Maryland Hit & Run Accident Attorneys
Protecting Your Rights after a Driver Leaves the Scene of Your Accident
When you first started driving, you likely learned about what to do in the event of an accident. You pull over to the side of the road, safely get out of your car, and exchange information with the other drivers involved. Often, this is exactly what unfolds after a crash, though in other situations, you may be shocked when another driver who hit you speeds off into the distance instead of stopping.
All car accidents can be traumatic, but the element of hit-and-run can make an accident especially stressful. Who will pay for your vehicle damage? What happens if you need medical treatment? Will you be responsible for all of these costs?
In this situation, you do not have to panic. Instead, call Alpert Schreyer Poe, LLC as soon as possible. We regularly work with clients in this situation and help them find legal solutions to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve.
Call (301) 812-4777 to schedule a case evaluation right away.
What to Do After a Hit & Run?
If you are involved in an injury accident in Maryland, you must stop, offer assistance, and exchange information. Under Maryland Statute 20-102, “The driver of each vehicle involved in an accident that results in bodily injury to or death of another person immediately shall stop the vehicle as close as possible to the scene of the accident, without obstructing traffic more than necessary.”
If a hit-and-run driver has hurt you or a loved one, here are a few steps you can take to increase your chances of receiving fair compensation:
- Write down everything you remember about the crash as soon as possible.
- Take photos of the crash site, your vehicle, your injuries, and of anything that may have broken off from the vehicle that left the scene of the crash.
- Call the authorities right away and remain at the crash site.
- Gather the contact information from anyone who may have witnessed the accident.
- Seek immediate medical attention.
- Call an experienced personal injury lawyer who will stay abreast of the official investigation and ensure that your rights are protected.
Why Do Hit & Run Drivers Flee?
Maryland law specifically requires drivers to stop and remain at the scene of any car accident that results in property damage or injuries, though in general, you should stop after every crash. However, many people instead decide to flee the scene for many reasons. Maybe a driver does not have the required insurance or a valid driver’s license. A driver may have been drinking or might possess illegal drugs in the vehicle. Whatever the reason may be, it is an unfortunate reality that drivers leave accident scenes on a regular basis.
Trying to Identify Hit & Run Drivers
After a hit and run accident, you should proceed as you normally would after a crash. Call 9-1-1 right away and report the hit and run, including any details you remember about the make, model, and color of the vehicle. Sometimes, witnesses will stop after a hit and run and report a license plate number or other identifying information about the driver. You want police officers to have as much information as possible regarding the hit and run driver and their car.
Sometimes, people are shocked when the police call and announce they found the hit and run driver. The driver will likely face criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident. However, the criminal case will do very little to compensate you for your accident-related losses. It is important that you contact a car accident lawyer who understands how to proceed in hit and run cases.
Insurance Claims after a Hit & Run Crash
After a hit and run, you should always seek medical attention right away if you believe you suffered any injuries. Even if no obvious injuries exist, head to the emergency room or the doctor if you feel sore, stiff, or disoriented, as these could be signs of soft tissue injuries or a concussion. Many people fail to get the medical care they need after a hit and run due to concerns over the medical costs. However, getting a timely diagnosis and treatment can actually help with a future insurance claim.
No matter whether police officers found the driver or not, you will need to prove two things for a successful insurance claim:
- That the other driver was responsible for causing the accident
- The amount of damages you claim
Our attorneys work to prove liability and damages in the same way we would in any car accident case. We investigate the circumstances of the crash, interview witnesses, seek out video footage, and more. Often, the fact that the driver fled the scene can be important evidence of their fault. We then use your medical records, pay statements, and other evidence to prove your losses, which can include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If police officers found the driver who hit you, the insurance claim will proceed like any other auto accident claim. We will file a claim with the other driver’s insurance and fight for the settlement you deserve. Insurance companies are notorious for taking advantage of injured accident victims by offering minimal settlement amounts, delaying claims, or wrongfully denying claims altogether. Even if authorities identified the hit and run driver, you should still have the help of a skilled lawyer from the start of the claims process.
If no one was able to identify the driver who fled, you can still seek compensation for your losses. Maryland law requires you to have a minimum amount of uninsured motorist coverage, which also kicks in after a hit and run. Because you do not know the driver’s identity or insurer, the claim is treated similarly to accidents with uninsured drivers.
Always remember that your own insurance company can be difficult, as well. This is especially true when it comes to uninsured motorist claims stemming from hit and run accidents. You should seek representation from an experienced personal injury lawyer who can handle your insurance claim on your behalf. This not only protects your rights but also allows you to focus on recovering from your injuries instead of the frustrating insurance process.
Can I Still Obtain Compensation after a Hit & Run Accident?
Hit and run collisions can be complicated. If the hit and run driver is caught, then you can pursue compensation through insurance and civil action as you would for any other crash. However, the unfortunate reality is that many hit and run drivers are never caught. In this situation, you would obtain compensation from the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage of your own auto insurance policy. The bad news is that insurance companies are in the business of making money and will look for any reason to deny or not pay out the full amount, even for a legitimate claim. If you have been injured by a hit and run driver, the first thing you should do, after seeking medical attention, is contact the police to report the incident, and then speak to a Maryland hit and run attorney at (301) 812-4777.
Call (301) 812-4777 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation today. We have six convenient office locations in Bowie, Frederick, Lexington Park, Prince Frederick, Rockville and Waldorf.
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We have over 30 years of experience serving injured clients across Maryland and DC.
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We are willing to visit injury victims at their homes if they are severely injured or bereaved.
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