When a driver in the State of Texas is involved in an automobile accident, there are certain obligations that driver must fulfill, especially when the incident resulted in an injury, death, and/or property damage. One of those obligations is to remain at the scene of the crash. When a driver fails to do this, not only is he or she in violation of the law as it is a criminal offense to leave the scene of an accident involving injury, death, or property damage, but it could potentially put the lives of those involved in jeopardy as they may not get the medical assistance they need in a timely manner.
What are a driver’s obligations after engaging in an accident?
According to Texas law, when the operator of a vehicle is involved in an accident that “results in or is reasonably likely to result in injury to or death of a person,” they must:
- Stop their vehicle immediately at the scene of the accident or as close to the scene as they possibly can. The driver should move their vehicle out of the way to avoid obstructing traffic.
- If they are unable to stop at the scene, they must then immediately return to the scene of the crash.
- They must determine whether anyone else was involved in the accident and if there was, determine if that person requires aid.
- They are required to remain at the scene of the collision until they have complied with the requirements outlined in Section 023. Those requirements are as follows:
- The driver involved must provide their name, address, registration number, and the name of their auto insurer to anyone who suffered injuries or to “the operator or occupant of or person attending a vehicle involved in the collision.”
- If it is requested and available, the driver must show their driver’s license to law enforcement, etc.
- The driver must provide any person who suffered an injury in the accident with reasonable assistance, meaning if it is obvious that the other motorist involved has suffered an injury that requires immediate medical attention, they should call 911 so that emergency medical personnel can be dispatched to the scene. The driver should also call 911 if the injured party requests transportation so that he or she is able to receive the necessary treatment for his or her injuries.
It is also important to recognize that Section 550.022 of Texas’ Transportation Code requires drivers in the State of Texas to stop and remain at the scene of an accident when the crash involves damage to a vehicle.
How does the State of Texas punish drivers who leave the scene of an accident?
When an individual fails to stop at the scene of an accident, also referred to as a hit-and-run crash, or comply with any of the laws outlined above, he or she will likely face the following penalties:
When a driver fails to stop at the scene of a crash or fails to comply with other requirements outlined in Chapter 550 of Texas’ Transportation Code, and that accident results in serious bodily injury, the driver could be charged with a felony of the third degree. When the accident results in the death of a person, the driver is said to have committed a felony of the second degree. The law also states that under those circumstances, a violation of this law could result in a person being faced with one or more of the following penalties:
- Imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for five years or less or having to serve time in confinement in the county jail for not more than one year.
- Having to pay a fine of $5,000 or less.
I was involved in a hit and run accident in Houston, Texas? Who can help me?
Hit-and-run accident cases are among some of the most complex types of cases, especially when the driver is not identified. If you or someone you know are a victim of a hit-and-run crash and would like a legal expert to help you either identify the driver and/or ensure the motorist who hit you is charged for the crime, contact Blizzard Law, PLLC to speak with a qualified personal injury lawyer in Houston, Texas. Aside from holding the driver accountable for his or her actions, our office can also aid you in recovering the compensation you need and deserve right now.
To receive a free case review, call us now at (713) 844-3750.
You can reach Blizzard Law, PLLC at:
5020 Montrose Blvd, Ste 410
Houston, TX 77006