Being in a car accident is a traumatic event; however, when the at-fault driver flees the scene of the accident, it can also complicate your vehicle accident claim. Every state has laws that prohibit involved parties from leaving the scene of a car accident, which is commonly called a hit-and-run. Maryland is no different and requires all parties involved in any type of car crash to stay at the scene until law enforcement arrives.
These laws are in place to ensure that people involved in car accidents get medical help if they are injured, get police reports filed, and to obtain each other’s contact and insurance information.
What to do after a hit-and-run car accident?
If you are involved in a hit-and-run accident, these are the steps you should take:
- Call 911. Even if the other driver left the scene, you still need to file a police report. The police may also be able to locate the other vehicle.
- Get medical attention. If you or someone else in your vehicle needs medical attention, be sure to give the 911 operator that information so they can dispatch emergency medical services in addition to law enforcement. If medical care is ongoing after the accident, be sure to follow-up with your doctors, therapists, or another other medical professional’s until you are officially released from their care concerning the crash.
- Write down any information about the other vehicle and driver you can remember. If you got the license plate, write it down. Write down the make, model, and color of the vehicle. If you saw the driver and can remember any details about him or her, write those descriptors down. Everything you can remember will aid law enforcement in locating the hit-and-run driver.
- If there were witnesses to the hit-and-run accident, be sure to get their contact information. If they can stay until law enforcement arrives, they may be able to give details about the collision that you don’t know or didn’t see.
- Document the accident scene. Take photos of the scene, including anything that might have contributed to the accident (for example, non-working traffic lights, obscured traffic signs, hazardous road conditions). Take photos of the damage to your vehicle as well.
- Contact the Law Offices of Larry B. Litt, immediately. Contact our office to schedule a free hit-and-run car accident consultation. We can discuss your options for receiving compensation for your injuries.
Why would a hit-and-run driver choose to leave the scene of an accident?
In just about every case, drivers are fleeing to avoid taking responsibility for the damage that they have caused. Sometimes they are also trying to avoid facing criminal charges and spending time in jail.
If the hit-and-run driver is located, then they will likely face criminal charges for leaving the scene of an accident. In the majority of hit-and-run accidents, the drivers leave the scene of a car accident because:
- They do not have car insurance.
- The were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- They have outstanding warrants or other unresolved legal matters against them.
- They didn’t realize there had been a collision.
- They may have a suspended driver’s license or no license at all.
- An immature person, someone with a stolen vehicle, or already on the run from police.
Every hit-and-run accident is different, and drivers flee for all kinds of reasons. These are only some of the most common reasons that we have seen.
Uninsured motorist coverage for hit-and-run accidents.
In many cases, the hit-and-run driver is never found. However, you may still have options for recovering compensation. If you have been the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Baltimore, the state lets you file an Uninsured Motorist claim with your own insurance company for your vehicle damages, medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
To use this coverage, you will need to meet the following criteria:
- Report the hit-and-run accident within a reasonable timeframe after it happens to your insurance company.
- Have a police report from law enforcement.
- Have had actual contact with the other vehicle who caused the crash and injuries, or you had the car accident and hit something other then the hit-and-run vehicle, but that vehicle caused the accident. You must have a witness to the accident sign an affidavit that confirms this.
- You are not negligent in identifying the hit-and-run driver.
Common injuries associated with hit-and-run car accidents.
The injuries people sustain in hit-and-run vehicle collisions can range from minor to severe. Some only require a few weeks of medical treatment, while others end up with permanent disability or impairment. The extent of your injury will likely depend on the type of accident you were in and associated factors, such as speed and weather conditions.
The most common injuries that hit-and-run accident victims suffer include:
- Lacerations and disfigurement
- Head and brain injuries
- Broken or fractured bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injury
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Crush injuries
- Ejection injuries
- Loss of limb
If your injury impairs your physical or mental ability to return to work, complete routine tasks, or care for your family, you deserve to hold the at-fault party liable for your damages. Long-term effects from car crashes can interfere with anyone’s life and lead to expensive medical bills and associated costs. You should not have to pay out-of-pocket for the expenses you incur. The party that caused the accident should be financially responsible for your losses.
Why choose the law offices of Larry B. Litt for your hit-and-run accident?
Our Baltimore hit-and-run car accident lawyers have decades of experience handling car accident cases. We have access to extensive resources to investigate collisions, gather evidence, and track down eyewitnesses. We know the tactics used by insurance companies to deny claims or offer low settlements. They only care about saving money, and we will not allow them to take advantage of you. We will work hard to see that they treat you fairly and provide fair compensation for your losses.
We will complete each step of the legal process on your behalf so you can focus on recovering. We know you’ve been through a traumatic experience, and you should not have to deal with a hit-and-run car accident case alone. While you’re attending your doctor’s appointments and focusing on your recovery, we will create a strategy to reach a favorable outcome in your case. We will work meticulously to collect the evidence we need to prove that the other party was responsible for the car crash and that your uninsured motorist coverage should pay you full compensation.
The professional legal staff at the Law Offices of Larry B. Litt is ready and willing to assist victims of hit-and-run automobile accidents. In cases of hit-and-run injury accidents, we work with auto insurance companies to ensure that past, present and future medical expenses, as well as lost wages will be covered. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a hit-and-run car accident, we strongly advise you to speak with one of our personal injury hit-and-run lawyers. Give us a call, 24/7/365 at 443-844-1528 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.