Hit-and-Run Accident Lawyers in Salisbury
Trust Your Case to the Experienced Team at Hearne & Bailey, P.A.
Being involved in an accident is bad enough. When the person at-fault for it simply takes off never to be seen or heard from again, things can quickly go from bad to worse.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, about 11% of all crashes reported by the police involved at least one driver who leaves the scene. For that reason, when you have been involved in a hit and run accident and want to make a successful personal injury claim, you must be sure to follow due procedure. Get help from an experienced Salisbury hit and run accident attorney when you need to protect your rights.
Reach out to our Salisbury law firm at (410) 618-0903. Discuss your case in a no-obligation consultation today!
Reasons Why Hit-and-Run Accidents Occur
Almost any type of accident could become a hit and run accident. However, these accidents are almost always limited to lower-speed incidents where the vehicle of the person who drives away is still in drivable condition. After all, if a collision is so bad that the car will no longer operate, the person at fault really won’t have any way of fleeing the scene.
Some common reasons the person at fault may flee the scene include:
- The driver was drunk and is avoiding a DUI charge
- The driver is uninsured and does not want to be fined
- The driver has outstanding warrants or unpaid previous tickets
- The driver panics and makes a poor decision in the moment
Injuries Caused by Hit-and-Run Accidents
Like almost any other car accident, a hit-and-run accident can result in life-threatening injuries that are both emotionally and financially draining. These accidents can occur at both high and low speeds, and the level of impact will differ considerably depending on a variety of factors.
Unfortunately, there is often nothing you can do to prevent an accident from happening. What you can do instead is plan ahead, and know the necessary steps and actions to take after an accident.
Nevertheless, the most common types of injuries associated with a hit and run road accidents include:
- Neck injuries: Your neck is one of the most injury-prone areas of your body, especially during a car accident. Whiplash is extremely common, and can cause neck pain, shoulder pain and headaches, and headaches that can last for a year or more in some cases.
- Head injuries: Concussions occur from head impact or a sudden whipping motion like those that could occur during accidents. Concussions can cause long-term memory loss, headaches, impaired cognitive ability, loss of balance, and even internal bleeding.
- Back and spinal cord injuries: Chronic back pain, muscular problems, and even spinal cord injuries can all result from car accidents.
Recovering Damages After a Hit-and-Run
Victims of hit-and-run accidents will find themselves wondering how to recover compensation for damages and injuries suffered. If the at-fault driver cannot be found, they cannot be brought to court to take responsibility.
If the other driver is found, then you can pursue them for liability. However, if they can’t be found, such cases are treated as uninsured motorist incidents, allowing victims to recover compensation by filing claim against their own insurance policy.
In instances where filing a claim against both the responsible party and the uninsured motorist coverage is impossible, you may be able to file a claim with the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund (MAIF). The MAIF is a publicly-funded insurance that people who have either been turned down by other insurance companies or involved in a hit and run situation can turn to.
You will need strong legal counsel if you want to successfully make a claim with this insurance fund.
Injured in a hit and run accident? Call Hearne & Bailey, P.A. at (410) 618-0903 to schedule a no-obligation consultation and discuss your legal options with our team!
Here are a few interesting facts about hit and run accidents:
- About 58% of all fatal hit and run accidents occur on Fridays and Saturdays.
- Most hit and run accidents occur between the hours of 9 pm and 3 am, strongly implying a connection between hit and run accidents and distracted driving or drunk driving.
- It’s widely believed that the overwhelming majority of drivers who flee the scene after an accident are either uninsured or underinsured
- Hit and run accidents can be both direct and indirect collisions. A direct collision is a typical accident, while an indirect collision is one where the person at fault is not directly involved in the accident. Here is an example: say a driver fails to signal or check their blind spot before changing lanes. As a result, a driver in their blind spot is forced to slam on their brakes to avoid a collision. In doing so, a driver following that second car is unable to stop in time and rear-ends the second driver.
- In this case, the driver who was reckless and negligent in their lane change is the one actually at fault for the accident. However, because they were not involved in the accident, odds are they simply just kept on driving. They may not have even realized that they just caused a crash. In this case, the driver who was reckless and negligent in their lane change is the one actually at fault for the accident. However, because they were not involved in the accident, odds are they simply just kept on driving. They may not have even realized that they just caused a crash.
In the state of Maryland, all drivers that are involved in an accident are required by law to follow certain protocols. The DMV breaks these protocols down into the following steps:
- Both drivers involved in the accident should pull over to where it is safe (if their vehicle is able to do so)
- Both drivers are expected to assess the damage done
- Both drivers are required to administer help in any way they can to one another
- Both drivers should contact the authorities right away
- Both drivers should exchange information, including ID, contact, and insurance info
A driver that commits a hit and run offense, leaving the scene of an accident before fulfilling this legal obligation, is in direct violation of these protocols. In the case of a hit and run, where the driver at fault is nowhere to be found, it is important for you to first get to safety and contact the authorities and try to piece together any information you can remember.
Get help in the aftermath of a hit and run accident from the experts at Hearne & Bailey, P.A.! Contact us today.
When you are the victim of a hit and run accident you should take action right away. In order to both preserve your right to pursue an avenue for legal recourse and potentially hold the other driver accountable for their actions, we recommend retaining legal counsel from an attorney with considerable experience in hit and run accident cases.
- First, call the authorities. It is a crime to leave the scene of an accident, so the first thing you should do is report the accident.
- Wait for the police to arrive and give them your statement, including as much information that you can remember about the vehicle that caused the accident as possible.
- If there are witnesses around, speak to them and see what they remember, and collect their details to act as witnesses if you bring your case to trial.