How Long Does a Hit and Run Investigation Take in Houston

Following a hit-and-run accident in Houston, a critical aspect of the case is the police investigation to identify and apprehend the responsible driver. If you’ve been in a crash caused by a hit-and-run driver, understanding what usually happens in the aftermath can help you determine what to do next.

Do Police Investigate Hit-and-Run Accidents?

Under Texas law, drivers must stop, provide information, and render aid after any crash resulting in death, injury, or property damage. If you are the victim of a hit-and-run crash, call 911 immediately to report the crime. If you can take a picture of the fleeing vehicle on your phone, that will help. Provide the police dispatcher with as much information as possible about the fleeing vehicle, such as:

  • Make
  • Model
  • Color
  • License plate number
  • Direction the vehicle fled
  • Description of the driver

This information will help responding police officers locate the suspect. Police will also interview you and other witnesses at the scene, document evidence like debris and skid marks, and check for nearby surveillance camera footage.

Back at the station, investigators will likely:

  • Enter details into national and statewide databases to check for stolen vehicles or similar crimes
  • Review red light cameras and freeway cameras along potential escape routes
  • Canvass nearby businesses for security footage
  • Inspect fragments of headlights, mirrors, bumpers, or paint left at the scene
  • Monitor local auto body shops for cars matching the accident description
  • Utilize license plate reader technology
  • Post suspect information on social media to generate leads

How long does a hit-and-run investigation take? Police investigations are often most active in the days immediately following the accident. As time passes without any solid leads, the case may lose momentum. However, hit-and-run investigators will periodically review evidence for new developments.

What Factors Affect Hit-and-Run Investigations?

Several variables can affect how long a hit-and-run investigation takes, such as:

Severity of Injuries

Police usually prioritize hit-and-runs that involve serious injuries or fatalities. More resources and manpower will be devoted to these cases compared to crashes with minor property damage only.

Available Evidence

Investigations typically progress faster when there is ample evidence to identify the suspect, like:

  • Full or partial license plate number
  • Clear suspect or vehicle description
  • Video footage of the crash
  • Witness statements
  • Identifiable car parts left at the scene

Cases with limited physical evidence or conflicting witness reports may take longer to piece together.

Driver Turning Themselves In

In some cases, the guilt-ridden hit-and-run driver will turn themselves in to police in the hours or days after the crash. While this is ideal for investigators, many suspects attempt to hide their involvement to avoid criminal charges.

Investigator Caseload

The size of the local police department’s hit-and-run division and their current caseload can impact how long the investigation will take. Smaller agencies may not have dedicated hit-and-run units, leaving general investigators to juggle these cases along with other crimes.

What Percentage of Hit-and-Runs Are Solved?

In 2022, over 21,000 hit-and-run accidents occurred in Houston. According to the Houston Police Department, more than 85% of those were solved.

Many complex factors keep the remaining 15% from being solved, such as:

  • Lack of witnesses or physical evidence
  • Limited police resources and competing priorities
  • Uninsured or unlicensed drivers fleeing to avoid harsher penalties
  • Stolen vehicles used in the crime
  • Suspects hiding the damage to their car

Despite these obstacles, investigators work hard to close hit-and-run cases and bring suspects to justice. If the fleeing driver is identified after he or she leaves the scene of the accident, they may face both criminal charges and civil liability for the victim’s injuries.

How Long Does a Hit-and-Run Victim Have to File an Injury Claim?

How Long Does a Hit and Run Investigation Take in Houston

In Texas, hit-and-run accidents often leave victims grappling with uncertainties, especially when it comes to seeking compensation. In such unfortunate situations, most individuals injured in hit-and-run incidents must turn to their own insurance company and file an uninsured motorist (UM) claim. These claims serve as a lifeline, helping cover essential expenses such as medical bills, lost wages, and other damages incurred due to the accident, particularly when law enforcement struggles to locate the at-fault driver.

Check your insurance policy to be sure that you purchased the option UM coverage offered when you bought the policy. Also, review the policy to ensure you file your claim within any deadlines the insurance company sets.

If the police eventually find the hit-and-run driver, you can file a claim with their insurance company for your accident-related losses. If their insurance coverage is insufficient, Texas law gives you two years to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to pursue the money you need.

By securing legal representation promptly, you ensure that critical deadlines are met and empower yourself with professional advocacy. From negotiating with insurance companies to representing your interests in court if necessary, your lawyer is your trusted ally throughout the entire legal process, allowing you to focus on your recovery with peace of mind.

Speak to a Skilled Houston Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer

Contacting a skilled Houston car accident lawyer is crucial if you’ve been the victim of such a reckless act. At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we recognize the trauma and frustration that comes with being injured by a negligent hit-and-run driver. It’s understandable to feel a mix of anger and helplessness, especially when faced with mounting medical bills and seemingly no one to hold accountable.

Our experienced legal team is here to provide the support and guidance you need during this challenging time. We’re committed to fighting tirelessly to secure the compensation you rightfully deserve.

We offer free, no-obligation consultations to discuss your case’s specifics and explain your legal options. By calling 512-580-8334 today, you can speak directly with a Houston hit-and-run accident attorney who will listen to your story and offer personalized advice.

Let us handle the legal details so that you can focus on what truly matters: your recovery and healing. With our skills and dedication on your side, you can rest assured that you’re in capable hands.

Related Posts:

How Your Legal Team Will Track Down a Hit-and-Run Driver

How Long After a Hit and Run Will Police Contact You?

What Should You Do After a Hit and Run?

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