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Should we get our own lawyer, or let the prosecuting attorney handle it, or both?

Emory, TX |
Filed under: Criminal charges

Sunday night, me, my husband, our two little girls (ages 4 and 5), and my brother were involved in a hit and run in Dallas. Right before it happened, the car pulled up beside us, they yelled something out at us, swerved to the far left lane (we were in the far right lane), and aimed their car at us, and then after ramming into the front of our car and ramming us into the concrete wall to our right, they ran off, ditched the car, and called AAA. Her insurance company finally called my husband to say that gotten in touch with her and they are going to take full responsibility for the accident, but she is saying that she swerved because she dropped her cell phone and she stopped to render aid, which is clearly not true. I believe that this woman should be charged with attempted murder.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

You don't get to "LET" a prosecutor handle it. The prosecutor will do their job independent of you filing a civil suit. It is clear that this woman committed some sort of criminal act but the legal analysis will be rightfully done by an Assistant District Attorney who will determine based on the investigation and evidence what charge she/he can prove the elements beyond a reasonable doubt. If I were a betting woman the last charge she/he would consider is Attempted Murder. The one that seems to apply is Hit and Run or possible Aggravated Assault. You are free to and should sue this person for personal injury and damages.

Providing general answers are meant to help the poster to understand some complex legal concepts and in no way creates an attorney-client relationship.

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Asker

Posted

Right, I said that wrong, and I didn't mean that I was "allowing" them to do it; I just don't know how any of this works, really. Thankfully, none of us sustained any serious injuries, even though we could have all been killed. Also, her insurance company says that they are going to fully cover the accident. So would it even be worth it to pursue a civil suit? One thing that bothers me is that the state trooper did not even take a statement from me, even though I probably had the best view of the entire thing. We've tried calling him a couple of times with no response. Do you have any idea about how long it usually takes to get a case like this together? I know ours is not the only case they're dealing with, and I don't want to sound unreasonable, it's just all extremely upsetting, to say the least. Thanks for your help!

Kathryn Mary Holton

Kathryn Mary Holton

Posted

Troopers are notoriously bad as investigators and are known for NOT taking statements. It is the way they are trained. They write tickets and do accident reconstruction. It was frustrating to me when I was a prosecutor because it made the state's case weak. So, with that said, I do not know how long and if that prosecutor will have to get their investigators to do the work the Troopers should have. Maybe 90 days, if you don;t hear anything call. You may want to call the victim witness coordinator of the DA's office sooner and let her know you would like to give a statement. I can promise you nothing will move as fast as you expect, but as a victim you have rights and can be notified of all court proceedings. As far as a civil suit you need not make any decision yet as to whether you should sue. You may want to consult with a personal injury lawyer to review everything, you have 2 years to file a suit.

Asker

Posted

Thank you; that's all new information to me, and it helps a lot!

Posted

Criminal cases are handled as the prosecutor sees fit.

To find out if you have a civil claim, you should consult a car crash attorney...prefereably one who is board certified in personal injury law or civil trial law or both.

Answers on Avvo are for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. No attorney / client relationship is created by providing this answer. For specific advice about your situation, you should consult a competent attorney of your choosing.

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Thank you for your help!

Posted

Both. The prosecutor or district attorney will handle the criminal aspect of this hit and run or assault case. However, you need a personal injury lawyer to assist with your damage claims. If you and your family were injured, you definitely need to consult with a PI attorney. Insurance companies will low ball you on your claim if it is not handle by a competent personal injury lawyer. In order to get the compensation you deserve call and consult with lawyer in you area.

The information provided is not advice but a legal perspective and you should schedule a consultation with the lawyer of your choice.

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Posted

Thank you. We found out today that the woman is being charged with a b misdemeanor: failing to render aid--that's all, after she almost killed five people, ran off, and then tried to ditch the car. I just can't believe a hit and run is not a felony.

Posted

If you have not filed a complaint with the police do so as soon as possible. They will investigate the case and refer the matter to the DA for review and presentment to a Grand Jury if they believe probable cause exists. Whether her insurance company handles the claim or not has nothing to do with a criminal prosecution except maybe on the issue of restitution.

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