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The Ultimate Guide to Texas Hit and Run Laws: Your Rights and Responsibilities Explained

Texas Hit and Run Laws: What to Do After an Accident

Car accidents are terrifying experiences that no one wishes to have. However, when one occurs, it is essential to know what to do to stay safe and avoid legal troubles later on.

This article covers Texas hit and run laws, including statutory obligations, penalties, and reporting an accident, as well as general responsibilities after an accident.

Duties Following an Accident

According to Texas law, drivers have specific duties to fulfill following a car accident. These include stopping the vehicle as close as possible to the accident scene, providing aid to any injured person, and giving their name, address, registration number, and insurance information to any person involved in the accident.

Penalties for Leaving the Scene of an Accident

Leaving the scene of an accident, also known as hit-and-run, is a serious offense that comes with severe penalties. In Texas, the severity of the punishment depends on the extent of property damage and whether anyone sustained injuries or died as a result of the accident.

When the accident resulted in only property damage, leaving the scene of an accident is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000.

If the accident resulted in bodily injury, leaving the scene of an accident is a third-degree felony, punishable by a two to ten-year prison sentence and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

On the other hand, if the accident caused serious bodily injury or death, leaving the scene of an accident is a felony of the second degree or a felony of the third degree, respectively. Both offenses attract penalties of up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Reporting a Hit-and-Run Accident

When an accident results in injury or death, or causes property damage that appears to be over $1,000, Texas law requires drivers to immediately report the accident to the nearest police station or department. When a person is unable to report the accident due to their injury or death, another person involved in the accident has to report the incident on their behalf.

For accidents that result in property damage only, drivers have ten days to file a written report with the Texas Department of Transportation.

Investigating the Scene

When an accident occurs, it is important to investigate the scene of the accident to determine the cause and who is at fault. Some crucial steps in investigating the accident include examining the vehicles involved, taking pictures of the accident scene, documenting the conditions of the road, and talking to any witnesses.

In addition, obtaining a copy of the police report can help provide further evidence on what happened during the accident.

Providing Information

After an accident, drivers should provide their name, address, registration number, and insurance information to any person involved. This information helps in filing a police report and contacting the appropriate insurance company to file a claim.

Drivers should also take down this same information from other drivers involved in the accident.

Rendering Aid to the Victim

If someone is injured in the accident, Texas law requires drivers to render reasonable assistance to the injured person. This may include transporting the person to a hospital or calling for emergency services.

Failure to provide reasonable assistance can result in criminal charges of hit-and-run, even if the driver did not leave the scene of the accident.

Smart Actions After an Accident

Finally, individuals involved in an accident should take some smart steps to protect themselves and their legal rights. These include gathering evidence, such as taking pictures and getting the contact information of witnesses, seeking medical attention if necessary, and contacting a skilled attorney.

An experienced attorney can guide individuals on how to file an insurance claim or pursue legal action if necessary.


Nobody wants to be involved in a car accident, but accidents sometimes happen, and it is essential to know what to do to stay safe, avoid legal troubles, and protect oneself. Texas hit-and-run laws have significant repercussions, and drivers should fulfill their statutory obligations following an accident.

Furthermore, drivers should investigate the scene, provide relevant information, render aid to the injured victim, and take smart actions to protect their legal rights. By doing so, they can ensure that they fulfill all legal duties while also protecting themselves and their future.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident: Understanding the Consequences

Car accidents often leave drivers and passengers feeling shaken and confused. Unfortunately, in some cases, the driver may flee the scene before anyone can exchange information or provide aid to those who are hurt.

Leaving the scene of an accident, also known as hit-and-run, is a serious offense that can result in severe legal consequences. This article covers what happens when someone leaves the scene of an accident, including penalties, duties, and ways to handle such situations.

What Happens if Someone Leaves the Scene of an Accident? Texas law requires that drivers involved in an accident stop their vehicle close to the accident scene.

Additionally, the driver must provide reasonable aid to anyone injured in the accident, give their contact information, and share any other relevant details, such as insurance information. Failing to fulfill these responsibilities can result in legal consequences.

The severity of the punishment for leaving the scene of an accident depends on several factors. When the accident involves only property damage, leaving the scene of an accident is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail, and a fine of up to $2,000.

However, when the accident results in bodily injury, leaving the scene of an accident is a third-degree felony, punishable by a sentence of two to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The same penalty applies when someone dies in the accident and the driver does not stop to render reasonable assistance.

In cases of vehicular manslaughter or criminal negligence homicide, the driver may receive a longer prison sentence and a higher fine.

What to Do After an Accident Involving an Unattended Vehicle

In Texas, drivers have responsibilities even when they collide with unattended vehicles. The law requires drivers to take reasonable steps to locate the owner of the vehicle or leave a note with their name, contact information, registration number, and insurance details.

If the driver fails to do so, they commit an offense called “duty on striking an unattended vehicle.” The penalty for this offense is a fine of up to $500.

How to Handle a Hit-and-Run Accident

If a driver hits your car and leaves the scene, it can be overwhelming and confusing. However, taking a few immediate steps can help you protect yourself and your legal rights.

Here are some things to do if you find yourself in this situation:

Collect evidence: Try to capture as much information as possible before the driver leaves the scene. Take note of the car’s make and model, license plate number, and a description of the driver, if possible.

If you or anyone else witnessed the accident, ask for their contact information. Contact your insurer: Let your insurance company know that you were involved in a hit-and-run accident.

They can help you file a claim and provide assistance in dealing with the expenses. Call the police: Notify the police as soon as possible so that they can investigate and gather evidence.

Providing them with any information you have can help them track down the driver responsible for the accident. Take photos: Use your smartphone or any camera you have on hand to take pictures of the accident scene.

These photos can provide evidence to help determine the driver’s liability and damage to your vehicle.

Determining Fault in Texas

Texas is an at-fault state, which means that the person responsible for the accident’s damages and injuries must compensate the other party. This compensation may come through the at-fault driver’s insurance or through a personal injury lawsuit filed by the victim.

Texas follows a comparative negligence rule, which means that more than one party can be at fault for the accident. If the victim contributed to the accident’s occurrence due to their own negligence, their compensation will be reduced by their degree of fault.

For example, if the victim was 30% at fault for the accident, their compensation would be reduced by 30%.

Statute of Limitations on Accidents in Texas

In Texas, the statute of limitations is the legal time limit that a person has to file a claim for compensation after being involved in an accident. The state allows two years from the accident date for personal injury claims, property damage, or wrongful death claims.

Failing to file a claim within the statute of limitations could result in facing legal penalties, and the victim losing their right to seek compensation.


Being involved in an accident is never easy, but knowing your rights and what to do after a collision is essential. Texas hit-and-run laws require drivers to fulfill specific duties, and leaving the scene of an accident can have severe legal consequences.

If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, it is important to remain calm, collect evidence, contact your insurer, and notify the police. Understanding Texas’ comparative negligence rule and statute of limitations on accidents can also help you protect your legal rights.

Proving Innocence After a Hit-and-Run: Understanding

Common Defenses

Being charged with a hit-and-run offense can have serious legal and personal consequences. It can negatively impact your reputation, result in hefty fines, and even lead to imprisonment.

If you are falsely accused of hit-and-run, it is essential to take immediate action to prove your innocence. In this article, we will discuss some common defenses that can help you avoid conviction and how to work with a defense attorney to protect your legal rights.

Facts Presented

The most effective way to prove your innocence after a hit-and-run is to present the facts of the situation. If you were not involved in the accident and can provide evidence to prove that you were not at the scene, this can clear you of any wrongdoing.

Some ways to obtain evidence might include providing alibis, surveillance footage, witness statements, pictures, and other relevant pieces of evidence.

Defense Attorney

Proving your innocence can be difficult without proper legal representation. Hiring an experienced and aggressive defense attorney can significantly increase your chances of receiving a favorable outcome.

A defense attorney can investigate the accident and gather evidence that supports your case. They also have the legal knowledge, skills, and experience to negotiate with the prosecutor and present a strong defense case against the charges leveled against you.

Common Defenses

Here are some common defenses that defense attorneys use to help their clients avoid conviction after being charged with a hit-and-run:

1. No Knowledge of the Accident

One of the most effective defenses is to prove that you had no knowledge of the accident.

If you can demonstrate that you were not aware that you had hit someone or something, then you cannot be charged with hit-and-run. Your defense attorney can help you gather evidence that supports this argument.

2. Mistaken Identity

Sometimes, victims or eyewitnesses can misidentify the driver who drove away from the accident scene.

If you can cast doubt on the accuracy or reliability of witnesses, you may have an argument for mistaken identity. Your defense attorney can also cross-examine witnesses and challenge their credibility to support this claim.

3. Lack of Evidence

A hit-and-run conviction requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt that you were the driver who hit and left the scene of the accident.

If there is a lack of physical evidence, such as damaged car parts, or eyewitness reports that clearly show you were driving the vehicle in question, your defense attorney may be able to argue that there is insufficient evidence to support the charges. 4.

Duress and Necessity

If you can prove that you were forced or compelled to leave the accident scene by a threat or emergency, this can also be used as a defense. For example, if someone was injured in the accident and needed immediate medical attention, you might argue that you left the scene to get help.

5. Other Defenses

In some cases, other defenses may be appropriate depending on the specific factors and circumstances of your case.

For example, if you were unaware that you had hit a pedestrian or a bicyclist, you may be able to argue that you had no duty to stop and render aid. Alternatively, you may be able to argue that you were not the actual driver of the vehicle or that the alleged accident happened in a private parking lot where you were not required to stop.


If facing charges of hit-and-run, it’s important to work with a defense attorney who will represent your interests and craft a strong defense strategy to help your case. Various defenses, such as lack of evidence, mistaken identity, and duress or necessity can be employed to help prove your innocence.

If you have been falsely accused of hit-and-run, gathering the right evidence an experienced defense attorney will greatly assist in getting your charges resisted, reduced or dropped. Proving your innocence in a hit-and-run can be a complicated process, but with an affirmative defense, it’s actually possible.

Proving innocence after being charged with a hit-and-run can be a challenging and complex process. However, by presenting the facts of the situation, working with a skilled defense attorney, and employing common defenses such as no knowledge of the accident or mistaken identity, it is possible to avoid conviction.

It is crucial to take immediate action if falsely accused to protect your reputation and legal rights. Remember, hiring a defense attorney can significantly increase your chances of receiving a favorable outcome.

Understanding the importance of proving innocence in hit-and-run cases and the available defenses can help individuals navigate these difficult situations and protect themselves from undeserved legal consequences.

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