Do I Need a Lawyer After a Hit-and-Run Accident in Maryland?

Have you or a loved one been involved in a hit-and-run accident in Baltimore, MD? Are you unsure how to pay for medical bills and accident-related expenses? Hit-and-run car accidents are stressful and complicated events, and extremely frustrating for victims and their families. Accidents can involve another vehicle or motorcycle, or a party on foot. Pedestrians and bicyclists are common victims of hit-and-run accidents, as well. 

If you or a loved one suffered a serious injury after a collision with a hit-and-run driver, please call William G. Kolodner P.A. Our attorneys have more than 100 years of combined experience handling personal injury claims. We have been representing people injured in Baltimore since 1977 and have recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements. 

How William G. Kolodner P.A. Can Help With Your Hit-and-Run Case in Maryland

hit and run

Hiring a skilled lawyer can be the difference between no compensation and maximum compensation. A Baltimore personal injury attorney can help you following a hit-and-run accident, both in your efforts to locate the hit-and-run driver and to obtain compensation for medical expenses and lost earnings in an insurance claim.

If you hire us following your hit-and-run accident, we will: 

  • Aid in investigating your hit-and-run accident
  • Explain your legal options and answer your questions
  • Review the details of your case and assess damages you may be able to recover
  • Search for evidence that may help your claim for damages
  • Negotiate a settlement for your medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. 

At William G. Kolodner P.A., our attorneys are committed to helping and being a voice for hit-and-run accident victims. If you have been involved in an accident, we are available seven days a week to take your call and answer your questions. 

What is a Hit-and-Run 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. According to a report by ABC News in 2019, hit-and-run crashes have caused 1,200 deaths every year since 2006. Leaving someone injured in the road to suffer in agonizing pain, or suffer in the street, is very much a choice. 

Another scenario similar to a hit-and-run accident that can occur is a no-contact or “phantom vehicle” accident. 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 civil claim. 

We Handle All Hit and Run Car Accident 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’ve suffered. We represent clients in hit and run cases involving: 

Don’t 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. As always, your initial case evaluation is 100 percent free.

Hit-and-Run Accident and Fatality Statistics 

Getting an accurate “solve rate” on hit-and-run accidents is complicated. On a national level, the information is challenging to gather. In 2018, the LAPD released a report saying they had only identified a suspect in 8% of hit-and-run accidents in Los Angeles in 2017. In 2018, New York independent newspaper City Limits reported that the arrest rate for hit-and-run accidents has been at one percent since 2013. Many police departments struggle to keep up with hit-and-run epidemics. 

The AAA Foundation has provided the number of accidents involving at least one fatality in Maryland, from 2006-2016: 

  • 2006: 21 crashes
  • 2007: 36 crashes 
  • 2008: 21 crashes
  • 2009: 20 crashes
  • 2010: 22 crashes 
  • 2011: 27 crashes
  • 2012: 26 crashes 
  • 2013: 23 crashes 
  • 2014: 24 crashes 
  • 2015: 31 crashes 
  • 2016: 25 crashes. 

Hit-and-run accidents that cause injuries or death are tragic, devastating events that create hardship and frustration for families. If a driver is located, a personal injury wrongful death claim may be pursued. 

Hit-and-Run Accidents in Maryland

Not all hit-and-run accidents, or their resolutions, are covered on news reports or local news beats. However, many hit-and-run accidents are reported, especially when the public is asked to help identify a driver. Some of the accidents and investigations that made headlines in 2020 included: 

The decision to flee the scene of an accident is a poor one, but people from all walks of life do it. Hit-and-run drivers are very often drunk or drugged drivers, or afraid of the consequences of driving without a license or insurance. They decide not to stop because they fear being charged with driving under the influence, driving on a suspended license, or driving without auto insurance. However, the split-second decision to not stop at an accident scene can be life-changing. Always stop, and remind the teen drivers in your life of this important law.

What are the Penalties For Not Stopping at an Accident Scene? 

In Maryland, MD Transp Code § 20-102 (2017) states that motorists who are involved in an accident that causes injury or death must stop. Under §27-113 of the Maryland law, any driver who leaves the scene of an accident that resulted in the severe bodily harm of another person may face felony charges. If convicted, the penalty is a fine up to $5,000, no more than five years in prison, or both.

Under §27-113 of Maryland law, any driver who leaves the scene of an accident that resulted in the severe bodily harm of another person may face felony charges. If convicted, the penalty is a fine up to $5,000, no more than five years in prison, or both. If the accident results in another person’s death, the driver may face a felony manslaughter charge with a penalty of up to ten years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both.

Along with criminal charges, drivers may be liable in a civil lawsuit for serious injuries or wrongful death. A civil case is separate from a criminal case. A Baltimore personal injury lawyer can help accident victims pursue a lawsuit against the driver or obtain compensation from the victim’s own car insurance policy. 

What to Do After a Hit-and-Run Accident in Maryland

You can do a number of things following a hit-and-run accident 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’re stunned or shocked, but as a driver or passenger, anytime you are involved in an 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, note 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 accident 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 accident, seeing a doctor is important for your own health and for your personal injury claim. 
  4. Report the accident 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 accidents. Regularly check in with law enforcement, and they are much more likely to work periodically on investigating your case. 

Get A Free Consultation Following Your Maryland Hit-and-Run Accident

You have rights and options after a hit-and-run, near miss, or phantom car accident. The Baltimore hit-and-run injury lawyers at William G. Kolodner P.A. are available to help you recover the fair compensation you need and deserve. Contact us today to discuss your case. All consultations are free. Under our contingency fee agreement, we are only paid if we recover money for you.