Jason Stephens | November 23, 2020 | Car Accidents
Hit-and-run accidents are a far more common occurrence than many might think. In fact, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA) as recently as 2018, there was a hit and run accident in America nearly every minute which resulted in over 2000 deaths.
There are numerous reasons drivers flee the scene of a car accident. In some cases, a driver might be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and worried about what will happen to them if they stay at the scene. In others, drivers who don’t have a valid license or car insurance might not want to face the legal consequences of their illegal actions.
However, under Texas law, a driver who is in an accident that is likely to have caused an injury is required to stop and stay at the scene of the accident. They are also required to give their name, insurance information, and aid as necessary. A failure to do so could result in a misdemeanor or even a felony depending on the extent of the damage and injuries caused by the accident.
If you have been the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you might wonder how long it will take to find the driver who fled the scene and bring them to justice. Unfortunately, there is no standard amount of time as every case is different and depends on the amount of information available to law enforcement.
Gathering Information About the Other Car
If you or another witness were able to get some information about the car that fled the scene of the accident, the hit-and-run investigation might not take too long at all.
Some of the most helpful information includes:
- License plate number
- Make, model, and color of the car
- Description of the driver and any passengers in the vehicle
Another factor that can shorten the time it takes to complete a hit-and-run investigation is whether or not there are traffic cameras or privately owned surveillance cameras near the area where the accident occurred. After interviewing witnesses and writing an accident report, the police officers investigating the accident will most likely search for video evidence.
If there is video that captured the accident or a vehicle that matches the description of the one that fled the scene, it could point investigators to the owner of the car.
What Happens When Little Information Exists?
If there is no video footage of the accident, and you and witnesses don’t remember the license plate number of the other car, it can take much longer to complete the investigation. It still might be possible to determine who the hit-and-run driver is via other means, but it might take months or longer to do so.
Unfortunately, there is always the possibility that the driver will never be caught. If no information exists that can tie a driver or car to the hit-and-run accident, it can be difficult for police to find the culprit. And with so many hit-and-run accidents occurring every day, law enforcement can be overwhelmed by the sheer number of cases.
What to Do if the Driver is Never Caught
The good news is that even if the driver is never brought to justice, you still have steps you can take to recover damages. After seeking the appropriate medical attention, you should report the accident and the bills you have incurred because of it to your insurance company. Your car insurance policy should include coverage for uninsured drivers and a hit-and-run accident would fall into that category.
It should be noted, however, that the insurance company will seek to settle the claim for as little as possible. If you are hoping to maximize the compensation you recover, it would be wise to hire a qualified personal injury lawyer that specializes in handling car accident cases.
A good lawyer will know what to look for in your case and will make sure the insurance company offers you a fair settlement for your injuries.