Skip to Main Content


Can I Sue for Hit and Run in Texas?

Home » Blog » Can I Sue for Hit and Run in Texas?

At leading personal injury attorneys in Houston, we’ve helped countless hit-and-run accident victims recover the compensation they deserve. Contact Baumgartner Law Firm online to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable attorney today.

Can I sue for hit and run in Texas?

Whether a hit-and-run accident victim is in a vehicle or on foot at the time of the incident, there’s a good chance they will be left with serious physical injuries and a range of damages. Without any information about the driver’s identity or insurance information, they are unlikely to recoup their losses. However, they may be able to secure compensation through a lawsuit.

If you suffered serious injuries and other losses in a hit-and-run accident, it can be tempting to give up hope for justice. Don’t despair—the compassionate attorneys at Baumgartner Law Firm are here to help you navigate the legal complexities ahead.

If you’re wondering, Can I sue for hit and run in Texas? Then, keep reading. This article will explain everything you need to know about suing for hit and run in Texas, including important steps to take in the immediate aftermath, legal consequences for the offending driver, what happens if the driver is uninsured, and more.

Defining Hit and Run in Texas

There are many misconceptions about the nature of hit-and-run crimes, so we’ll start by providing a definition. Under Texas law, a hit-and-run occurs when someone is involved in an accident and leaves the scene without stopping to fulfill certain legal obligations.

The specific requirements for stopping and providing information are outlined in the Texas Transportation Code. A person’s legal obligations vary depending on the nature of the accident and whether or not it involved an injury, death, or property damage.

The key statutes about an individual’s legal obligations in Texas hit-and-run incidents are found in Chapter 550 of the Texas Transportation Code:

“(a) The operator of a vehicle involved in an accident that results or is reasonably likely to result in injury to or death of a person shall:

(1) immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the scene as possible;

(2) immediately return to the scene of the accident if the vehicle is not stopped at the scene of the accident;

(3) immediately determine whether a person is involved in the accident, and if a person is involved in the accident, whether that person requires aid;  and

(4) remain at the accident scene until the operator complies with the requirements of Section 550.023.

Failure to comply with these legal obligations constitutes a hit-and-run offense. The severity of the offense and the potential penalties depend on factors such as whether the accident results in bodily injury or death or whether it only involves property damage. The value of the property damage is also a relevant factor when exploring potential penalties.

In Texas, legal consequences associated with committing a hit-and-run vary widely depending on the circumstances.

Incidents involving only property damage under $200 are considered a Class C misdemeanor and typically result in fines up to $500. If the damage exceeds $200, it becomes a Class B misdemeanor, potentially leading to fines of up to $2,000 and a jail sentence of up to 180 days.

In cases where the hit and run can cause injuries, the offender may be charged with a third-degree felony, fined up to $10,000, and sentenced to prison for two to ten years. If serious bodily injury occurs, the charge may be elevated to a second-degree felony, punishable with a fine up to $10,000 and a prison sentence ranging from two to twenty years.

However, it’s important to understand that these penalties pertain only to the criminal aspect of the event. In a hit-and-run lawsuit, the driver may also face civil consequences and be held liable for an injury victim’s damages.

Steps to Take After a Hit-and-Run Accident

As with any motor vehicle accident, ensuring your safety is the priority in the aftermath of a hit-and-run. Before attempting to do anything else, it’s important to assess the presence and severity of any injuries that you or your passengers may have sustained. If possible, moving your car away from traffic with your hazard lights turned on is a good idea.

If medical attention is needed, immediately dial 9-1-1. Once you’ve made sure that you and your passengers are safe and all necessary precautions have been made, proceed with the following steps:

  • Contact law enforcement. You’ll need to file an official police report, first and foremost. This will not only be necessary for recovering damages but also prevent the driver from repeating any future offenses.
  • Document the accident site. To build a case against the driver who hit you, you must collect evidence immediately following the accident. If you can do so safely, take pictures of the scene, vehicle, injuries, and surroundings. If there are any witnesses to the event, get their names and contact information.
  • Notify your insurance company. After you’ve reported all known details to the police, contact your insurance company to tell them what happened. However, it’s best to speak with an attorney before accepting any settlement offer, as insurance adjusters frequently lowball claimants.

The final step of recovering damages in a hit-and-run lawsuit is to hire an attorney. An attorney can help you secure compensation for the injuries and property damage you experienced during the hit and run; they can also ensure that you’re filing the proper paperwork, following the proper legal procedures, and collecting all the necessary details pertinent to the case.

What if the Driver Was Uninsured?

If you find yourself in an unfortunate situation where the driver who hit you in Texas doesn’t have insurance, it’s important to take specific steps to protect your interests. Review your insurance policy to see if you have uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage is designed precisely for scenarios where the at-fault driver is uninsured or cannot be identified, as is often the case in hit-and-run incidents.

If you have uninsured motorist coverage, file a claim with your insurance company, providing all the necessary details about the accident, injuries, and property damage. If you encounter challenges, don’t have uninsured motorist coverage, or believe you’re not receiving fair compensation, consider consulting a Houston car accident injury lawyer who can guide you through the litigation process, negotiate with the insurance company, and explore additional legal options.

Baumgartner Law Firm: Hope for Texas Hit-and-Run Victims

At Baumgartner Law Firm, we know how frustrating it can be to navigate the litigation process surrounding a hit-and-run accident. While dealing with hundreds or even thousands of dollars in property damage and hospital bills, the person responsible is nowhere to be found. Rest assured, we won’t let your voice go unheard.

Still wondering, Can I sue for hit and run in Texas? Call us at (281) 587-1111 or explore your legal options with a compassionate and knowledgeable attorney today.

Baumgartner Law Firm

6711 Cypress Creek Pkwy, Houston, TX, 77069

(281) 587-1111

Related Resources:

I Was Hit By A Driver Who Does Not Have Insurance- What Can I Do in Texas?

Car Accidents and Lapsed Insurance in Texas

What to Know If You Are Hit by an Unlicensed Driver in Texas

Car Insurance Lawyer in Houston