What Happens After Leaving the Scene of an Accident

A hit-and-run accident occurs when a driver does not stop after an accident. Although we call them “hit-and-run accidents,” there is nothing accidental about not stopping at the scene of a crash. Leaving someone injured in the road to suffer in agonizing pain, or suffer in the street, is very much a choice.

Another scenario like a hit-and-run accident that can occur is a no-contact or “phantom vehicle” crash. For example, if you are a bicyclist and a vehicle makes a left turn into your path, you may swerve and dive to avoid being struck. If you are successful in avoiding being struck but suffer broken bones from falling off your bike, you may still have a valid claim for your injuries in a claim.

What happens after leaving the scene of an accident.

If you leave the scene of an auto accident, you may face harsh criminal penalties. Generally, leaving the scene of an accident in Maryland is a jailable offense that may also involve fines, points on your driver’s license, and a suspension or revocation of driving privileges.

Maryland has numerous laws governing the responsibilities of drivers who are involved in auto accidents, and understanding these laws can mean the difference between a simple traffic ticket and a serious criminal charge. The main requirement under Maryland law is that all drivers involved in an auto collision have a duty to remain at the scene, and drivers who are forced to move their vehicles after the collision due to safety reasons must immediately return. Drivers are only allowed to leave the scene after they have complied with Maryland Transportation Section 20-104. This Section requires drivers to render reasonable assistance to any person injured in the accident, which may include arranging for transportation to the hospital. The requirement to render aid is typically satisfied by calling 911 and waiting for emergency vehicles to arrive to the scene of the wreck. Drivers are also required to give certain information including their name, address, and registration of the vehicle they were driving. If feasible a driver may also be required to furnish his or her driver’s license to any person injured in the auto accident or any owner of property that was damaged in the accident. If nobody is on the scene of the auto collision other than the one driver, that driver has a duty to report the accident to the nearest authorized policy department. Failure to comply with these requirements is a jailable offense under the duty to give information and render aid statue. A driver who does not comply with these requirements may be charged with several different offenses, with some being felony criminal charges.

What are the penalties for not stopping at an accident scene in Maryland?

Leaving the scene of a single car accident that has only resulted in property damage is still a crime under Maryland Transportation Section 20-103. If you knock down a street sign, clip and damage a concrete barrier or guardrail or give an adjacent car a little love tap you are required to remain on the scene until completing the requirements of Maryland Transportation Section 20-104. There are hit and run consequences. Any driver that leaves the scene may be prosecuted for an offense that carries up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. This offense also carries 8 points upon conviction, which could result in a notice of suspension from the MVA. There are defenses to cases for leaving the scene of an auto wreck, so if you feel you may be charged it is important to contact an attorney first. Law enforcement will still have to identify you as the driver, as a license plate number is typically not enough to establish that a particular person was driving when the auto collision occurred.

Single car accident leaving the scene involving injury is treated harshly under Maryland law, and enhanced punishment can occur even if there was not a serious injury. The penalty for leaving the scene of an auto accident involving injury is up to 1 year in jail and a $3,000.00 fine. Leaving the scene of an accident involving a death carries a 5-year maximum penalty and a $5,000.00 fine. These offenses both carry 12 points upon conviction, which will result in your driver’s license revocation proceedings being initiated by the MVA. If the driver knew or should have known the accident would cause serious bodily injury and left the scene of the accident the state may charge the driver with a 5-year felony. If the driver knew or should have known the accident would cause death and a death occurred the maximum penalty becomes 10 years.

All these charges could be avoided if a driver simply remains at the accident scene and complies with the information and aid requirements of the law. The problem is that car collisions are often highly stressful incidents, and people act on impulse. Sometimes the driver is operating on a suspended license or does not have a license at all and is afraid of being arrested. There are other times when drivers are intoxicated and choose to leave the scene rather than stay and face arrest. Either way, keep in mind that it is not out of the question to correct the wrong by contacting law enforcement hours or even days after the incident, but, do not do this without a lawyer. There is a fine line between mitigating your case and giving law enforcement the evidence, it needs to prosecute you, so if you are unsure feel free to give us a call at 443-844-1528 for legal advice.

What to do after a hit-and-run accident in Maryland.

You can do several things following a hit-and-run collision to protect your rights and increase the chances of finding the driver:

  1. Record as many details as possible: It is hard to think like a detective when you are stunned or shocked, but as a driver or passenger, anytime you are involved in an auto accident, you should immediately take notes of the vehicles involved, in case the driver speeds away instead of pulling over. If you have a phone handy, quickly snapping photos of a license plate can be enough to later locate the driver of the vehicle. If you cannot get a license plate, not the make, model, and color of the vehicle, and any identifying characteristics (stickers, broken taillight, toolboxes, etc.)
  2. Call 911: Police will take a report of the auto crash and investigate. They may be able to identify the driver based on information provided by witnesses, traffic, or nearby doorbell cameras, etc.
  3. Get medical care: If you are hurt in a car collision, seeing a doctor is important for your own health and for your personal injury claim.
  4. Report the wreck to your insurance company: In Maryland, if you have car insurance, you are required to have a minimum amount of uninsured motorist coverage. If the other driver’s identity is not located, an insurance claim would be handled similarly to an insurance claim involving an uninsured driver.
  5. Contact a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer: An attorney can help you protect your rights and negotiate fair compensation either from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy (if the driver is located) or your own uninsured motorist policy.
  6. Stay in contact with police: Law enforcement agencies have told families repeatedly: The squeaky wheel gets the grease on hit-and-run auto accidents. Regularly check in with law enforcement, and they are much more likely to work periodically on investigating your case.

We handle all types of hit-and-run Car collision injury cases in Baltimore.

Hit-and-run accidents can leave victims struggling with serious injuries. Our Baltimore car accident lawyers are ready to fight for you, no matter what type of injury you have suffered. We represent clients in hit-and-run cases involving:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Blunt force trauma injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bone injuries
  • Back and neck injuries
  • Amputation
  • Wrongful death


Do not hesitate to reach out to our law firm in Baltimore, Maryland to learn more about how we might be able to help you after a hit-and-run crash. As always, your initial case evaluation is 100 percent free.

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.