Whenever someone gets behind the wheel of a car, he or she accepts responsibility for their conduct on the road. Although a person may not want to face the consequences of causing a car accident, the law requires that drivers remain at the scene of a crash. Unfortunately, some drivers choose to ignore this requirement.
On Sept. 1, a new law regarding hit-and-run crashes will go into effect in Texas. Under the new law, the maximum penalty for being convicted on hit-and-run charges doubles from 10 years in prison to 20. Proponents of the law say it will give law enforcement another way to help fight the devastating consequences of these accidents.
The legal repercussions for hit-and-run accidents aren’t limited to the realm of criminal law. In fact, victims of these incidents may be able to file a claim under Texas personal injury laws. When a driver flees the scene of a crash, it demonstrates negligence and a disregard for the safety of others on the road. As such, victims can seek compensation for the economic and emotional damages that result from an accident.
Furthermore, the timing of the law going into effect is significant. Labor Day weekend is known for high volumes of traffic and the numerous accidents that result. Any drivers who fail to follow the law and leave the scene of an accident could now face more time behind bars as a result of their carelessness. Ultimately, the hope is that this law will encourage drivers to be more cautious on the road.
Source: KIII News, “State Representative Announces Tougher Hit and Run Law,” Aug. 29, 2013