Hit and Run Accident Lawyer in Waldorf, MD
It’s illegal to flee the scene of an accident in Maryland. If you’ve been the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Waldorf, you may be struggling with serious consequences, including painful injuries, missed paychecks, a damaged or totaled vehicle, and the trauma of being left behind when you’ve been hurt and in need of help.
Fortunately, you have legal options. Talk to a Waldorf car accident lawyer at Trollinger Law LLC. We will explore every avenue of compensation available to cover your injuries and accident-related losses. We search high and low for hit-and-run drivers, and we’re tough when we hold them accountable for their actions.
Attorney Matthew Trollinger is a Maryland native who’s dedicated his career to helping people get the compensation they deserve after being injured in a wide range of accidents. He has earned numerous accolades for his track record of success, including being named one of the National Trial Lawyers’ Top 100 personal injury lawyers and one of the group’s Top 40 under 40. He’s also a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an invitation-only association of trial attorneys who’ve won multimillion-dollar judgments or settlements on behalf of their clients.
Getting justice after a hit-and-run accident requires the dedication and experience of a top personal injury lawyer. To learn more about how Trollinger Law LLC can help with your case, call or visit our contact page for a free consultation.
Hit-and-Run Laws in Maryland
Maryland law requires drivers involved in an accident to stop and see if the other driver needs any assistance. The state has strict penalties for fleeing the scene of an accident, especially if any property was damaged or someone was injured. The penalties include:
Any driver who leaves the scene of an accident resulting in severe bodily harm can face felony charges. If caught and convicted, hit-and-run drivers can face a fine of up to $5,000, five years in prison, or both. Drivers who are convicted of fleeing the scene of an accident will also likely have their driving privileges revoked.
Penalties for an accident that results in death are a $10,000 fine, a felony manslaughter charge with up to 10 years in prison, or both.
Drivers who leave the scene of an accident that resulted in property damage can be sentenced to up to 60 days in jail. They may also face a fine of up to $500. Drivers who cause property damage in a hit-and-run accident can also have up to eight points added to their driver’s license. If they have the full eight points added to their license, the driver will lose their driving privileges.
While hit-and-run drivers may face severe criminal penalties for their actions, a criminal conviction won’t compensate you for your injuries and other losses stemming from the accident. To recover money for your injuries, medical bills, and other expenses, you’ll need to file an insurance claim or civil lawsuit against the driver who hit you. A hit-and-run accident attorney can help outline your options for recovering compensation after an accident.
What to Do If Someone Leaves the Scene of an Accident
It’s important to act quickly if you see the other driver fleeing the scene of a car accident. Taking these steps will increase your chance of recovering compensation for any injuries you’ve sustained.
Here’s what to do if you see the other driver attempting to leave the accident scene:
- Call 911 right away and tell them the other driver is leaving the scene. Provide as much detail as you can about the hit-and-run vehicle and the driver, including the car’s license plate number, its color, make and model, etc. If you are able to gather some of this information, there’s a decent chance that police can find the driver, which gives you a chance to hold them accountable for what they’ve done. Calling in a police report also ensures that there’s a written record of the accident, which you’ll need if you decide to take legal action against the other driver.
- Get medical treatment as soon as possible. It’s smart to see a doctor even if you don’t notice any immediate injuries, as there may be internal injuries that you are unaware of. Once you’ve seen a doctor, make sure to follow his or her instructions exactly. Not following your doctor’s treatment orders may mean that you lose out on recovering compensation for your injuries or that your compensation is reduced.
- Photograph the accident scene. If possible, try to take a picture of the car that hit you. If the other driver leaves too quickly, be sure to take pictures of your injuries, the area around the scene of the crash, and the damage to your car. If there are witnesses, be sure to get their names and phone numbers.
- Keep a pain journal. Your written, daily record of how your injuries have impacted your ability to enjoy everyday activities will help you show the extent of your physical pain and suffering following the accident.
- Contact a Maryland hit-and-run accident lawyer. Time is of the essence if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run crash. The faster you are able to obtain legal counsel, the greater the likelihood that you can catch the at-fault driver. Having a lawyer do the legal legwork also means that you can focus exclusively on recuperating from your injuries.
What Are My Options After Being a Victim of a Hit-and-Run?
Your options after a hit-and-run crash will depend on whether police can find the driver who hit you and what kind of insurance coverage you carry.
The best-case scenario is if the driver who hit you is caught and they have insurance. If the other driver is caught, you can file an insurance claim against the driver for any injuries and financial losses you sustained due to the accident. In this scenario, you could potentially be compensated for things like your medical bills, lost wages, lost earning potential, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and any property damaged in the accident. If the driver’s insurance company won’t agree to a fair settlement, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit and bring the case to trial.
If the driver is caught and they do not have insurance or are underinsured, you still have a few options to recover compensation. In cases where the driver is underinsured, you can still file a claim against them and collect whatever compensation is allowed under the other driver’s insurance policy. You can also file a lawsuit to recover additional compensation, but an underinsured driver likely has few recoverable assets that you can pursue.
In situations where the other driver is uninsured or underinsured, you can also file a claim with your own insurance company under your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM). Since 2011, Maryland has required all drivers to have at least $30,000 in bodily injury coverage in the event of an accident with an underinsured or uninsured driver, so you should have this as part of your auto insurance policy.
If the driver who hit you is never caught, you still have a few ways to recover some compensation for your injuries. You can file a claim with your own insurance company under your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, though you’ll be limited to whatever the maximum compensation amount is under your policy. If you have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, which is required for most drivers, you can also file a claim with your insurance company for these benefits.
Because there are so many potential ways to recover compensation after a hit-and-run accident, it’s a good idea to contact a lawyer who can review your insurance policy and make sure that you pursue money from all possible sources.
Hit-and-Run Accident Injuries
Some of the common injuries in hit-and-run accidents include:
- Deep cuts and bruises
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries, such as damage to muscles, ligaments and tendons, and internal organs
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including partial or full paralysis
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
Even so-called “minor” injuries can result in excessive medical bills. For catastrophic injuries, such as a TBI, the lifelong costs to care for an accident victim can easily reach into the millions. Recovering full and fair compensation is essential to preserve the health and wellbeing of victims and their families. A lawyer can help with that.
How Can a Hit-and-Run Lawyer in Waldorf Help?
If you’ve been involved in a hit-and-run accident, you should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. You’re likely in pain and in no condition to wage a major legal battle. You need to focus on healing and getting back to daily life. Your hit-and-run attorney can handle the rest.
An attorney has the training and knowledge to make sure you have the best shot at recovering the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries. A lawyer will know the best strategies to use to locate a hit-and-run driver as well as all of your options for receiving compensation. In addition, an attorney can handle settlement negotiations with insurance companies, who are notorious for using unfair tactics in an attempt to reduce payouts to claimants.
Finally, a hit-and-run accident lawyer in Waldorf can help in ways that don’t directly relate to your lawsuit. At Trollinger Law LLC, we can put you in contact with the right doctors, financial planners, physical therapists, mental health providers, and other professionals who can help you get your life back on track.
Call a Hit-and-Run Accident Attorney in Waldorf Today
At Trollinger Law LLC, we know the physical, financial, and emotional toll that a hit-and-run accident can take on your life. That’s why we’re committed to providing aggressive legal representation for our clients.