Who is Liable in Hit and Run Car Accidents?March 9, 2016
When you get behind the wheel, you can do your best to control the way you drive, paying attention to speed limits and other traffic signs, making sure you are well rested, not using handheld devices while driving. What you cannot control is how other people drive or how they react if a wreck occurs. For example, most people would not drive away if they hit another vehicle, especially if there is the possibility that someone was hurt. But in hit and run car accidents, that is exactly what happens and it can have severe legal consequences for the person who flees.
All drivers have a responsibility to notify the authorities when there has been a car accident. In some cases, if the victim has been injured, the driver is expected to take him or her to the nearest medical facility. When both drivers are present, they must exchange insurance information so they can proceed with filing a claim.
In a hit and run civil injury lawsuit, the injured victim will likely recover punitive damages, which are designed to ensure that negligent behavior does not happen again and that there will be punishment for the behavior. Punitive damages are calculated based on the defendant’s financial state, and what amount would effectively punish the defendant.
The injured victim of a hit and run accident is entitled to financial compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages. The damages must reflect the extent of the injuries, not based on the defendant’s behavior.
Victims of hit and run car accidents will most likely be awarded punitive damages, even if the accident was unintentional, because the act of leaving the scene of an accident is considered intentional negligence.
Any person who flees the scene of a car accident can face severe penalties, including jail time if the other driver was hurt of killed or if they did not stop to help. If there is an ongoing civil case for the same accident where a driver is criminally convicted, the criminal case is prosecuted first. A conviction can provide powerful evidence of liability, which can lead to a much quicker resolution.
Who is Liable?
Hit and run accidents are tricky because it is not always easy to track down the driver responsible for the accident. In most cases, the victim is forced to collect from their own insurance policies. In the case of a hit and run accident, the injured party will most likely need to make an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim. An experienced Maryland car accident lawyer can walk you thought the entire claims process and answer any questions you may have.
Maryland Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Fight Hard for Victims Injured in Hit and Run Accidents
If you have been seriously injured in a hit and run car accident, our Maryland car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton are on your side. We will aggressively pursue those responsible for your injuries and seek the maximum compensation for your injuries. For a free consultation, call us at 800-547-4LAW (5429) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie and Towson, allowing us to represent victims of distracted driving accidents throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood and Elkridge.