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Hit-and-run accident raises serious insurance issues

There are thousands of hit-and-run accidents in Texas each year. One in 5 of all pedestrian fatalities nationwide are classified as hit-and-run, according to the American Automobile Association. This type of accident raises insurance issues where there are injuries or deaths caused by the absent driver. If the tortfeasor has absconded, who is going to compensate the injured victims or the estates of deceased victims?

In the event of serious injury or death caused by a negligent or reckless driver who has absconded, the first point of inquiry will be the effort to find the wrongdoer. The police will conduct a serious investigation and put resources into locating the person at fault. Perhaps surprisingly, the perpetrator is often caught and arrested.

Success is often accomplished through anonymous call lines where someone notices that a vehicle has been in an unreported accident. If the wrongdoer is found, the injured person or the estate of the decedent will be free to make a claim for personal injury damages against that driver. Unfortunately, in some cases, the absconded operator is never found.

This raises a serious problem for victims who deserve and need to be compensated. However,  relief may be available if the victim was covered under one or more uninsured motorists' insurance provisions in effect in the victim's household at the time of the accident. Generally, such policies will define an uninsured driver to include those operators who fled and have been unsuccessfully sought by the police.

In Texas as well as in other states, the best way for a victim or a victim's estate to maximize their chances for a recovery in the face of such insurance issues is to secure the services of an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. This provides the assurance that experienced professionals are working aggressively to find all available avenues for a monetary recovery. The legal representation is likely to be provided on a no-recovery, no-fee basis.

Source:, "What should you do if you're involved in a hit and run accident?", Phoenix O'Connor, Dec. 5, 2017

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