The moments after any vehicle accident are critical. That includes car accidents as well as any kind of wreck involving trucks, motorcycles, buses or other motor vehicles. Injured accident victims may need life-saving medical treatment, and damage needs to be assessed. When the driver who is at fault for the accident flees the scene, an accident victim may be left on his or her own to find help and assist other injured passengers or pedestrians. It is often during this critical time that injuries can become significantly worse, resulting in permanent disability or even death.
Hit and Run Accidents in Washington DC, Maryland, & Virginia
In Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, it is illegal for anyone to leave the scene of an accident. All parties involved in the accident must notify the police, wait for the police to arrive, and lend aid to all injured parties. Failure to do so is a crime and can cause irreparable damage to those left behind—as well as criminal charges to those who flee.
Unfortunately, hit and run accidents are on the rise in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and across the United States. In fact, fatalities from hit and run accidents across the United States have recently risen by 13.7%.
Seeking Justice After a Hit and Run Accident
If someone has injured you or a family member in a hit and run accident and the responsible driver is not apprehended, you face unique challenges when trying to recover the money you need to cover medical expenses and property damage. It is important to know that you are not alone.
If the hit and run driver is apprehended and arrested by the police, you may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit against that driver seeking both civil and punitive damages. If the driver is never found, as is the case with many hit and run accidents, you may be forced to collect from your own insurance policy under the coverage for uninsured motorists. (See our video on the importance of having adequate coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorists. This coverage protects you.)
Unfortunately, when seeking to collect money from your own insurance policy after a hit and run accident, injured accident victims sometimes have tremendous difficulty. Insurance companies are not always eager to pay claims—especially if the suspect has not been caught. They may deliberately deny your claim or delay payments without cause. In addition, they may offer too low of a settlement amount or deliberately avoid paying what is rightfully due.
What to Do After a Hit and Run Accident
If you are involved in a hit and run accident in Washington, D.C., Maryland, or Virginia, it is important to know what to do immediately after the accident. The steps you take can greatly influence your chances of finding the responsible driver and obtaining the money you need to recover.
- Immediately seek medical treatment and have all injuries documented
- Contact the police and fill out an accident report
- Obtain contact information from all eyewitnesses
- Contact an experienced hit and run accident attorney
- Contact your insurance company but DO NOT agree to a settlement without first speaking to your attorney
- Keep all payments well documented, including car repairs and medical expenses
Contact Hit and Run Accident Lawyers
At Patrick Malone & Associates, our hit and run accident lawyers understand how complicated hit and run accidents in the Washington, D.C. metro area, Virginia, and Maryland can be. We also know that insurance companies are reluctant to settle claims with victims of hit and run accidents. As such, our accident attorneys work tirelessly from the very start to ensure that all our clients receive the compensation they need to fully recover. Call us at 1-202-742-1500 or 1-888-625-6635 or fill out our confidential contact form for a FREE Consultation and review of your case.
The hit and run accident attorneys at Patrick Malone & Associates have successfully represented injured individuals in Washington, D.C., Arlington, Alexandria, Annapolis, Rockville, Baltimore, Richmond, Fairfax, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and other locations throughout Maryland and Virginia.