A hit and run accident can be one of the frustrating experiences for drivers in Maryland. Car accidents are difficult enough to deal with; however, they can be much more complicated when the other driver flees the scene. It may take time to identify the other drivers involved, and even if they are identified, they may not have insurance or the financial resources to pay for your injuries. Hit and run accidents can also make dealing with the insurance company more difficult. Having a personal injury attorney on your side can make sure you have someone to fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
Criminal Hit and Run Charges
A hit and run in Maryland is a criminal offense. Under Maryland Statute §20–102, the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident that results in bodily injury shall stop the vehicle as close as possible to the scene of the accident, without obstructing traffic. Leaving the scene of an accident with an unattended vehicle carries the possibility of jail time, and points on your driving record.
If a person flees the scene of the accident involving serious bodily injury, that they reasonably should have known might result in serious bodily injury, they may be found guilty of a felony. Violation of Maryland Statute §27-113, can lead to 5 years in jail, and a fine of up to $5,000. If the driver leaves the scene of an accident involving death, that the driver should have known might result in death, is subject to a fine of up to $10,000, and 10 years in jail.
Hit and run accidents can involve both a criminal charge for the driver fleeing the scene, and a civil lawsuit for the driver trying to recover damages from the fleeing driver. However, in most cases, the criminal case will take place before the civil lawsuit can be taken to trial. Depending on the situation, this can cause additional delays to the injured plaintiff seeking to recover damages for their injuries.
If you have any questions about how you can file a lawsuit against the driver in a hit and run accident, contact an experienced Maryland automobile accident attorney.
Unattended Vehicle Hit and Run
It can be startling to go out to get into your car, only to find that someone crashed into your vehicle, and left the scene. There may have been no witnesses. In some cases, the driver may have left a note on your windshield, but when you call the phone number left on the note, it turns out to be a ‘fake' phone number. The only good news is that no one was injured in the accident.
If your car was involved in an unattended hit and run accident, you should contact the police, and notify your insurance company. The police will be able to take an accident report, which may be required by your insurance company. In some cases, the police will be able to identify the other driver or other vehicle involved.
Serious Injury Hit and Run
If you were involved in a serious hit and run injury accident, every second counts. Every additional minute that emergency responders are delayed can make your injuries more serious, or even increase the risk of death. A driver in a serious accident is supposed to call for help, regardless of who is at fault. If a driver leaves the scene of an accident, they usually do not call 9-1-1, no matter how serious your injuries may be.
Common injuries in a serious hit and run injury accident include head injury, neck or back injury, broken bones, internal bleeding, crushing injuries, or even death. These injuries can be exacerbated when the other driver involved fails to call for help, leaving the injured occupant to suffer until someone else is able to call 9-1-1.
Baltimore Hit and Run Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit & run accident, the law firm of Gilman & Bedigian may be able to help. Recovery from a hit and run accident can take time, and the injured individuals may not have the time or resources to find the person responsible, and make sure their insurance company pays their medical bills. Hiring an attorney to represent you will ensure that you have someone to advocate on your behalf, to get you the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys have years of experience dealing with automobile accident cases throughout Maryland. Contact us today for a free consultation.