Maryland Hit and Run Accident Lawyer - Zirkin & Schmerling Law

Maryland Hit and Run Accident Lawyer

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    What You Need To Know About Maryland Hit-and-Run Accidents

    A hit-and-run accident occurs when a driver hits a stationary object (like a parked car), a vehicle on the road, or a pedestrian and then leaves the scene of the accident.

    hit and run fatality

    Under Maryland law, it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident before police arrive, but unfortunately, this recent data proves it is a common occurrence:

    • AAA research reports a hit-and-run fatality occurs more than once every minute in the U.S.
    • For the past ten years, a fifth of all pedestrian and bicycle fatalities occurred as a result of hit-and-run accidents.
    • Fatal hit-and-run accidents increased 44% from 1,342 in 2010 to 1,939 in 2019.
    • The Maryland Reporter stated that Maryland hit-and-run accidents have “reduced substantially” due to on-road cameras.
    • In 2020, there were 32,315 personal injury crashes in Maryland, 506 fatal crashes, and 80,226 property damage crashes.

    Why Do Drivers Leave the Scene of a Car Accident?

    medical attention

    If people thought clearly, no one would leave car accidents or a crash site, but often people get scared and leave the scene of an accident.

    People flee the scene of an accident for a variety of reasons, including:

    • Drinking or being under the influence of drugs.
    • An active warrant for another crime.
    • No current driver’s license.
    • Driving without a valid car insurance policy.
    • Driving a stolen or illegal vehicle.
    • Afraid of conflict with other drivers involved.
    • Avoiding an insurance claim with expensive deductibles or fines.
    • Unaware they’re the responsible party.
    • They do not think there is any damage.
    • They have illegal substances or weapons in their vehicle.

    How Can a Maryland Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer Help Locate the Hit-and-Run Driver?

    traffic cameras

    Many cars have dash cams and traffic cameras are commonly installed in busy locations.

    Your attorney can obtain the video footage that shows the license plate number of the at-fault driver.

    Your hit-and-run lawyer can leverage the Yellow Alert program, which uses highway signs and phone alerts to generate leads. Witnesses may come forward hours, days, or weeks after the accident.

    Attorneys will also follow up with body shop workers about damage consistent with a hit-and-run.

    What Should You Do If You Are Involved In a Hit-and-Run Accident?

    After a Maryland hit-and-run car accident, there are a few crucial steps you can take to protect your health and legal rights:

    medical records
    • Stay calm and check on anyone else in the car with you.
    • Seek immediate medical attention, even if injuries seem minor.
    • Move to a safe location if possible and call the police.
    • If possible, take a picture of the license plate on the car involved.
    • If others were also hit, gather their insurance information and vehicle registration number(s) and exchange information to contact them later.
    • Seek medical care or go to the emergency room, even if you don’t think you have been injured.
    • Notify your insurance company.
    • Keep medical records, including doctor’s visits, labs, tests, and receipts.
    • If your vehicle is not drivable, arrange transportation and keep receipts of all costs.
    • Contact an experienced car accident attorney.

    The Zirkin & Schmerling car accident attorneys know about car accidents, how to negotiate with insurance companies, and how to build cases to present before a judge and jury. Schedule your free case consultation today by calling (410) 753-4611.

    What Are the Consequences for the Hit-and-Run Driver?

    video footage

    If the driver is found, there are significant hit-and-run penalties, and your Maryland attorney will help you determine if criminal charges or civil suits are warranted.

    You’ll usually file a claim through the other driver’s insurance company. If the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured, your own insurance policy applies.

    Your attorney may file a civil suit against the at-fault party to recover damages.

    Drivers who leave the scene of an accident can face hefty fines, driver’s license suspension, and criminal penalties, including jail time.

    Drivers who leave the scene may also find it difficult to secure auto insurance in the future and have to utilize the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund.

    What if the Other Driver Isn’t Found?

    hit and run accident

    Even if they are found, you will still need to prove that he or she was at fault and that you sustained damages as a result of the accident.

    If the other driver isn’t found, your own insurance company should cover the state minimum amount of bodily injury liability, property damage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

    Our article, What to Do When an Uninsured Driver Causes Your Car Accident, discusses how to handle this in more detail.

    What Is Contributory Negligence?

    pedestrian fatalities

    Contributory negligence is a harsh law shared only by Maryland, Virginia, Alabama, North Carolina, and Washington D.C.

    Your hit-and-run attorney must prove that the driver involved was at fault in your accident. The police report should also prove you were not at fault because Maryland doesn’t allow compensation if you were responsible in any way (even 1%).

    If the police report states you contributed to the accident, an insurance company will try to collect other evidence and deny your compensation claim.

    Your Maryland hit-and-run lawyer will gather police reports and other evidence that gives you a fighting chance for compensation.

    Statute of Limitations For Hit-and-Run Laws

    Per statute §5–101, Maryland law requires a hit-and-run lawsuit to be filed within three years of the accident.

    However, each hit-and-run accident case is unique, so it’s best to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.

    Speak to an experienced hit-and-run lawyer at Zirkin & Schmerling Law Offices to discuss your accident involving a hit-and-run driver. Schedule your free case consultation today by calling (410) 753-4611

    What Can You Obtain Compensation for After a Maryland Hit-and-Run Injury Accident?

    You may be awarded various types of damages after an auto accident in which drivers fail to remain at the scene.

    Your personal injury attorney can provide case-specific information regarding obtaining compensation, but there are a few common types of compensation most accident victims pursue:

    hit and run law
    • Medical Expenses: Maryland uses the collateral source rule to allow plaintiffs injured in auto accidents to recover damages for medical expenses, even if their insurance policy already covers them. If your accident caused you to seek medical attention, you may be able to recover damages for related medical bills.
    • Property Damage: In a hit-and-run accident, the primary property damage is to the vehicles and any damaged or destroyed contents. Your insurance company typically covers the cost to replace or repair a damaged vehicle or damaged property.
    • Lost Income: When a hit-and-run accident results in missed work or lost wages, you may be able to recover past and future income by filing a lawsuit.
    • Pain & Suffering: After a hit-and-run accident, the physical and emotional pain and suffering can be extensive and debilitating.

    Each Maryland hit-and-run accident is unique, and you may be able to pursue compensation for other economic and non-economic injuries.

    Schedule your free case consultation today by calling (410) 753-4611 to discuss your accident.
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    Zirkin & Schmerling Law Firm | Hit-and-Run Attorneys

    accident lawyers

    You deserve an experienced hit-and-run attorney that will fight for fair compensation in your case.

    Zirkin and Schmerling’s Maryland personal injury lawyers prioritize our hit-and-run accident clients to ensure they receive the compensation and representation they deserve. 

    Contact our law firm today at (410) 753-4611 to set up a free consultation with a Zirkin & Schmerling hit-and-run accident lawyer known for successfully fighting for maximum compensation.

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