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The legal consequences of a hit-and-run accident in Maryland

Maybe you are familiar with what to do after another vehicle crashes into you, including if the responsible party drives away, but have you ever thought what to do if you cause the accident? If you have not, you may have panicked and zoomed away out of fear.

Even if you did not cause any serious damage, you can still face serious legal consequences. What these may be depends on the specific factors of your accident. Regardless, having legal representation can help to minimize the penalties of your unintentional mistake.

Minor damage to property

Did you bump into another parked car while pulling out of your spot? If the damage was minor, you may get off easy with just having to pay a fine and receiving points on your license for fleeing the scene. You are unlikely to face worse unless the property damage was severe.

Minor injury to others

If your accident resulted in the minor injury of a motorist, cyclist or pedestrian, the penalties increase to that of a misdemeanor. In addition to a fine, you may have to spend time in jail. You are also likely to lose your vehicle registration and driver’s license for not reporting the incident, which can affect your ability to work.

Major injury or fatality

If others involved in the accident suffered major bodily harm or death, you will face felony charges, higher fines and longer time in jail. A conviction will have a long-lasting impact on your employment and other life opportunities, as well.

What to do next time

If you do hit another vehicle or person again, stay at the scene even if there is no noticeable damage. The consequences will be less severe than if you leave. Exchange your contact and insurance information with the other person, or leave a note if the property owner is not present. Then notify the police of the accident.

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