Hit and Run Accidents Are Dangerous, Devastating, and On the Rise
In Maryland, leaving the scene of an accident where there is property damage, bodily injury, or death is a criminal offense. Tragically, it happens all too often, leaving injured parties in a dire situation. When an at-fault driver flees in a hit-and-run accident, it can be difficult to know how to obtain compensation for your injuries and how to find the person who was liable for the crash.
At Schlachman, Belsky, Weiner, & Davey, P.A., we represent individuals and families who have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a hit-and-run accident. Our lawyers have been helping injured parties obtain compensation for over forty years. If you were injured in a Baltimore hit and run accident, contact our office for a free consultation.
1. Hit and Run Accident Are More Common Than You Think
Hit and run accidents are on the rise throughout the United States. Thorough research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety on the prevalence, contributing factors, and countermeasures of hit and run crashes indicates that one happens every 43 seconds. In total, there were over 2,000 fatal hit and run accidents in a single year, accounting for 5.5% of all traffic fatalities.
Maryland is no exception. Hundreds of people have been killed in hit-and-run accidents over the past decade, and thousands have been injured. Many people never expect to leave the scene of an accident, but they do so in a panic, often in an attempt to avoid criminal charges.
Reasons people leave the scene of a car accident:
- They were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- They were unsure of how serious the accident was;
- They did not know they were involved in an accident;
- They believed they were at fault and would face consequences; and
- They were driving without a license.
While these are not valid reasons for leaving the scene, these are the excuses that many drivers make for why they fled. If you are involved in a hit and run accident, you should immediately call 9-1-1. This will begin a legal record of the incident, and once law enforcement is involved, they may be able to find the responsible party.
2. Your Uninsured Motorist Policy May Cover Your Losses
Maryland is a tort state, meaning that the at-fault party is responsible for paying damages to anyone that is injured in the accident they caused. However, when the at-fault party cannot be located, an injured party may have to turn to their own insurance policy to obtain compensation for their losses.
Even if you are filing an uninsured motorist claim through your insurance company, it is still in your best interest to consult with an attorney. A car accident lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company to help obtain fair and full compensation for your injuries.
3. You May Be Able to File a Hit and Run Report Online
Depending on the severity of the accident, you may be able to file a hit-and-run report online. However, if there are any injuries or deaths, you must contact law enforcement from the scene. An officer will be dispatched to the accident to prepare a written report.
You should always try to file a police report and obtain a copy as soon as possible. Law enforcement can try to locate the at-fault driver and any eyewitnesses to the collision.
4. Pedestrians Are the Most Common Victim
According to AAA, pedestrians are the most likely victim type to be killed in a hit-and-run accident. Generally, over half of the fatalities from hit-and-run crashes are pedestrians. Drivers are the second most likely victim type, followed by passengers and bicyclists.
In the unimaginable event that you have lost a loved one in a hit-and-run accident, you might be entitled to compensation through a wrongful death claim.
5. You Still Need an Attorney
Contrary to popular belief, you should still contact an attorney if you are involved in a hit-and-run accident. Whether you find the at-fault party or are seeking compensation through your insurance policy, a lawyer can help you understand your rights and negotiate to get the most extensive recovery possible.
Injured in a Hit and Run Accident? Contact Our Office Today.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit-and-run crash, you should not have to go it alone. Contact Schlachman, Belsky, Weiner, & Davey, P.A. at (410) 685-2022 for a free consultation. Our legal team has obtained over $200 million in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Call today to get started.