When someone chooses to get behind the wheel of any vehicle and drive it on a public road, that person has also chosen to accept personal responsibility for anything that happens while operating that vehicle. Whether or not a person wants to face the consequences should they cause an accident, Texas law requires that all drivers involved in a crash remain at the scene until law enforcement arrives and determines what happened. Unfortunately, drivers sometimes choose to ignore this requirement.
Thankfully, the law pertaining to hit-and-run crashes in Texas was updated Sept. 1. The new law should go a long way toward encourage people to stick around after an accident, because it doubles the maximum penalty for being convicted of a hit-and-run charges from 10 years in prison to 20. Unfortunately, some drivers still don’t seem to get it.
A 9-year-old girl was out riding her bike on an El Paso street the evening of Sunday, October 20, when she was hit and seriously injured by a pickup truck. According to El Paso Police, the man stayed at the scene for a minute, but then left the girl with her serious injuries. She was transported to a local hospital, and El Paso police began their search for the red Dodge pickup with a missing front grill.
The truck was found the next day, and the day after that, October 22, the alleged driver, 33-year-old Michael Pinedo, of El Paso was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving serious bodily injury, and he was held on $10,000 bond.
The new Texas law against those who leave the scene of an accident could put this man in jail for a long time, but action against hit-and-run drivers in Texas isn’t just limited to criminal charges. The victims of such accidents may be able to file a civil claim under Texas personal injury liability law. The fact that a driver flees the accident scene may be seen as a demonstration of negligence and a disregard for the safety of others on the road.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a hit-and-run accident, you need a lawyer to protect your rights under the law. The Texas Rollover Car and Truck Accident Injury Lawyers at Hill Law Firm have experience handling all types of accidents. Contact Hill Law Firm as soon as possible for a free consultation.