Each year, there are millions of car accidents across the nation. With
Texas being so populous, we have our fair share of wrecks, including hit
and run crashes. In Texas in particular, we have a problem with uninsured
motorists, who sometimes have a tendency to flee the accident scene.
What some of these uninsured motorists don’t realize is that it’s
a crime to flee the scene of an accident under
Title 7, Chapter 550 of the Transportation Code. In other words, the consequences of being
involved in a hit and run are worse than being caught driving without
Uninsured drivers are not the only ones who are involved in
hit and run accidents – anyone can get into an accident, let their nerves get the best
of them and flee the scene. Unfortunately, speeding away from an accident
can lead to serious criminal charges.
Duties Following an Accident
All drivers are expected to take responsibility if they are involved in
an accident, whether the accident involves a parked car, property damage
only, bodily injury or death. Meaning, if a driver is in an accident,
he or she is required to:
- Immediately stop their vehicle at the scene of the accident.
- If their vehicle is not stopped at the accident scene, immediately return
to the accident scene.
- At the accident scene, immediately determine if anyone was injured and
if they need aid, and if so, ensure they get the medical care they need.
- Give their name, address, driver’s license number, registration number
of the vehicle they were driving, and insurance information to the other
parties of the accident.
It is a crime to flee the scene of an accident under sections 550.021,
550.022, 550.023, and 550.024 of the Texas Transportation Code. The penalties
vary depending on whether it was just property damage, or if anyone else
was injured or killed in the accident (even if the crash wasn’t
the hit and run driver’s fault).
For example, under Sec. 550.021,
Accident Involving Personal Injury or Death, if you’re in an accident involving minor injuries and you flee
the scene, you could be charged with a third-degree felony, punishable
by up to a $5,000 fine or up to five years behind bars, or both.
Are you accused of fleeing the scene of an accident? If so,
contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to speak with a Plano
criminal defense lawyer!