Maryland law requires that an individual who is involved in a car accident remain at the scene and provide the other driver with driver’s license and insurance information. The purpose of this law is to make it easier for persons involved in accidents to resolve insurance claims. Failure to do as the law requires can subject an individual to a jail sentence of up to 60 days in a property damage-only accident and up to 1 year if someone is injured. It is important to understand that the law does not distinguish between who caused the accident and who did not. Thus, even if an individual is convinced he did not cause a minor property damage accident and does not want to stop at the accident scene for whatever reason, he would indeed be violating the law and putting himself at risk of jail if he doesn’t.
The same rules apply if a driver strikes a parked car with no one in it. Then, the driver is required to leave a notice on the car (typically on the windshield) telling the owner of the struck vehicle the same driver’s license and insurance information.
If a person is charged with hit and run (formally known as “leaving the scene of an accident”), the first thing that needs to be done is to obtain a copy of the accident report so that the identification of the driver and/or owner of the other vehicle can be determined. Contact your own insurance company and give them that information. Doing so will be helpful in court, particularly if any claims by the other driver/owner have been taken care of.
As long as your driving record is okay and something of this sort has not happened before, there is a very good chance that your case will be treated leniently, including the distinct possibility that the hit and run charges will be dropped.
Please contact Richmond Davis at 410-730-5550 for further information and an appointment.
Law Offices of Richmond Davis, LLC • 10440 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 300, Columbia, MD 21044-3559