Maryland Hit & Run Accident Lawyer
Have you been injured in a hit-and-run accident? Being in a car accident is bad enough, but when the person flees the scene of the accident, it adds another layer of complication. You may be wondering who will pay for my injuries and damages. Another concern is, is it possible to find out who hit me.
Do not fear you are not alone. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, approximately 11 percent of all police-reported crashes involved at least one driver who leaves the scene of the accident.
After being injured because of a hit-and-run accident in Maryland, seek help from our hit-and-run accident lawyers by calling Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.
How Do Most Hit-and-Run Accidents Occur?
58 percent of fatal hit-and-run crashes occur on Friday or Sunday. 47 percent of fatal hit-and-run crashes occur between the hours of 9PM and 3AM. Hit-and-run accidents that occur during these hours of the days are often believed to occur because the driver was committing an illegal act that they shouldn’t have been, such as drinking or texting and driving.
Panicking, the other driver leaves the scene, thinking it is the best thing to do. Other types of hit-and-run accidents occur when the driver cuts off the vehicle behind them causing another accident. the driver may continue driving, not know that their negligence caused an accident or believing that they weren’t responsible because their vehicle was not harmed.
In most hit-and-run accidents, the other driver does not have malintent to harm you. However, that does not change the fact that leaving the scene of an accident is a crime and that you sustained injuries because of it. So, if you have been injured in a hit-and-run collision, you need to call a Baltimore personal injury attorney.
Steps to Take After a Hit-and-Run Accident in Maryland
You were just hit and rather than getting out of your car to approach the other vehicle involved, you see the other driver flee. the first thing that you should do is call 9-1-1 and report the accident.
While waiting for help to arrive try to remember what the other vehicle looked like, any defining features of the car, or a license plate number. This information, along with any information that witnesses offer, will help to locate the driver who hit you and fled the scene.
Once the police arrive, they will collect the necessary information and assess the damage in order to fill out a police report. Most importantly, you should get the necessary medical attention for your injuries. Once you begin receiving treatment and medical bills, it will be important to talk to your insurance to have them explain your coverage.
Identifying the Responsible Driver
In a typical accident, you exchange insurance information with the driver who was at fault. This makes filing a claim for injuries much simpler.
However, in a hit-and-run accident, you were probably unlikely to identify the other driver who hit you. If you were able to recognize the type of car that hit you that could make the identification much easier. Whether that be color, make, or model.
The more detail you remember the better. the best outcome would be if you got to write down the license plate number of the fleeing car. Also, if people in the surrounding area came to your assistance and could offer any additional information, that can be used to identify the driver of the vehicle.
Injuries Resulting from Hit-and-Run Accidents
Hit-and-run drivers kill about 1500 people annually and about 6 in 10 fatally injured victims are pedestrians. Of course, there are less lethal injuries that one can sustain in a hit-and-run collision.
Hit-and-run accidents, just like any other type of accident, can occur at high or low speeds and can have multiple different angles of impact. These factors are significant when determining the extent of your injuries. Some of the most common are:
The most common form of neck injury is whiplash. Whiplash is characterized by a number of symptoms such as neck pain, headaches, and shoulder pain.
The symptoms of whiplash can last a year or longer depending on the severity of the injury. If you were in an accident and suffered whiplash you may suffer far into the future. Call a Baltimore car accident lawyer to discuss what options you have open to you.
One of the most thought of head injuries is a concussion. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can result in either short-term or long-term memory loss. Concussions can take up to weeks to recover and can severely limit your everyday activities until you do recover.
There can be other brain injuries that have must more permanent side effects such as internal bleeding. If you have a head injury after being involved in a side-impact car accident, you deserve compensation.
Herniated disks, compression fractures, and soft tissue bruising are just a few injuries that characterize back injuries. There are 23 disks located in the vertebra and when you suffer trauma any one of the 23 can be injured. On top of that, the tissue and tendons surrounding the vertebra can also be bruised causing serious pain. the pain from these injuries can follow you for the rest of your life and may lead to numerous surgeries.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit-and-run accident, call a Maryland personal injury attorney. If you have been in a hit-and-run accident, we know how frustrating the entire process can be. If you have been injured, the insurance companies and medical bills are even more frustrating.
Can I Receive Damages from a Hit-and-Run Accident?
If you are able to identify the at-fault motorist after a hit-and-run collision, then you may be able to recover compensation for the injuries you sustained. The following are all examples of monetary damages available to plaintiffs in hit-and-run accident lawsuits:
First, you may obtain payment for any medical expenses related to the injuries you suffered. These damages are usually established using your medical bills and records. Accordingly, it is important to pursue medical treatment as quickly as possible after suffering a hit-and-run. If you let your injuries heal on their own, it may be difficult to obtain the documentation needed to establish damages in your case. Further, the defendant may assert that a delay in treatment means that you were not severely injured.
You may also pursue compensation for any future medical treatment you undergo because of your injuries. However, you may need a medical expert to help establish what future treatment you require. Assistance from our hit-and-run accident lawyers can be highly valuable when finding the right expert to support your claim.
Physical Pain and Emotional Suffering
The injuries caused by hit-and-run accidents can cause excruciating physical pain. For example, burn injuries and broken bones are some of the most painful types of harm that victims can suffer. Further, head injuries, spinal cord injuries, and soft tissue injuries can also be highly painful. If you suffered any of these injuries as a result of your hit-and-run crash, then you may be entitled to compensation for the physical pain you experienced.
In addition to causing physical pain, the injuries suffered by victims to hit-and-run accidents can also lead to emotional distress. For instance, a plaintiff who sustains spinal cord damage may be restricted from participating in their favorite hobbies after their collision. Further, someone who incurs a traumatic brain injury may have difficulty socializing with friends and family members. In these cases, the injured parties may also be entitled to payment for their emotional suffering.
Damages related to pain and suffering can be difficult to quantify. Typically, courts will look to the severity of plaintiffs’ injuries and the overall impact those injuries had on their lives. It is crucial to have experienced legal representation on your side when fighting for these damages in your case.
Many of those injured because of hit-and-run accidents have to miss work while they recover. Thankfully, victims can also pursue payment for the lost wages they incurred as a result of their injuries. When calculating these damages, courts will look to workers’ average weekly wages.
You may also pursue payment for your lost earning capacity in the future. For example, a construction worker who suffers a debilitating neck injury may be permanently unable to perform their work in the future. In that case, the plaintiff could acquire compensation for their lost future earning capacity.
Plaintiffs in hit-and-run accident cases can also recover damages for a wide range of out-of-pocket expenses stemming from their injuries. As an example, a parent who sustains a severe soft tissue injury may need to pay for help with child care while their injury heals. Also, someone who suffers multiple broken bones may need to pay for transportation to and from court proceedings and medical appointments. Such expenses could be compensated for in a hit-and-run accident lawsuit.
Damages for out-of-pocket expenses are usually established using receipts and other financial documents. Accordingly, you should preserve the receipts for any expenses you incur as the result of your hit-and-run accident injuries.
Victims of hit-and-run accidents can also be compensated for the property damage they incur. For instance, if your vehicle was damaged because of your accident, then you can recover payment for the cost of its repair or replacement.
Finally, in certain cases, punitive damages may be awarded to victims of hit-and-run collisions. These damages are intended to punish grossly negligent defendants and discourage similar behavior in the future. As an example, if you were struck by a driver who was racing another car at high speeds on a public road, then you may be entitled to punitive damages in your lawsuit.
Evaluating Settlement Offers in Maryland Hit-and-Run Accident Lawsuits
Before your hit-and-run accident lawsuit goes to trial, the defendant will likely present you with a settlement offer. If you enter into a settlement agreement, then the defendant will pay you a specific sum of damages in exchange for the dismissal of your claim. There are benefits to settling early. For example, by settling early, you may save on some of the expenses associated with going to trial. Additionally, you may obtain payment sooner.
Unfortunately, defendants in hit-and-run accident cases regularly attempt to settle their cases for less than they are worth. If you are not presented with an adequate settlement offer, then you will have to go to trial to recover the monetary damages you deserve. However, if your case is unsuccessful at trial, you may receive no compensation whatsoever. It can be highly beneficial to have our experienced legal team by your side when evaluating settlement offers in your case.
Time Limit to File a Hit-and-Run Case in Maryland
Time windows for filing specific types of lawsuits are set forth by states’ statutes of limitations. In Maryland, the time limit to file a hit-and-run accident case is established by Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 5-101. Generally, you will have three years from the date your crash occurred to bring your lawsuit to court. If you do not adhere to this deadline, then your claim may be dismissed.
Even though you may have years to file your case, you should begin working on your claim as soon as you can. Important evidence required to support your lawsuit may become hard to gather or preserve as time passes. For example, physical evidence may deteriorate, and important documents can be misplaced. The quicker you begin building your case, the more efficiently you can collect the information needed to recover compensation for your injuries.
After Suffering a Hit-and-Run in Maryland, Call Our Law Firm for Help
In the aftermath of a hit-and-run accident in Maryland, seek guidance from our experienced hit-and-run accident lawyers by calling Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 for a free case assessment.