Hit-and-run accidents can be very frustrating for drivers. Car accidents are already difficult to handle but they get even more complex when the driver doesn’t stay at the scene. It can take a long time to identify and locate the individual and when they are found, they may not have insurance or the resources to compensate you for your injuries. Even if they have insurance, it can be hard to recover your losses. Having an Ellicott City car accident lawyer on your side can help you to get the compensation you deserve.
Time is often of the essence when a car accident occurs. Even a few minutes’ delay in getting emergency treatment can affect an accident victim’s outcome. That’s why any driver who gets involved in an accident should stop at the scene and call for help if someone appears injured. Even if a driver believes they are at fault for a crash, they should pull over. Unfortunately, motorists who are unlicensed, uninsured, or on the run from the police often don’t want to take the risk of stopping.
Like other crashes, hit-and-run accidents can result in a variety of injuries including:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Internal bleeding
The injuries can worsen if the driver involved in the crash doesn’t call for help and the victim has to wait for someone else to do so.
What Maryland’s Laws Say About Hit-and-Run Accidents
Every driver who is involved in an accident that causes property damage, injury, or death is legally required to stay at the scene until they comply with certain obligations. These include:
- Providing reasonable assistance to anyone who is injured
- Calling 911 for an ambulance or otherwise arranging transportation for anyone who requests or obviously needs medical care.
- Providing their name, address, and vehicle registration number to anyone who was injured
- Providing this information to the responding police officer
If a driver gets involved in an accident that results in bodily injury, they must stop as close as they can to the scene without obstructing traffic. If they leave the scene, it is a criminal offense under Maryland Statute §20–102. A driver who flees when they reasonably should have known that the crash may result in serious bodily harm can face felony charges.
If convicted, they could spend up to five years in jail and face a fine of up to $5,000. If the crash results in death and the driver should have known this was possible, the maximum fine increases to $10,000 and the maximum jail time is ten years.
These criminal charges would be separate from the civil case you can file to recover your damages. However, it is likely that the criminal case will be dealt with before the civil lawsuit works its way through the court. For some plaintiffs, this means they have to wait a while to get compensation for your injuries. However, it’s best to contact a car accident lawyer to learn more about how you can file an insurance claim or a lawsuit.
Hit-and-Run Accidents Involving Parked Vehicles
Hit-and-run accidents often occur in moving traffic. However, they can also happen when you leave your car unattended. You may park your car in a parking lot and go inside an establishment, only to return and find that someone crashed into it and left the scene. In some cases, there are no witnesses. While these types of accidents don’t result in injuries, they can leave you with a substantial repair bill.
If you return to your car and find that someone struck it, you need to call the police and contact your insurance company. Since you probably won’t be able to track down the driver on your own, you will need to police to hunt for them. Your insurance company may also need the police report so they can deal with your claim.
Talk To an Ellicott City Car Accident Lawyer at Pinder Plotkin LLC
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a hit-and-run accident, the Ellicott City car accident lawyers at our firm may be able to help you. It can take a long time to recover from serious injuries and you’ll need to do everything you can to get compensation. We’ll advocate on your behalf and do everything we can to ensure you don’t have to foot all your bills alone. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and benefit from our expert opinion. You won’t have to pay until we recover compensation on your behalf.