Have you fallen victim to a traffic accident in Maryland? If yes, then you already know how unpleasant that situation is. From the shock to the bodily injuries and the compensation claims process, everything stresses you out. Sometimes, the emotional distress you suffer outlives the physical pain.
Everything is a mess, and you can’t wait to have your life back. But, unfortunately, that’s not the worst that could happen in a traffic accident. The truth is, the victims of hit-and-run accidents usually have it worse. Apart from the pain of dealing with physical injuries, the at-fault driver is nowhere to be found.
In such cases, the chances of compensation from the negligent driver become slim. However, with an experienced personal injury lawyer by your side, you can navigate through this unfortunate occurrence seamlessly. This article is an exposé on how you can still recover damages for your injuries in a hit-and-run accident in Maryland.
What’s a Hit-and-Run Accident?
A hit-and-run happens when a driver involved in an accident flees the scene before the police arrive. Usually, after an accident (especially involving property damage and bodily injuries), the police send an officer to the crash site. However, drivers in an accident must remain at the accident scene until they’ve complied with all their obligations in the crash. Therefore, any driver who leaves the scene without meeting their legal duty has made the accident a hit-and-run.
The obligations include the following:
- Offering assistance to injured victims and dialing 911
- Providing contact details to injured persons and the authorities attending to the crash
- Making a report at the police station if the obligations above are impossible to fulfill
What Are the Penalties for a Hit-and-Run Driver in Maryland?
Causing an accident in Maryland is terrible enough. However, running away makes it worse. Therefore, Maryland treats hit-and-run cases seriously and criminalizes them. If caught, offenders would likely face the following consequences:
Under Maryland laws, hit-and-run drivers in accidents involving severe bodily harm to another are guilty of a felony. Consequently, they may be liable to fines of up to $5,000. In addition, if the accident is fatal, the culprit may face trial for manslaughter along with $10,000 fines.
Apart from fines, hit-and-run drivers are at risk of incarceration for up to 5 years. For fatal accidents, the possible jail time goes up to 10 years.
Liability for Civil Lawsuit
Regardless of the criminal implications, hit-and-run drivers are also liable for personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. Accident victims can get their due compensation for their losses through such cases.
What To Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident in Maryland
Being in a hit-and-run accident seems like a hopeless situation. However, the actions you take after the accident can increase your chances of finding the runaway driver. Taking the proper steps also helps you maximize your chances of getting compensation through alternative means.
You should, therefore, do the following after a hit-and-run accident:
Document As Many Details As You Can Remember
Immediately you discover that you’ve been in an accident, try to be alert. It’s not an easy thing to do in the circumstances, but taking note of relevant details will help your case. Document information like the vehicles involved, the driver’s license plate, etc., as soon as you can. If possible, take pictures and videos of the accident scene with your smartphone.
You must seek medical attention and alert the police by dialing 911. When the police get to the scene, they may obtain information on who the runaway driver is from witnesses and bystanders.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Your uninsured motorist coverage may come in handy in these circumstances.
Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
Having a personal injury attorney by your side makes a lot of difference. Your lawyer will protect your rights and ensure you get due compensation from the fault driver’s insurance company or yours.
Follow-Up With Law Enforcement
Periodically check in with the police for regular updates on your cases’ progress.
Get a Free Consultation With Maryland Auto Accident Lawyers
Are you a car accident victim in Maryland? Even if you were run over by a hit-and-run driver, all hope is not lost. You can explore the options you have at recovering compensation for your losses with our astute auto accident lawyers.
At Pinder Plotkin, LLC, we don’t believe that any case is too complex for us to handle. We’d assess your situation carefully and come up with the best recovery solutions for you. So waste no time; contact us for a free case review immediately. You’d be glad you did.