Last month, a cyclist was hit by a passing truck in East Austin. The driver who hit the cyclist failed to stop and render aid. As though that’s not horrible enough, a police report shows the cyclist became lodged underneath the truck and was dragged along the pavement, losing tissue from her back, hip and leg along the way. By the time she became dislodged a half mile later, her spine was completely exposed and the driver just drove away.
Witnesses who heard screaming from inside of their houses gave police a partial description of the truck and the driver was arrested the next day. The hit-and-run driver initially told police he had lent his truck to his cousin, who then lent it to another friend and was not aware the truck had been involved in an accident. However, the driver’s story was confirmed to be untrue and he later admitted to hearing “a slight bump” on the side of his truck, but not the screaming that followed him for half a mile.
Drivers Involved in Accidents are Legally Required to Stop and Render Aid
In Texas, drivers involved in accidents causing injury, death or property damage are legally required to stop and render aid. Leaving the scene of an accident can range from a misdemeanor to a third-degree felony, depending on the extent of the damage.
If you were involved in an accident and the driver left the scene of the accident, you may be feeling bewildered and outraged. However, it is important to remain calm in the situation and take the following steps:
- Pull over and come to a stop on the shoulder, if possible
- Immediately take down the license plate or as much as you can remember of it
- Write down any other descriptions of the vehicle (make, model, color, etc.)
- Write down the description of the driver, or as much as you can remember
- Call the police and file a report
- Contact a hit-and-run attorney
Under no circumstance should you leave the scene of the accident to confront the driver. Also, do not wait to file a claim when you get home. Instead, gather any witness information that will help in filing a claim and then contact the authorities.
If you or a loved one were involved in a hit-and-run accident, contact an attorney after receiving proper medical treatment. Whether you want to pursue damages or simply want help with handling insurance companies, a hit-and-run accident attorney can examine your situation and explain your rights.