Can I Recover Damages After a Hit-and-Run Accident?

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In the immediate moments after your car accident, you may be overwhelmed by the event itself. However, what may leave you completely blindsided if is you witness the other driver fleeing from the scene. Follow along to find out how you may still recover damages after a hit-and-run and how a proficient St. Mary’s County car accident lawyer at The Dorsey Law Firm can help you put up an impressive fight.

What are the laws surrounding hit-and-run accidents in Maryland?

You must understand that fleeing the scene of a car accident may be considered a criminal offense under the Maryland Transportation Code.

More specifically, if you were left with serious bodily injuries, the negligent driver may be facing a fine of up to $5,000 and a prison sentence of up to five years. Or, if you were simply left with car damages, then these punishments may be a fine of up to $500 and a jail sentence of up to 60 days.

At the very least, the negligent driver may get eight to 12 points on their driver’s license. Evidently, this comes with subsequent spikes in car insurance rates.

What can I do to still recover damages after my hit-and-run accident?

Under all circumstances, it is strongly advised that you do not chase down the driver who flees the scene of your accident. First of all, this is because your car may have incurred damages that make it too dangerous to drive anymore. Secondly, you do not know if the other driver is violent and is carrying a weapon. After all, it is very possible that they fled the scene in the first place because they have an outstanding warrant for their arrest.

Rather, to still recover damages after your hit-and-run accident, it is better if you follow the below steps:

  1. Pull out your cell phone and take a snapshot of the fleeing car’s license plate number.
  2. Dial 911 and inform the dispatcher of the following:
    • The identifying characteristics of the car.
    • The identifying characteristics of the driver.
    • The general direction in which the car/driver was heading toward.
  3. Speak with witnesses present at the scene and collect the following:
    • Their personal contact information.
    • Their personal photos and videos of your car accident event.
    • Their consent to testify in your future personal injury claim proceedings.
  4. Take snapshots of your bodily injuries and car damages.
  5. Recount information related to your car accident event to the police present at the scene.
  6. Submit to an initial medical examination by the EMTs present at the scene.
  7. Allow the ambulance at the scene to transport you to the emergency room for additional medical examinations.

You may make a more grounded decision in whether to pursue legal action if you first consult with a talented St. Mary’s County auto accident lawyer. So please contact us at The Dorsey Law Firm today.