In a hit-and-run case, the person who leaves the scene of the accident can be charged criminally and also held liable in civil court. Criminal charges in a hit-and-run accident are a felony and may result in prison time. A civil wrongful death case focuses on the negligence of the person who left the scene and the damage that resulted.
The parents of one Austin hit-and-run victim are seeking stricter criminal penalties for those that leave the scene of an accident. In May, their daughter died in a fatal hit-and-run accident. The driver of the car that struck her was recently charged with failure to stop and render aid, which is a third degree felony.
However, the parents would like to see a stiffer criminal charge when a victim suffers serious injury or death. They are asking legislators to increase the charge from a third to a second degree felony. The change would double the current maximum prison sentence from 10 to 20 years.