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Hit and run accidents are not only a legal violation but also a moral failure to take responsibility for one’s actions. In Houston, as in the rest of Texas, the aftermath of such an incident can be a complex and emotionally taxing ordeal.

If you’ve been the victim of a hit and run, you may feel overwhelmed and uncertain about your next steps. It’s crucial to understand that you have rights and options, and a Houston hit-and-run accident attorney can be an invaluable ally during this challenging time.

The Alarming Reality of Hit and Run Accidents

In Houston, the frequency of hit and run accidents is a growing concern. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, approximately 11% of all pedestrian fatalities are the result of hit and run accidents. In 2016, the United States saw the highest number of hit and run fatalities on record, with 2,049 deaths.

Texas, specifically, experienced a staggering 867,085 hit and run crashes between 2012 and 2016, with over 18% resulting in injuries or fatalities.

The Houston Police Department reported that in 2018 alone, there were 547 hit and run accidents. These incidents predominantly occurred on clear days, on broad, non-highway roads, and near intersections. Pedestrians were the most common victims, highlighting the need for increased vigilance and safety measures for those on foot.

Physical and Emotional Damages

Victims of hit and run accidents can suffer a range of injuries, from minor to life-threatening. Common injuries include:

  • Whiplash
  • Cuts and bruises
  • Broken bones
  • Head injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis

In the worst cases, these accidents can be fatal. Beyond the physical pain, victims often experience emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress. The financial burden of medical bills and lost wages can add to the stress, making it difficult for victims to recover and move forward with their lives.

Why Do Hit and Runs Occur?

Several factors contribute to the prevalence of hit and run accidents in Houston and across Texas. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Speeding
  • Running red lights or stop signs
  • Poor weather conditions
  • Pedestrians suddenly entering the roadway

Regardless of the cause, the consequences for the victim remain the same: a sudden, unexpected crisis that can upend their life.

In Texas, leaving the scene of an accident is a serious offense. The law requires drivers involved in any collision to stop, exchange information, and render aid if necessary. Failure to do so can result in fines, license suspension, and even imprisonment, especially if the accident resulted in injury or death.

This makes finding a skilled lawyer for hit-and-run accidents essential for victims seeking justice and compensation.

Should You Get a Lawyer for a Hit and Run?

The short answer is yes. Navigating the aftermath of a hit and run can be complicated, and having an experienced hit-and-run accident lawyer on your side can make a significant difference. A knowledgeable attorney can help you:

  • Understand your rights and the legal process
  • Investigate the accident and gather evidence
  • Deal with insurance companies
  • Pursue compensation for damages, medical expenses, and lost wages

At Joe I. Zaid & Associates, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll a hit and run can take on your life. Our team of dedicated legal professionals is here to support you every step of the way. We believe that you deserve the best hit and run lawyer to advocate for your interests and fight for the justice you are entitled to.

The Cost of Hiring a Hit and Run Lawyer

One of the first questions many victims have is about the cost. We operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay any upfront fees. Our payment comes from a percentage of the settlement or verdict we obtain for you.

This arrangement ensures that our interests are aligned with yours and that you can afford quality legal representation without financial strain.

In the wake of a hit and run, dealing with insurance companies can be a daunting task. Texas follows an “at-fault” insurance system, meaning the driver who caused the accident is responsible for covering the damages. However, if the at-fault driver cannot be identified, you may need to file a claim with your own insurance company under uninsured motorist coverage. It’s important to understand your policy and the coverage you have in place for such incidents.

Our hit-and-run victim lawyers can help you communicate with insurance providers, ensuring that you don’t settle for less than you deserve. We’ll work tirelessly to negotiate a fair settlement, and if necessary, we’re prepared to take your case to court.

How We Can Help as Your Hit and Run Lawyer

At Joe I. Zaid & Associates, we pride ourselves on providing compassionate and effective legal representation for hit and run victims. Our approach includes:

  • Thorough Investigation: We’ll gather all necessary evidence, including surveillance footage, witness statements, and police reports, to support your claim.
  • Expert Resources: We work with medical professionals, accident reconstruction experts, and financial analysts to fully understand the impact of your injuries and losses.
  • Aggressive Advocacy: Our team will advocate for you in negotiations and, if necessary, in the courtroom to ensure you receive the compensation you need to recover.
  • Personalized Attention: We understand that every case is unique, and we’ll tailor our strategy to meet your specific needs and circumstances.

Time is of the essence after a hit and run. There are legal time limits, known as statutes of limitations, which dictate how long you have to file a claim. In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally two years from the date of the accident. Waiting too long could jeopardize your ability to receive compensation.

Furthermore, evidence can quickly become harder to collect as time passes. Witnesses’ memories fade, and physical evidence at the scene of the accident can be lost or destroyed. Prompt action ensures that your car accident lawyer can build the strongest case possible on your behalf.

Conclusion

If you’ve been the victim of a hit and run in Houston or anywhere in Texas, remember that you are not alone. The law is on your side, and with the right legal support, you can pursue the justice and compensation you deserve. Whether you’re wondering, “Should I get a lawyer for a hit and run?” or you’re ready to take action, we’re here to help.

Contact Joe I. Zaid & Associates today at 281-990-5200 for a free consultation with a best hit-and-run lawyer. Let us be your advocate and guide through this challenging time, and help you move forward with confidence and peace of mind.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should I do after a hit and run accident?

If you are involved in a hit and run accident, you should:

  1. Call 911 and report the accident.
  2. Gather as much information as possible, including the make and model of the other vehicle, the license plate number (if possible), and any witness contact information.
  3. Take photos of the scene and your vehicle damage.
  4. Seek medical attention if needed.
  5. Contact your insurance company to report the accident.
  6. Consult with a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.

How long do I have to file a hit and run accident lawsuit in Texas?

In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is two years from the date of the accident. This means that you have two years to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party for damages related to your hit and run accident.

Can I sue the other driver if they cannot be identified?

If the other driver in a hit and run accident cannot be identified, you may still be able to recover damages through your own insurance policy, depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the type of coverage you have. It is essential to consult with a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options in such situations.

What should I do if I don’t feel injured after a hit and run accident?

Even if you don’t feel injured immediately following a hit and run accident, it’s important to:

  1. Seek medical attention as some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
  2. Document the incident and your lack of apparent injuries in case symptoms appear later.
  3. Keep a record of any subsequent health changes or medical consultations.

How can I prove my hit and run accident claim if the other driver fled the scene?

To prove your hit and run accident claim:

  1. Collect evidence from the scene, such as photos and videos.
  2. Gather witness statements and contact information.
  3. Obtain a copy of the police report.
  4. Work with an attorney who may help in investigating the accident and possibly identifying the fleeing driver.

Will my insurance rates go up if I file a claim for a hit and run accident?

Your insurance rates may or may not increase after filing a claim for a hit and run accident. It depends on:

  1. Your insurance provider’s policies.
  2. Your driving history and previous claims.
  3. Whether you are deemed at fault for the accident.

What type of insurance coverage helps with hit and run accidents?

The following types of insurance coverage can help with hit and run accidents:

  1. Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage.
  2. Uninsured motorist property damage coverage.
  3. Collision coverage.
  4. Personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments coverage.

Can I still file a police report if I didn’t do it immediately after the hit and run accident?

Yes, you can still file a police report after the fact, but it’s best to do it as soon as possible. Delaying may affect the investigation and your ability to file an insurance claim.

What are the penalties for a hit and run driver if they are caught in Texas?

In Texas, the penalties for a hit and run driver can include:

  1. Fines.
  2. Jail time.
  3. Driver’s license suspension.
  4. Increased insurance rates.
  5. Civil liability for damages.

Is there a reward for providing information on a hit and run driver?

Some jurisdictions or insurance companies may offer rewards for information leading to the identification and arrest of a hit and run driver. It’s best to check with local law enforcement or your insurance provider.

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