“Hit and run” is a term used after an accident when the person who either caused the accident or was involved in the accident leaves the scene of the accident. In Maryland, it is illegal to commit a hit and run accident or leave the scene of the accident without providing information or lending assistance to the injured. Also, you are required t contact or leave information for the property owner whose property was damaged. Under Maryland Transportation Article Title 20, the crimes of “Hit and Run” are codified.
What is hit and run in Maryland?
In Maryland, if a driver is involved in an accident, they are required to stop as close to or near the scene of the accident and provide information. This is a requirement even if no one is injured or inside of the vehicle that you strike. In addition, even if you strike an unattended vehicle or a piece of property, like a telephone pole or fence, then you’re required to notify the owner of that property or vehicle.
Accidents resulting in bodily injury or death in Maryland
Anyone who is involved in an accident that leads to bodily injury to another person is required to stop their vehicle as close as possible to the scene of the accident. Under Maryland Transportation Article 20-102, the police can charge an individual who fails to stop after an accident that results in bodily injury. In addition, a person who was involved in an accident that results in bodily injury is required to return and remain at the scene of the accident and comply with their duty to give information and render Aid to the injured person.
Accidents that results in death on Maryland highways
Traffic accidents that results in death are not uncommon throughout Maryland. If a driver is involved in an accident that results in the death of another person, then everyone involved in the accident must stop their vehicle as close as possible to the scene of the accident. Every driver must stop their vehicle without disrupting traffic and comply with the Maryland rules to give information and render aid. In addition, the driver of each vehicle that was involved in the accident that resulted in the death of another person must return to the scene and remain at the scene of the accident until they have given information and provided aid if necessary or able.
Information required at the scene of an accident
Although you may not have the information on you, you must provide certain information to anyone involved in an accident or the owners of property that was damaged in an accident. Drivers involved in an accident that resulted in bodily injury or death to anyone must provide their name, address, registration of the vehicle and show their license to those people if they have their license on them. The license information must be provided to anyone injured in the accident or the driver or passengers of any vehicles that were damaged in the accident.
What happens if no one’s available after a hit-and-run accident?
If an individual or driver is involved in a accident and there is no one there to receive information or the police are not called then the driver is required to report the accident to the police and give their information including name, address, registration number of their vehicle and driver’s license information.
Accidents that don’t result in injury
If a driver has been involved in an accident with another vehicle that was attended or property that the owner can be identified, and they fail to remain at the scene then they could be charged with failing to stop their vehicle at the scene of an accident or failing to return to the scene of an accident. Maryland Transportation Article 20-103 specifies the crime of failing to remain at the scene of an accident that results only in damage to attended vehicle or property.
All drivers they’re involved in an accident with another vehicle that has a passenger or attentive property are required to stop their vehicle as close as possible to the scene of the accident or return and remain at the scene of the accident until they’ve complied with the requirements of information and to render Aid if necessary.
Hit and Run on an unattended vehicle or other property
One of the most common crimes in Maryland is when an individual or driver strikes an unattended vehicle or another piece of property and leave the scene. This would be classified as a hit and run on an unattended vehicle or other property. Under Maryland Transportation Article 20-105 the driver of each vehicle involved in an accident the results of damage to an unattended vehicle or other unattended property is required to stop their vehicle as close as possible to the scene of the accident.
In addition, the driver is also required to attempt to locate the driver, owner or a person in charge of the damaged vehicle or property and provide his name, address, registration of their vehicle and the owner’s name and address of the vehicle if they do not own the vehicle. This requirement may also be satisfied if you cannot locate the owner of the property or vehicle.
In these situations, to avoid a hit-and-run charge, a driver or owner of the property can leave their information and it must be in a conspicuous location on the vehicle or on the damaged property. The information must include your name, address, registration vehicle of the vehicle, and if you do not own the vehicle, the name of the owner as well as their address.
The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that once the owner of the damaged property returns or notices the damage, they are able to contact you or the owner of the vehicle to arrange reimbursement for the damage.
Providing information after an accident in Maryland
In addition to providing your name, address and information about your vehicle, you are required to provide insurance information after an accident in Maryland, if you fail to provide this information you could be charged with failing to provide insurance information after hit and run accident.
In addition the requirements of your name, address and vehicle information, drivers involved in an accident must provide the name and address of their insurance company or other insurance information for the vehicle. Drivers must also provide their policy number of their liability insurance carrier.
In addition they must also give, the name and address of the local insurance agent if they have one. The third requirement may be difficult as many insurance policies are issued over the Internet by companies like Geico and State Farm.
Penalties for hit-and-run in Maryland
If a driver is found to have violated the Maryland hit and run statute, they could be facing a conviction for a misdemeanor. In addition to the misdemeanor conviction, drivers who are found guilty of failing to remain at the scene of an accident that results in bodily injury or death could face up to a year in jail and a $3,000 fine, or both.
If an individual or driver fails to remain at the scene of an accident or is found guilty of hit-and-run that leads to death of another individual, they face a maximum penalty of five years in jail and a $5,000 fine, or both.
If a driver is found guilty of failing to remain at the scene of an accident that results in damage to attended property or a vehicle that contains passengers, they face a maximum penalty of two months in jail and a $500 fine, or both.
Violating the requirements to give information and render aid may also result in jail time. If a driver fails to give their information or render aid they are facing up to two months in jail and a $500 fine, or both. The same applies If a driver causes a hit-and-run accident with an unattended vehicle or other property.
For example, if a driver strikes a vehicle in a parking lot and then flees the scene that you could face a maximum penalty of two months in jail and a $500 fine, or both. Although just as serious, failing to provide insurance information at the scene of the accident does not impose a jail sentence, but it does carry a fine of $500 if the statute is violated.
What if I strike an animal on a road in Maryland?
If a driver strikes and injuries a domestic animal, that driver is required to notify the state police or local police department. In addition, the driver may be required to notify the owner of the animal, like a cat, horse or dog. This requirement does not apply to wild animals such as deer or bears that are struck in Maryland.
How to report a hit-and-run accident?
The best way to report a hit and run accident in Maryland is to contact a local police department or call 911. By calling the police you ensure that you are giving me attention and complying with the Maryland laws as it applies to hit and run accidents. By contacting the police and providing your information you are avoiding the concept of hit-and-run and are complying with the requirements.
Is hit and run a felony in Maryland?
No, hit and run is not a felony in Maryland, hit-and-run is classified as a misdemeanor.
How does hit-and-run affect insurance?
Hit and run accidents can affect your insurance in a number of different ways. If your car insurance company learns of the hit-and-run accident they may decide to drop you as an insured or increase your insurance rates because of the accident. If you are found guilty of fleeing the scene of an accident, and don’t receive a probation before judgement or PBJ, then you are facing points assessed to your driving record.
12 points will be assessed to your driving record if you’re found guilty of failing to immediately stop your vehicle at the scene of an accident involving bodily injury. Also, 12 points will be assessed to your license if you fail to immediately return and remain at the scene of an accident involving bodily injury or death or you failed to return and remain at the scene of an accident involving death.
If you were found guilty of failing to stop after an accident involving damage to an unattended vehicle or failed to return to and remain the same an accident involving attended vehicle damage or property damage, then eight points will be assessed to your driving record.
If you fail to stop after an unattended vehicle damage accident then your license will receive eight points. When the motor vehicle administration assesses points to your license and you accumulate too many points they will take action against your privilege to drive in Maryland.
If you receive three to four points on your driving record the MVA will send you a warning letter. If five to seven points are assessed to your driving record, the MVA will require you to enroll in a driver improvement program. 8 – 11 points assessed to your driving record will result in a suspension of your driver’s license.
And if you received 12 or more points then the motor vehicle administration will revoke your driver’s license for a period of time. If your driver’s license is suspended or revoked then your insurance company will be notified and they may drop you as a client or increase your monthly or yearly premium rates.
How often are hit and run drivers caught?
In this day and age, hit-and-run drivers are caught more often than not. It is not uncommon for a witness at the scene of a hit-and-run accident to contact the police and provide the license plate number or identifying factors of the vehicle that caused the accident.
In those scenarios, the hit-and-run drivers are typically track down by the police and questioned. The police will also investigate the driver’s vehicle to determine if there is damage that is consistent with the accident that was caused in hit-and-run. Or, the police will investigate any heat signatures coming from the hood of the vehicle determine if it was driven recently.
The police will also attempt to interview any individuals that are found near the vehicle to determine if they know who was driving during the hit-and-run accident.
Maryland hit and run lawyers
What should I do if I’ve been charged with hit-and-run in Maryland? If you are facing hit and run charges that resulted in injury, death, a fatality or property damage, you should seek the counsel of an experienced hit and run lawyer.
It is your best interest to speak with a lawyer who is handled and defended hit and run charges in the past. Whether the result of the accident was injury, no injury or fatal, attorney Randolph Rice can provide trust the representation if you’re facing hit and run accident charges.
Hit and run accidents are taken seriously by the judges and prosecutors throughout Maryland because the victims are often inconvenienced or injured because of the accident. In many hit and run accidents throughout Maryland, there is a suspicion that the driver that failed to remain at the scene because they consumed alcohol or drugs prior to the accident.
This is often of assumption when the case goes to trial, and with the help I’m an experienced traffic lawyer in Maryland, that presumption can be combated with sufficient evidence before the Court. Contact attorney Randolph rice today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your hit and run accident and charges.