Accidents happen every day on our roads. But there is nothing worse than a hit and run accident. It is the responsibility of motorists who are involved in auto accidents to stop and exchange information with all other involved parties. However, this isn’t always the case.
If you or your loved one has been involved in a hit and run accident, contact a reputable Laurel hit and run accident lawyer to help you with your case. Hit and run cases are complicated. An experienced lawyer can help you get justice after your accident.
The attorneys at Pinder Plotkin LLC are ready to help you throughout the claims process. We can advise you regarding your legal options and answer any questions that you may have. Call (410) 525-5337 now to schedule your risk-free case evaluation.
Why Would a Driver Leave the Scene After an Accident?
Under Maryland law, drivers involved in car accidents are required to remain at the accident scene until they’ve complied with certain obligations outlined in Maryland Transportation Code § 20-104. If you leave the scene of an accident, you may end up facing harsh penalties like fines or even jail time. For this reason, it is important to stick around after a Laurel car accident until the police clear you to leave.
Despite these harsh penalties, many motorists in Laurel are involved in hit and run accidents. They choose to deliberately flee such scenes because they know they are guilty.
Here are some of the common reasons why drivers may decide to flee the scene of an accident in Laurel, MD.
- The driver doesn’t have a valid driver’s license.
- The driver has a suspended license or has many tickets. Repeat offenders will stop at nothing to ensure they don’t get into trouble.
- The driver has an outstanding warrant for their arrest. Such warrants may be auto-related or not.
- The driver is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Such drivers may flee the scene of an accident to avoid DUI or DWI charges.
- The driver doesn’t have insurance coverage. In Maryland, all vehicles must be insured with the minimum coverage requirements being $30,000 for bodily injury, $60,000 for total bodily injury or death liability, and $15,000 for property damage.
- The driver may be operating a stolen car. If an individual doesn’t have permission to drive a car, they won’t stop after hitting another vehicle or pedestrian.
- The driver may be operating a company car. In such instances, a driver may flee the scene of an accident to avoid getting in trouble with their employer. They may be scared of losing their job which makes them flee the scene of the accident.
- The driver is an illegal immigrant. Such drivers may flee the scene to avoid deportation.
- The driver is transporting illegal items, like guns, drugs, or any other prohibited materials.
Regardless of the reason why a driver has fled from the scene of the accident, don’t try to chase after them. This may end up hurting your Laurel hit and run accident claim.
What Should You Do If a Driver Leaves After a Car Accident?
The most important thing after a hit and run accident is to remain calm and check if you’ve sustained any injuries. Here’s what the Laurel hit and run accident lawyers at Pinder Plotkin recommend after a hit and run accident.
Avoid Chasing the Fleeing Driver
You aren’t the police. If you end up chasing the driver, it may seem as though you were also fleeing from the scene. You may end up breaking speeding laws as you chase after the driver.
If you notice the other driver speeding off, make sure you note down their vehicle license plate, color, make, and model.
Contact the Police
After a hit and run accident in Laurel, call 911 to report the accident. The police will interview you to find out what happened. Your statement may contain details such as traffic conditions, the other vehicle’s details, and the location of the crash.
Seek Medical Attention
Visiting your doctor after an accident is crucial. Even if you feel okay after an accident, make sure you see a physician for a medical checkup. Remember, some injuries such as traumatic brain injuries or internal bleeding may take time to manifest.
You should talk to witnesses at the scene of the accident to find out what they can share about the accident. Get their names, phone numbers, and addresses.
Also, remember to take photos or videos of the scene of the accident. These photos may include any visible injuries, road signs, skid marks, vehicle damage, and weather conditions. Your lawyer can use photos from the scene to establish liability.
Contact a Laurel Hit and Run Accident Lawyer
An experienced attorney can guide you after a hit and run accident. At Pinder Plotkin, our lawyers will follow up your case with the police, handle all the paperwork, and deal with insurance companies.
What Damages Can Victims Get From a Hit and Run Accident Claim in Maryland?
There are various damages that you may be eligible for after a hit and run accident in Laurel, Maryland. They include economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. An experienced Laurel hit and run accident attorney can help you recover damages after a hit and run crash.
These damages are generally easier to prove since they are objective in nature. They are damages that have monetary impacts on victims, including:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Property damage
- Future medical bills
- Household services
- Lost earning capacity
These damages are more subjective and they aren’t easy to calculate. They often boil down to how a judge or jury feels about the facts of a case. For instance, a hit and run case with multiple deaths of family members may warrant more compensation than one amputated limb.
Some examples of non-economic damages in a hit and run case include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment
- Mental anguish
Punitive damages are not considered compensatory damages. They aren’t meant to help victims recover financially after an accident. These damages are designed to punish the defendant after a hit and run accident. They are available in instances where the driver’s actions or omissions are considered malicious. In other words, the defendant acted with ill will or intended to injure the victim.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim for a Hit and Run Accident in Maryland?
According to Md. Courts & Jud. Proc. Code Ann. § 5-101, you have three years from the date of your accident to file both personal injury and property damage claims. This implies that you have three years to file your paperwork with Maryland courts to seek damages for your hit and run claim.
If you don’t file your claim within three years, you lose the right to seek compensation for your injuries and damages.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you have been involved in a hit and run accident, it’s advisable to contact a hit and run lawyer near Laurel as soon as possible. Don’t wait for days or weeks after your accident to reach out to an attorney. Here’s why you need to reach out to a lawyer right after your accident:
An experienced Laurel hit & run accident lawyer can help you throughout the claims process. A personal injury claim may involve lots of paperwork that you may be unfamiliar with. Your lawyer will make sure they fill out and file the relevant paperwork on time.
Your attorney should also look into every piece of evidence to build a strong claim. This may include dashcam footage, CCTV footage from nearby stores, medical records, employment records, and police reports. Our attorneys will gather and analyze evidence to determine who is to blame for your accident.
Our reputable personal injury law firm in Laurel can handle your settlement talks on your behalf. This gives you ample time to focus on your recovery.
The legal team Pinder Plotkin understands how insurance companies operate. We will determine the value of your hit and run claim and push for the best compensation for your injuries.
The Pinder Plotkin legal team is ready to represent you in court if settlement talks hit a dead end. Our trial lawyers will build a compelling case to convince the judge and jury that you deserve the highest and best possible settlement after your auto accident.
Contact Laurel Hit and Run Accident Lawyers Today for Sound Legal Counsel
Have you or someone you care about been hurt in a hit and run accident? You should call the reliable hit & run attorneys at Pinder Plotkin to find out if you have a case. Our legal team is ready to look into the facts of your case and advise you regarding your legal options.
Remember, the state of Maryland has strict time limits pertaining to personal injury claims. You need to file your claim as soon as possible before it’s too late. Delays in filing your claim may affect your entire case.
To get started, call (410) 525-5337. Pinder Plotkin offers free no-obligation case reviews for victims of hit and run accidents. Let us help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.