered customer, wants to provide more compensation than they are required to by law. Therefore, a victim of a hit and run accident may find themselves in the unique and unusual position of negotiating in a defensive or even adversarial manner against their own insurance company.
Remember, the ultimate goal of any insurance company is to provide as little in the way of compensation and/or settlement offers to a victim as possible. If you make the decision to represent yourself in negotiations with your insurance company after a hit and run accident, it is important to:
- Never allow an insurance company to record your conversations.
- Never allow an insurance company access to your full medical history from your healthcare providers.
- Never provide medical information until your injuries are totally resolved or have reached the maximum amount of improvement according to healthcare professionals.
- Never accept responsibility or any kind of blame for the accident with an insurance company representative.
- Never speculate or offer your opinion regarding the hit and run accident.
- Never make small comments in passing indicating that you feel “fine” or that you are now “feeling better.”
- Never cash a check from an insurance company until you completely understand and agree this will be the only (and very last) check you receive regarding your claim, no matter what an insurance representative tells you by phone or email.
- Carefully consider whether to take the first settlement offer provided by an insurance company, as it is likely the lowest amount they will offer.
You do not have to go through this process alone. An Austin hit and run accident lawyer can negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company and ensure that you receive an appropriate settlement amount under the law.
Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC Today
If you or a loved one were injured in a hit and run accident, but you are unsure about your next steps, we are here to help. Our Austin hit and run car accident lawyers can help you understand your legal rights and fight for the compensation you deserve. To learn more, contact us today at (800) 598-7557 for a free consultation.