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When there is a Collision, Call the Police

Whenever you are in a collision, the best practice is to call the police. This can help to avoid many issues later, but one is whether the proper information has been provided by the at-fault driver and any witnesses to the auto accident.

A talk show host on a local radio station is currently suspected of violating the law which requires an exchange of information after a wreck. Specifically, if someone hits a vehicle that is attended, §550.023 of the Transportation Code requires the driver to give his "name and address, the registration number of the vehicle the operator was driving, and the name of the operator's motor vehicle liability insurer...." If the vehicle that is struck is unattended, §550.024 requires the driver to locate the owner or to leave in a conspicuous place his name and address. A violation of either one of these provisions -- commonly referred to as FSGI (Failure to Stop and Give Information) -- is a Class C Misdemeanor if the damage to all vehicles is less than $200, and a Class B Misdemeanor if the damage exceeds that amount.

The situation is even more serious when someone is injured. Sections 550.021 and 550.023 require the operator to stop, exchange information, and "provide any person injured in the accident reasonable assistance, including transporting or making arrangements for transporting the person to a physician or hospital for medical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary, or if the injured person requests the transportation." Violation of this legal duty is referred to as FSRA (Failure to Stop and Render Aid). It constitutes a Third Degree Felony if there is serious bodily injury or death; otherwise, the offense is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Considering these factors and others, it is always the best policy to call the police after a collision.

The attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend handle a wide variety of motor vehicle liability cases, including serious injuries and fatalities resulting from collisions, trucking cases, and tire failures. To discuss a claim you may have free of charge, call 713-396-3964.

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