From time to time, Bexar County residents will hear about hit-and-run accidents in the news. Everyone knows that they have to stop, render assistance and provide information if they are involved in a car accident. But, what is the exact law that applies when a person is involved in an auto accident where a death or personal injury has occurred? This blog post will provide a quick summary of the statute.
If a driver is involved in an accident that results or is reasonably likely to result in injury or death to a person, Texas law imposes some duties upon that driver. The driver must immediately stop their vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the scene as possible. They must determine whether a person is involved in an accident and whether any person involved requires aid. They must fulfill their duty to give information and render aid under Texas law.
Serious criminal penalties could result if a driver fails to obey this law. If the accident resulted in the death of a person, the driver who fails to obey the law could be found guilty of a felony of the second degree. If the accident resulted in serious bodily injury as defined under Texas law, the driver could be found guilty of a felony of the third degree.
If the accident resulted in an injury that’s not a serious bodily injury under Texas law, the driver could be imprisoned for up to five years, fined up to $5,000 or both. There is also a criminal penalty for leaving the scene of an accident in which only property damage occurred.
Not only could a fleeing driver in a hit-and-run accident be subject to criminal penalties, they could also be subject to civil liability as well, depending on the circumstances. If one was injured in a hit-and-run accident, it is strongly recommended that they learn more about their rights and investigate taking action.
Source: State.TX.US, “Duties Following Accident: Accident Following Personal Injury or Death,” accessed on June 12, 2016