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Last updated: October 12, 2023

What to Do After a Hit-and-Run in Texas

Your duties to stop at the scene and render aid, simplified

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From 2011 to 2021, there were 225 fatal hit-and-runs in Texas, which occur when someone hits a car and flees the scene without exchanging information or rendering aid. If the crash caused death, bodily injury, or property damage, you might be at risk of imprisonment and fines, not to mention increased car insurance prices. Make sure you know the Texas laws surrounding hit-and-runs so you can avoid legal and financial penalties.

What to Do After Hit-and-Run Accidents in Texas

Whether you hit someone’s car or someone hits your car and flees, making you a victim of a hit-and-run car accident, here’s what to do after a hit-and-run in Texas:

  1. Check for injuries and render aid. You have a legal duty to provide “reasonable assistance” to any injured parties, meaning you have to transport them to a doctor or a hospital, or help them get there in another way. This duty occurs whether you think the treatment seems necessary or if the injured party requests it.
  2. Move your car. Move your car to a safe place where it won’t affect traffic.
  3. Remain at the scene of the accident. You must remain at the scene until you’ve exchanged information and rendered aid.
  4. Exchange information. Exchange the following contact and auto insurance information with the other driver:
    • Name
    • Address
    • Phone number
    • Vehicle identification numbers (VIN)
    • License plate number
    • Insurance information
    • Driver’s license information
  5. Collect evidence. Note the location of the crash, as well as the names, addresses, and phone numbers of witnesses. Also, photograph the damage so you can use the photos as evidence in your claim.
  6. Call law enforcement. You’re legally required to contact the police if the crash involved injury, death, or damage to a vehicle so it can’t be driven normally and safely. Plus, you can use the police report in your claim. For accidents that occur in or within 100 feet of the limits of municipalities, call the local police. Otherwise, call the sheriff’s office or the nearest office of the Department of Transportation. We also recommend calling the police if a driver is intoxicated or is driving without the minimum coverage that Texas requires.
  7. Leave a note. If you hit an unattended vehicle, first try to find the driver. If you can’t, write down your name and address as well as an explanation of what happened on a note, and leave it on the car in a conspicuous place. If you were driving a vehicle you don’t own, leave the owner’s contact information (name and address) instead.1

Recovering Damages as a Victim of a Hit-and-Run Accident

If you figure out the identity of the driver who hit your car, you can get coverage under their liability insurance with a third-party claim. However, if you can’t identify the driver, you’ll have to make a first-party claim with your insurance coverage. Collision coverage would pay for property damages, while uninsured motorist coverage would pay for property damages and bodily injuries.2 You can also use personal injury protection (PIP) or your health insurance for your and your passengers’ injuries, if any.

If you know the identity of the driver but they were unable to compensate you for your total losses, you can sue them in a civil suit, given you were 50 or less at fault in the accident, due to Texas’ modified comparative negligence laws. However, if you were any percentage at fault, your compensation would be reduced by that percentage.

Does Insurance Cover a Hit-and-Run Accident?

Texas car insurance premiums after a hit-and-run could increase, even if the accident wasn’t your fault. Anytime you file a first-party claim, your rates could increase, unless you have an accident forgiveness policy. However, in the best-case scenario, the other driver’s liability coverage will apply to you, and you won’t have to make any first-party claims, meaning your rates shouldn’t increase after a hit-and-run car accident in Texas.

Texas Hit-and-Run Statistics

We analyzed data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to see how common hit-and-runs in Texas are and what they involve.

From 2011 to 2021, hit-and-runs made up an average of 7 percent of all fatal crashes.

Year Involved a hit and run Did not involve a hit and run Total fatal crashes in Texas Percentage of all fatal crashes
2011 172 2,618 2,790 6%
2012 183 2,850 3,033 6%
2013 187 2,860 3,047 6%
2014 168 3,022 3,190 5%
2015 179 3,011 3,190 6%
2016 234 3,193 3,427 7%
2017 222 3,130 3,352 7%
2018 229 3,082 3,311 7%
2019 227 3,069 3,296 7%
2020 321 3,201 3,522 9%
2021 342 3,726 4,068 8%
Total 2,464 33,762 36,226 7%
Average 224 3,069 3,293 7%

The plurality of drivers in fatal hit-and-runs in 2021 was driving under the influence. Speeding was involved in 17 percent of all of the state’s fatal hit-and-runs the same year.

Driver involvement Number of fatal hit-and-runs in Texas in 2021 Percentage of total
Alcohol impairment (BAC of 0.08% or higher) 152 44%
Speeding 57 17%
Distracted driver 24 7%
Drowsy driver 0 N/A
Total 342 N/A

Drivers age 25 to 34 made up 29 percent of all drivers involved in fatal hit-and-runs in Texas in 2021. Beyond age 34, that percentage decreased, going down to only 2 percent of drivers 74 and older, seniors drivers.

Age group Number of drivers involved in fatal hit-and-runs in Texas in 2021 Percentage of total known drivers
16-20 31 12%
21-24 31 12%
25-34 77 29%
35-44 45 17%
45-54 34 13%
55-64 25 9%
65-74 19 7%
Over 74 5 2%
Unknown 216 N/A
Total known 267 N/A
Total 483 N/A

Of the hit-and-runs in which the sex of the driver was known, 77 percent involved male drivers.

Sex Number of drivers involved in fatal hit-and-runs in Texas in 2021 Percentage of total known drivers
Male 214 77%
Female 63 23%
Reported as unknown 206 N/A
Total known 277 N/A
Total 483 N/A


It’s legal for car insurance companies in Texas to charge men more than women for the exact same coverage as long as they can prove that men are at greater risk for financial losses.

Penalties for Breaking Texas Hit-and-Run Laws

If you were involved in a hit-and-run accident in Texas, meaning you failed to stop at the scene of the crime and render aid or leave a note in the case of hitting an unattended vehicle, you could face a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment of up to 20 years, in the most extreme cases.3

Result of hit-and-run Death Serious bodily injury Non-serious bodily injury Property damage to vehicles is worth less than $200 Property damage is worth $200 or more
Charge 2nd-degree felony 3rd-degree felony Class B misdemeanor Class C misdemeanor Class B misdemeanor
Maximum fine $10,000 $10,000 $5,000 $500 $2,000
Length of imprisonment 2-20 years 2-10 years 5 years in state prison or 1 year in county jail maximum None 180 days


Texas defines “serious bodily injury” as an injury that creates a substantial risk of death or cause of death, or causes serious permanent disfigurement or a protected loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ or member.


If you were convicted of a hit-and-run, you may have trouble finding car insurance in Texas, or finding car insurance that you can afford. The best bet to find cheap Texas car insurance is to request quotes from companies that cater to high-risk drivers. If you’re still having trouble finding a provider that accepts you, ask an insurance agent about the Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association, which will match you with a provider that will cover you.4

Frequently Asked Questions

Do police investigate hit-and-runs in Texas?

Yes, police investigate hit-and-runs in Texas. According to Texas Transportation Code Section 550.041, a peace officer who is notified of an accident that resulted in death, injury, or property damage worth at least $1,000 can investigate the accident and file charges accordingly. However, they will not investigate a hit-and-run that occurred in a privately owned residential parking area or a parking lot where a fee is charged for storing/parking vehicles.

Will cops come to your house for a hit-and-run in Texas?

If you broke the law by hitting a car and fleeing the scene without rendering aid or exchanging information and the police identify you, they can come to your house, given they have a warrant for your arrest. Depending on the consequences of the hit-and-run, you may be charged with a Class C or B misdemeanor or, in more serious cases, a second- or third-degree felony.

Does insurance cover hit-and-runs in Texas?

Yes. Insurance covers hit-and-runs in Texas under liability coverage, collision coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, or personal injury protection.

What happens when you press charges for a hit-and-run in Texas?

If you press charges for a hit-and-run in Texas, the identified driver could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. A guilty conviction could result in a fine of $500 to $10,000, depending on the consequences of the hit-and-run, and imprisonment of anywhere from 180 days to 20 years in the most extreme cases.


  1. Tips to avoid collisions and what to do when one occurs. Texas Department of Transportation. (2023).

  2. Will your auto insurance pay after a hit-and-run crash? Texas Department of Insurance. (2022, Feb 15).

  3. Penal Code Section 1.07 Definitions. Texas Public Law. (2023).

  4. TAIPA Plan of Operations Section 50 Motor Vehicle Crime Prevention Authority Change in Pass Through Fee. TAIPA. (2023, Jun 1).