After a car accident, one of the most common occurrences is the drivers of both vehicles exchanging insurance information. However, circumstances may dictate that this cannot always be done. It is very possible that you or another motorist needs immediate medical care and are rushed to the hospital without the chance to get their information. Other circumstances, like a hit and run, equally leave victims of car accidents without the insurance information of the driver who injured them.
The easiest way to find out whether a driver involved in your accident has insurance or not is to get that information from them right after the accident. Maryland law requires that motorists involved in accidents exchange this information, so most of the time, this should suffice. However, if you cannot get that information right after the accident for any reason, you can use other details from the accident to figure out whether the other driver has insurance or not.
If you need assistance after an accident, call our Maryland car accident lawyers from Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 for a free review of your case.
Getting Another Driver’s Insurance Information in Maryland
While, in many cases, getting another driver involved in an accident’s insurance information is straightforward, it can also be difficult or complicated, depending on the circumstances. We will go over the ways that you can get a driver’s insurance information below, but our Ocean City, MD car accident lawyers are ready to help if you need to pursue one of the more difficult methods or if the other driver is not cooperating.
Right After the Accident
Getting another driver’s insurance information right after a car accident is the most surefire and straightforward way to obtain their insurance information. It is common courtesy for motorists to exchange insurance information after an accident. Make sure you write down or, if they allow it, take a picture of their insurance information and let them do the same for yours. Maryland has a special form called a “move it” form to expedite this process. The other driver may have it in their vehicle, and you should try to use this form and keep a copy if it is an option.
If the Other Driver is Not There
Unfortunately, in some cases, the other driver will not remain at the scene of the accident, even if they are supposed to. This could be because they chose to drive away in a hit and run accident or if they left the scene after the fact while authorities and medical personnel were investigating and tending to the individuals involved.
Hit and runs are criminalized in Maryland, so you are well within your right to contact authorities if the driver in your accident fled the scene. If the other drivers are not at the scene of the accident, you can give a description of them to police responding to the incident. Additionally, their description can be helpful to our Parkville, MA car accident lawyers in building a case for you. Finally, the fact that the soon-to-be defendant ran off will not look good in the eyes of the law if you take them to trial.
Maryland Motor Vehicle Insurance Requirements
There are laws in Maryland that set some legal requirements for the insurance all motorists must have. Even if one of the drivers is uninsured, your insurance company will have to provide some coverage for your injuries. That being said, the insurance laws of Maryland do not affect a plaintiff’s ability to sue for damages from a car accident per Md. Code, Ins. Art., § 19-502(d).
By law, auto insurance policies in Maryland must provide coverage for accidents with uninsured motorists per Md. Code, Ins. Art., § 19-509(c). This means that you will be able to get some compensation even if the other driver is not insured. However, you may need to negotiate with your insurance company in those instances.
What is Supposed to Happen after a Car Accident in Maryland?
Maryland has laws that lay out what persons involved in a car accident are supposed to do after the fact. As one would expect, all parties involved are expected to remain near the accident until allowed to leave. Of course, this cannot happen in instances of serious injury that needs immediate medical attention. If the driver in your accident did not stick around and you need to find out their insurance information, you should contact law enforcement and provide any information you can about them, including physical descriptions, the make and model of their vehicle, license plate numbers, and any other information you have about the accident.
Per Md. Code, Transp. Art., § 20-102(a), motorists are required to stop their vehicle as close as possible to the accident without obstructing traffic or being dangerous to other drivers. There are serious criminal penalties attached to fleeing the scene of the accident, with more serious penalties for accidents that cause more severe injuries. For example, fleeing an accident that resulted in bodily injury imposes a maximum of one year in prison and a $3,000 fine. Fleeing an accident in which you know that someone was injured imposes a maximum sentence of five years and a maximum $5,000 fine. Fleeing an accident that you know resulted in death carries with it a maximum 10-year sentence and a $10,000 maximum fine.
Per Md. Code, Transp. Art., § 20-104, persons involved in accidents where serious bodily injury occurred must stay nearby and give information, including insurance information, to either anyone injured in the accident or driving a motor vehicle involved in the accident. If that cannot be accomplished because of medical treatment or other reasons, that information must be given to an attending police officer. If no police are immediately present, that information is to be given to the nearest police station.
Talk to Our Maryland Car Accident Lawyers About Your Accident Today
Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s Baltimore car accident lawyers can help with your case when you call (410) 694-7291.