All You Need To Know About Hit and Run In Maryland
Being involved in an accident is bad enough, but when you’ve sustained an injury and the person responsible didn’t even bother to wait and see how you are doing, things can quickly go from bad to worse.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, about 11 percent of all crashes reported by the police involved at least one driver who leaves the scene of the accident. For that reason, when you have been involved in a hit and run accident and want to make a successful personal injury claim, you must be sure to follow due procedure.
How Most Hit and Run Accidents Occur
About 58 percent of all fatal hit and run accidents occur on a weekend (from Friday to Saturday) between the hours of 9 pm and 3 am. Accidents that occur around this time of the night are commonly believed to be caused drivers performing some sort of illegal activity such as drinking, texting, or being under the influence of drugs while driving.
While most hit and run accidents are direct collisions, they can occur indirectly as well. This type of accident occurs, for example, when a driver cuts off the vehicle behind them, causing another accident. The driver causing the chain reaction may continue driving, not knowing that their negligence has just resulted in a fatal accident. Some might know this, and yet, still drive off simply because their car was not damaged.
There are certain protocols that have been put in place whenever an accident happens in the state of Maryland. A driver that commits a hit and run offence are in direct violation of these protocols. The DMV breaks these protocols down into the following steps:
- Both drivers involved in the car accident should pull over
- They are both expected to assess the damage done
- They are also to administer help in any way they can to one another
- They should contact the authorities i.e. 911
- They should exchange information which will help settle insurance issues etc.
In the case of a hit and run, where the driver at fault is nowhere to be found, it is important for you to first get yourself to safety, then contact the authorities and try to piece together any information you can remember.
Common Accidents Resulting from Hit and Run Car Accidents
Hit and run car accidents, like every other road accident, can result in life-threatening injuries that are both emotionally and financially draining. These accidents can occur at both high and low speeds, and the level of impact will differ considerably depending on a variety of factors.
Nevertheless, the most common types of injuries associated with a hit and run road accidents include:
Neck injuries: Whether you’re using a seatbelt or not, your neck is one area of your body that is most prone to injuries. One of the most common types of a neck injury sustained is whiplash. Symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, shoulder pain and headaches. These symptoms can last for up to a year.
Head injuries: Another common occurrence in a hit and run accidents. Concussions are very common, and could lead to long-term memory loss in some extreme cases. In addition to this, more life-threatening situations could arise from a sustained head injury, such as internal bleeding.
Back and spinal cord injuries: The risk of undergoing numerous surgeries, chronic back pain and even stroke make back injuries associated with car accidents very serious.
You will need an experienced personal injury attorney if you believe you suffered a head, neck or back injury as a result of a hit and run accident that occurred and want to seek compensation for your injuries.
What to Do When You Are the Victim of a Hit and Run
Unfortunately, there is often nothing you can do to prevent an accident from happening. What you can do instead is plan ahead, and know necessary steps and actions to take after an accident.
When you are the victim of a hit and run accident and you intend on filing a personal injury or insurance claims, you should consider taking the following steps:
- Call the authorities: It is a crime to leave the scene of an accident, so the first thing you should do is to call 911. Wait for the police to arrive and give them your statement. They will create a police report and begin an investigation into the accident.
- Gather evidence: Try to remember as many details as you can about the offending vehicle. If there are witnesses around, speak to them and see what they remember, and collect their details to act as witnesses if you bring your case to trial.
- Contact an attorney: Contact an experienced attorney to advise you on filing a claim for your injuries and financial loses. Another benefit of getting an attorney is to increase your chances of getting compensation.
- File a claim: If the investigation was able to yield any positive results and the responsible party was traced and apprehended, then you may be able to file a claim against the person. But when this is not possible, the state of Maryland treats such cases as an uninsured motorist (UIM) case. This coverage allows you to file a claim against your own insurance policy.
In instances where filing a claim against both the responsible party and the uninsured motorist coverage is impossible, a third option is the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund (MAIF). The MAIF is a publicly-funded insurance that people who have either been turned down by other insurance companies or involved in a hit and run situation can turn to. You will need a lawyer if you want to successfully claim this insurance fund.
Contact Us Today
At the Law Offices of Otway Russo, we have years of experience in handling hit and run collisions and are able to answer all your questions and concerns. We have an excellent track record of helping victims get duly compensated and we can do the same for you too. Feel free to contact us today for a no-strings-attached consultation. We’d love to hear from you.