Hit-and-Run Injuries in Gaithersburg, Maryland
Hit-and-runs happen when a driver flees the scene after a crash. Sometimes, a hit-and-run will be a small fender bender, or a driver may do damage to a parked car. Other times, these incidents are tragic and result in fatal injuries to the victim or victims. If you were injured in a Gaithersburg, Maryland hit-and-run, you probably have questions about your rights and whether you can collect compensation for your injuries. While it might appear at first glance that you are out of luck because the driver is not known, this may not be the case.
It is important to contact a Gaithersburg personal injury attorney to speak with a lawyer about your options for recovering compensation. At Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP, we understand how important your case is, and we are here to help. Call us today at 301-670-7030 to connect with an experienced attorney about your rights and how we can help you.
Are Hit-and-Runs Common in Gaithersburg, Maryland?
While Maryland is not the worst state when it comes to hit-and-runs, data indicates that these crashes are increasing every year in the United States. The AAA found that these accidents rose by 7.2 percent annually between 2009 and 2016. In the worse hit-and-run crashes, which are those that result in fatalities, the victims tend to be the most vulnerable people using the road. In about 65 percent of fatal hit-and-runs, pedestrians or cyclists are the ones killed. Pedestrians are the most common victims because drivers who are involved in a pedestrian crash often do not suffer serious damage to their automobiles.
Do Police Often Successfully Apprehend Hit-and-Run Drivers in Gaithersburg, Maryland?
In Maryland, the law was recently changed to help the police have a better chance of catching drivers involved in hit-and-runs. The state developed a rapid alert system, which allows the police to connect with the public to identify and locate drivers who commit hit-and-runs. By getting people to look for such drivers right away, the police have a better chance of catching that motorist.
Even if the driver is not immediately apprehended, there is a good chance that officers will be able to find the person later based on various forms of evidence.
First, witness statements can help the police identify the involved vehicle. If anyone witnessed the crash or saw the car fleeing the scene, they can describe the car and where it went, helping to tip-off investigators. Sometimes a person might have information but not want to say how or to identify themselves. These people sometimes provide anonymous tips to the police, helping identify the person who fled the scene.
In the modern world, security cameras are also a common presence and capture people on videos even when people do not realize the cameras are present. In such cases, drivers may flee the scene and pass a camera moments later. Police can then identify the car through the footage.
Old-fashioned evidence, like car paint remaining at the site of the crash or broken glass, can also help the police identify the vehicle. If the car was damaged, there is a good chance that the driver may have to bring the vehicle in for repairs. The mechanic may be aware of the fact that the crash occurred and could end up contacting the police as well.
Thanks to all of the ways a driver involved in a hit-and-run crash can be later caught and identified, there is good chance police will locate the person.
Contact a Gaithersburg Personal Injury attorney to discuss your claim and learn more about your options to pursue a claim.
How Can I Get Compensation After a Hit-and-Run?
Following a hit-and-run crash, it is often possible to collect compensation for your injuries. As mentioned, there are plenty of cases where the driver is later located and apprehended. In those instances, you could sue the driver for your injuries and other damages resulting from the crash.
However, if you are in the unfortunate position of having a hit-and-run driver flee who is never to be seen again, suing the unknown person will not be an option.
In Maryland, drivers’ insurance policies must include uninsured motorist coverage. Those policies will be able to cover your injuries if the person is never caught. In such cases, insurers will treat the unidentified driver as if he or she was an uninsured driver.
It is a good idea to contact a Gaithersburg, Maryland personal injury attorney to discuss your claim. Your attorney can follow up with investigating officers to determine whether they are still searching for the person and can also help you handle an uninsured motorist claim. These cases can be complicated, and it is a good idea to have a strong legal advocate at your side.
Contact Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP Today
At Berman, Sobin, Gross, Feldman & Darby LLP, we have more than 30 years of experience as Maryland personal injury attorneys. We can help you navigate the legal system and your insurance claims to ensure you get the compensation you need. Call us at 301-670-7030 to speak to a dedicated Gaithersburg personal injury attorney.