I Was Involved in a Hit and Run. Do I Still Have a Case?
Sept. 13, 2023
Being involved in any kind of automobile accident can be a distressing and traumatizing experience. To make a bad situation worse, the driver who caused the crash may drive away, committing what is known as “hit and run.” While fleeing the scene of a car accident is a crime in Maryland, hit-and-run crashes are not uncommon in Rockville and other parts of the state.
Many victims of a hit and run do not realize that they may still be able to recover damages. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can pursue fair compensation for your injuries and losses. Even without knowing the identity of the driver who fled the scene, our attorneys at Mohammadi & Humayun, LLC, can help you explore all available sources of financial recovery to ensure that you do not have to bear the financial burden alone. We serve accident victims in Rockville, Maryland, and other parts of the state, including Montgomery County, Fredrick County, Prince George’s County, and Howard County.
Maryland Is a Fault Insurance State
Maryland is an at-fault state for auto insurance, which means the motorist at fault for causing the accident is responsible for paying for damages suffered by the victims of that crash. Every motorist in the state is legally required to purchase liability insurance that meets the minimum requirements.
However, if the other driver flees the scene of the crash, it may not be possible to determine fault and, if the other driver is at fault, pursue compensation through their auto insurance policy. That is where uninsured motorist (UM) coverage comes into play. Unlike most other states, Maryland requires drivers to purchase UM coverage as part of their auto insurance policy. This coverage applies when:
you are in an accident with a driver who has no insurance; or
the other driver flees the scene of the crash and cannot be identified.
In any of these two scenarios, your insurance company will step in to provide coverage for your medical bills and car repairs. When filing an uninsured motorist claim after a hit and run, you must still prove that the driver who fled the scene was negligent for causing the accident. For example, if you scratch your car by hitting a fence, you cannot file a claim under your uninsured motorist coverage and pretend that the crash was caused by a driver who fled the scene and cannot be identified.
As you can see, obtaining compensation after a hit and run can be complicated because the law requires you to have a viable claim against the at-fault driver for your insurer to cover your damages. Your insurance provider may use various defenses to undervalue or deny your claim, including arguing that you were at fault, there was no other driver, or you failed to notify the insurer of the crash within a reasonable amount of time.
Options for Filing a Claim After a Hit and Run in Maryland
If you were involved in a hit and run, you may be able to seek compensation for your financial damages and losses through the following avenues:
Your own auto insurance provider. If you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage, which is mandatory in the state of Maryland, you can file a first-party claim with your own auto insurance provider. However, you must prepare a solid case to prove that the driver who fled the scene was responsible for causing the collision.
Your health insurance. If you do now own a motor vehicle in Maryland and were struck by a driver while walking, running, cycling, or waiting at a bus stop, and the driver fled the scene, you could pursue a claim through your health insurance.
A civil lawsuit. If the driver who fled the scene of the hit and run is eventually identified and found, you can file a civil lawsuit against the driver to obtain the compensation you need.
Pursuing compensation after a hit and run may not be as easy as it seems, even in a state that requires all motorists to carry uninsured motorist coverage. You are likely to receive pushback from your insurance company when trying to obtain financial recovery. That is why you need to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to protect your rights and fight for fair compensation through all available means.
Steps to Take if You Were in a Hit and Run
The steps you take after being involved in a hit and run can dictate whether you will end up receiving the compensation you deserve. After being struck by a driver who flees the scene, take the following steps:
Try to get a photo of the fleeing vehicle, especially its license plate.
Try to remember and then write down the fleeing vehicle’s license plate number as well as the make, model, and color of the vehicle.
Assess the extent of damage to the fleeing vehicle and the direction in which it drives away.
Report your accident to the police and – if you, your passengers, or anyone else at the scene is hurt – request an ambulance.
Take photos of your vehicle, skid marks, and other relevant evidence at the scene.
Talk to witnesses and write down their contact information.
Report the accident to your auto insurance provider.
Contact an attorney to discuss your legal options.
Following the accident, keep track of your medical bills and the time lost from work. Your attorney will take care of gathering all evidence that could be used to strengthen your claim when seeking compensation after a hit and run.
Don’t Accept Your Situation Without a Fight
Seeing the other driver flee after an accident can leave you feeling hopeless and frustrated. If you have been involved in a hit and run, you might still be able to obtain compensation for your medical bills and other losses. Our attorneys at Mohammadi & Humayun, LLC, can assist you in putting your life back together after a hit and run and helping you secure the compensation you deserve. Request your consultation today.