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What to do after a hit and run in Texas – Bankrate.com

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We are an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. Our goal is to help you make smarter financial decisions by providing you with interactive tools and financial calculators, publishing original and objective content, by enabling you to conduct research and compare information for free – so that you can make financial decisions with confidence.
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No car accident is ever ideal, but a hit and run is particularly headache-inducing. Without insurance information for the person who hit your vehicle, you’re left feeling like you need to scramble.
The good news is that you have some recourse after a Texas hit and run. For starters, if the other driver is ever caught, they’ll face legal ramifications per Section 550 of the Texas Transportation Code. Also, if you’re carrying certain types of insurance, your insurer can foot the bill even if the other driver is never located.
All this said, if you live in the Lone Star State, it can be helpful to know your rights and responsibilities after a hit and run.
What, exactly, is a hit and run in Texas? Anytime a driver in Texas gets involved in an accident that results in a person’s injury (including a fatality) or damage to a vehicle with an occupant in it, they’re required to stop and do two things: give their information and provide any necessary help. Any time a driver doesn’t do those two things, they’ve committed a hit and run.
(If you hit an unattended vehicle, you still have a responsibility to stop and either locate the driver of that vehicle or leave your information in an obvious place.)
Despite Texas law, these types of accidents are all too common in Texas. In 2013, the state passed new laws stiffening penalties for leaving the scene of an accident. Even with that hit and run Texas statute in place, the Lone Star State still ranks eighth for most hit and runs, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
With the new, stricter hit and run Texas statute in place, you might be wondering what kind of penalties are in place for these types of accidents. It all depends on the damage the hit and run driver caused.
Ultimately, what you should know about the current hit and run Texas statute is this: Section 550.023 of the transportation code ultimately requires all drivers involved in an accident to stop, provide their information and provide assistance to anyone who was hurt in the accident.
The information you’re required by state law to provide to the other driver — and vice versa — is:
When it comes to insurance, if the other driver is found, Texas law says you can make a claim on their liability insurance. If they aren’t found or they don’t have insurance, you’ll turn to your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage — assuming you have it.
A Texas hit and run can be scary. Take a deep breath and move through these steps:
Move your vehicle out of the way of traffic. Check on your passengers and check yourself for injuries. After the shock of an accident — particularly one where the other driver sped away — you might not notice how you’re hurt right away. Take a moment to scan yourself and make sure you’re okay.
The benefits here are twofold. First, getting law enforcement involved significantly increases the chances of finding the hit and run driver. Secondly, the police report you file can help with your insurance claim.
While you wait for the police to show up, start taking notes. What did the driver’s vehicle look like? Can you remember their license plate number, or even any part of it? Ask passengers or bystanders for any details they remember, too. Make sure you share this information with the law enforcement officers who arrive on the scene.
You can also start to gather evidence yourself. If any pieces of the hit and run driver’s vehicle broke off, grab them. Also, check your car for any paint scrapes or other evidence that could help identify the other vehicle.
They’ll let you know what information you’ll need to file your car insurance claim. If you’re unsure if your coverage will help with your Texas hit and run, your insurance representative can also help to clarify what coverage you have that can step in.
Assuming no one in your vehicle was hurt during the accident, this is probably your most pressing question after a hit and run.
For starters, unless you specifically told your insurer to leave off personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, your Texas auto insurance policy includes it. You can rely on that for any medical care you and your passengers need after the accident.
What about your car, though? In an ideal scenario, the other driver will be found and you’ll be able to make a claim through their liability coverage, just like you would with any other car accident.
But what happens if that driver eludes you and law enforcement? You have a couple of options:
Ultimately, insurance can cover a hit and run in Texas, but you’ll need to have opted for the right kind of optional coverage. If you’re not carrying uninsured motorist or collision coverage now, consider it to prepare for the future.
When you’re dealing with a hit and run in Texas, it helps to have an insurer you trust and a robust policy. The perfect car insurance company for you depends on quite a few factors, from the car you drive to your budget. But, to get you started, we’ve rounded up the best car insurance companies nationwide, and in Texas specifically.
The average Texas driver pays $1,800 a year for a car insurance policy that includes collision and uninsured motorist coverage. Texas is a big state, though, with a wide variety of drivers. But to get a ballpark idea of your specific costs, it’s best to get quotes from a few insurers. Here are the cheapest Texas insurers to help.
Generally, no — assuming you’re the victim. If you’re caught after committing a hit and run, though, insurers will see you as higher-risk — and you’ll pay more for your insurance coverage as a result.
Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. Bankrate is compensated in exchange for featured placement of sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website. This compensation may impact how, where and in what order products appear. Bankrate.com does not include all companies or all available products.
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