Maryland Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer
Our Maryland hit-and-run accident lawyers have been handling these types of auto accidents since 1954. Effective October, 2017, Maryland statute § 20-102(a)(1) states, “the driver of each vehicle involved in an accident that results in bodily injury to another person immediately shall stop the vehicle as close as possible to the scene of the accident, without obstructing traffic more than necessary.” The statute also requires a driver to return to the scene if he or she leaves an accident resulting in injury. The statute also covers motor vehicle accidents resulting in death.
If a driver in Maryland violates this statute, he or she is subject to criminal fines and penalties subject to § 20-102(c)(2). Whether on I-95, the beltway, US-40, or any other major Maryland highway, these laws apply. These include subjection to imprisonment not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding $3,000 or both for leaving an accident scene in which a person receives injuries. If the accident results in death, § 20-102(c)(3) states violation is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both.
While the criminal penalties do serve to inhibit drivers from fleeing the scene of an accident, it does little for accident victims who are unable to afford medical expenses. Further, an accident victim may be in even more trouble if he or she is unable to work due to the accident. Ordinarily, tort law protects these individuals who are unable to work. However, it is more difficult when a driver flees and no one can be held responsible. So, what do we recommend?
Fortunately, you do still have some options. First, your best bet is to get in touch with a Maryland hit-and-run accident lawyer. Our legal team has resources at our disposal that may allow us to track down the tortfeasor. While at the scene of the accident, we do not recommend that you chase after the tortfeasor. Instead, try to get a picture on your phone as quickly as possible of the license plate as soon as you see they are trying to flee. Of course, do not do this until it is reasonably safe to do so if you are driving. Or, if you have a passenger in the car with you, instruct him or her to take a picture as they are not driving. If you get a clear picture of the license plate, our legal team should be able to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles
and determine who owns the vehicle.
If you are unable to get a clear picture and the license plate number is out-of-reach, call the police as soon as possible. They may be able to find the vehicle if you have a description of it to provide them.
Maryland Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyer: Unable to Find Tortfeasor
If you are unable to take a clear picture of the license plate on the tortfeasor’s vehicle and the police are unable to locate him, you still have options to make a recovery. Your best course of action is to, first, consult your Maryland hit-and-run accident lawyer. Our legal team can assist you in making a claim under your uninsured motorist coverage (“UM coverage”). Maryland law does require any policy issued in the state to have UM coverage. The exception to this rule is if the Insured waives the right to coverage in writing. This does happen occasionally. The important thing to know as a victim of a hit-and-run accident is you still have options. Even if you are unable to locate the original tortfeasor, we should be able to assist you.
Moreover, this becomes complicated because this acts as a breach of contract claim. So, the state in which we ultimately file suit
can be where the contract was originally executed. Thus, if you are not a Maryland resident, you do not necessarily have to file suit in Maryland. On the other hand, if you are a Maryland resident but you are not in an accident in Maryland and want to file suit in Maryland, you may be able to.
Contact a Maryland Hit-and-run Accident Lawyer
When you are in a car accident, you may be scared and left badly injured. It becomes worse when you are unable to locate the party ultimately responsible. Our phone lines are open 24/7, ready for you to call with any questions. If you believe you have a viable claim, call today for a free consultation at (202) 331-7227.