The consequences of leaving the scene after you are involved in a crash in Texas can be unusually serious. The best thing to do is to stay at the scene and follow Texas laws for what you need to do following an accident. “Don’t Panic” is a familiar phrase because panicking never helps.
But all this is easy enough to say now. What are your options after the fact? What can you do and what do you need to know after you have left the scene of an accident?
Many accused of hitting and running neither hit nor ran
First, you may be in a different situation. Some accusations of leaving the scene of an accident are false. Situations that might result in an incorrect report of a hit-and-run crash include:
- Police received bad information, such as a misread license plate or vague suspect description.
- Another person was driving the car without you.
- You did, in fact, stay at the scene and followed the law, but the other driver fled the scene, lied, misremembered or the like.
Better outcomes are possible
Vehicle accidents are often so sudden, unexpected, confusing and physically jarring that it can seem like basic animal instinct to want to get away from them. But there are many other reasons people leave the scene of an accident, and an attorney may be able to present the facts to make for a better outcome.
For example, it is surprisingly common for people to simply not understand that their car hit something. For another, drivers sometimes do not stop for an accident because they have a different and reasonable priority. Perhaps the driver fears for their safety because someone is chasing them, or the driver needs to get to a hospital as soon as possible.
These and similar issues also leave aside questions of proper police procedures and conduct, which are critical to the just and safe functioning of civil society.
A cool head and knowledge of your rights
Even if you now wish you had handled the situation differently, the most important thing to remember is that you do have rights.
There is no need to panic, rush or solve the problem immediately. You do not have to speak to the police without having a lawyer there with you and representing you.