Articles Posted in Car Accidents

In the wake of a car accident, each driver has a legal responsibility to render aid and provide identifying information to other individuals that are involved. When one person fails to do this, and instead runs from the scene, that person can end up facing criminal charges for a hit and run. A hit and run can also make it more difficult for victims in car accidents to receive adequate compensation for their injuries, especially if they cannot later find the individual that fled the scene.

In nearby Virginia, police officers are on the hunt for an individual that reportedly ran away after a car crash a couple of weeks ago. The crash happened on a major highway when a Chevrolet collided with an SUV, clogging up the southbound lanes of the highway. As soon as the vehicles crashed, the driver of the Chevrolet exited his vehicle and ran away.

Police are describing this man as a white, middle-aged male with red hair. They are actively looking for him so that they can complete their investigation of the crash and properly determine who was at fault. Officers are also asking community members to be on the lookout and call their office with any possible tips.

Unfortunately, car accidents are never expected, and though they are part of the hazard of being on the road, they are always unwelcome interruptions. However, these accidents are especially jarring when they come out of a seemingly freak or unusual circumstance.

Recently, a car crash in Maryland caused an uproar after a student journalist shared photos online of the incident soon after it happened. Apparently, a driver was going through a high-traffic spot in Prince George’s County at approximately 40 miles per hour when it ran straight into a local house. In the photos, viewers can see the car flipped upside down with half of its body inside the home. Over 200 people gathered at the scene within 15-20 minutes, shortly after fire trucks and police cars arrived to begin assessing the damage.

Somehow, neither the driver nor anyone in the home was injured in the accident. There was, however, extensive damage done to both the house and the car. It is unclear whether any arrests have been made in connection with the incident. Investigators have so far found no proof of foul play, but the accident has caused an uproar due to its unusual nature and the sensational photos that have been shared.

When a driver flees the scene of an accident, they are leaving a victim helpless. Without stopping to provide aid to the victim, drivers who commit a hit and run are delaying the necessary medical intervention that could be the difference between life or death for the victim. Given the damage hit and runs can inflict on victims and their loved ones, drivers who flee the scene of an accident often face criminal charges. Additionally, hit and run victims or their families may bring a civil suit to recover damages for their injuries.

Recently, a news article reported that a series of hit-and-runs led to a pedestrian’s death in Prince George’s County, Maryland. According to Maryland state police, the victim had parked his vehicle on the side of the road to speak with his passenger. During their conversation, the passenger walked toward I-95. As the victim tried to pull her back, he was struck by a car, which then fled the scene. Then, as he lay injured, a tractor-trailer struck him. Like the first vehicle, the tractor trailer fled the scene. Finally, a third vehicle struck the victim. This time, the driver pulled over and dialed 9-1-1. After being struck three times by three different vehicles, the victim sadly died from his injuries.

What Are the Criminal and Civil Penalties for Maryland Hit and Runs?

Under Maryland law, if a victim dies after a hit and run, the driver is guilty of a felony. As punishment for this crime, Maryland imposes a maximum ten-year prison sentence or a $5,000 fine, or both. If the driver is a repeat offender, he or she could face a fifteen-year prison sentence or a $10,000 fine, or both. Additionally, a driver who flees the scene of an accident may also face civil fines in a negligence lawsuit. Even if a driver is convicted of criminal charges, a victim can still bring a lawsuit for civil damages.

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Elderly drivers, or drivers aged 70 and up, share the road with drivers who may be as young as age 16 in some states. The risk of severe injury after a car accident can be substantial for any driver or passenger in a car, but this risk may be particularly important to point out for elderly drivers and passengers. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2020 there were almost 48 million licensed drivers aged 65 and older in the United States. Additionally, the CDC reported that drivers aged 70 and up have higher crash death rates per 1,000 crash than middle-aged drivers (aged 35-54) primarily due to increased vulnerability to injury in a crash.

According to a devastating recent news report, a fatal two-vehicle accident occurred in Frederick County, Maryland. An 89-year-old driver was traveling north on Harmony Road and attempted to cross U.S. Route 40, at which a Chevrolet pickup truck was traveling east on U.S. Route 40 through the intersection. Both vehicles crashed into each other at the intersection and the 89-year-old driver was declared deceased at the scene. The other driver was transported by a helicopter to a shock trauma center for his injuries. In addition, the road was closed for approximately three hours after the crash. Maryland State Police are investigating the cause of the crash.

Tips for Staying Safe on the Road

In action-packed movies, you’ll often observe high-speed car chases involving police officers and other individuals, the type of movie scene that may be exciting and attention-grabbing. In reality, when officers are involved in high-speed chases, it can lead to serious injuries for the individuals being chased, as well as bystanders and those not involved in the chase. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there was a relatively large increase in 2021 compared to 2020 in “fatalities in speeding-related crashes” – increasing by 5 percent. In addition, in areas with more traffic congestion, especially in heavily populated cities, driving above the speed limit can be even riskier.

According to a recent news report, a deadly crash occurred in Baltimore, Maryland, and is still under investigation. A 17-year-old teenager was driving a Honda CR-V before colliding with other vehicles near an intersection. Multiple people were injured during the crash, with some individuals being taken to the hospital. Unfortunately, the 17-year-old did not survive the crash. Two officers from the Baltimore Police Department are being investigated for the role they may have played in the collision, although it is still unclear why the officers were initially investigating the Honda CR-V.

Bringing Wrongful Death Claims in Maryland: Things to Consider

In Maryland, specific family members are able to bring a lawsuit against the driver who was at fault in the accident, allowing the family to recover damages. Damages can include monetary relief for pain and suffering, as well as economic loss due to the death of the loved one (which can include the loss of future earnings). When deciding whether to bring a wrongful death claim, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney in the area who has expertise in the law and can help you navigate the complexities of your claims.

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When drivers leave the scene of an accident without rendering aid to an injured victim or exchanging information, they are committing a hit-and-run. Hit-and-run car accidents can lead to physical, emotional, and economic harm for the injured victim. The victim’s injuries may render them helpless to seek out medical treatment without outside assistance. In this scenario, if the accident solely involved the victim and the other driver, the victim’s best chance at life-saving medical treatment disappears from the scene. In Maryland, if a car accident results in physical injury, drivers who flee from the scene of the accident can face both civil and criminal penalties.

Recently, a motorcycle rider from D.C. died after a hit-and-run car accident in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. At around 4:30am, the driver collided with the motorcycle rider traveling in the eastbound lanes. Following the crash, the driver fled the area. The motorcycle rider was found unresponsive and later pronounced dead at the scene. Local police found the driver’s car, but they have yet to identify the driver.

What Penalties Do Hit-and-Run Drivers Face?

Under Maryland law, drivers involved in an accident that leads to injury or death must immediately stop their car and stay at the scene. Once they are stopped, drivers must render aid to anyone injured in the accident. This can include arrangements to transport the injured person to the hospital if requested. Failure to do so carries hefty fines or jail time. In addition to criminal punishment, drivers who flee from the scene of an accident may be on the hook for civil damages.

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As climate change concerns and a heightened awareness of the need for regular exercise rise, more individuals are choosing to ride bicycles for their daily commutes or for leisure. However, bicyclists can face dangers on the roads, especially in busy areas without clearly defined bike lanes. In 2020, 938 bicyclists were killed in traffic accidents. In the Washington, D.C. area alone, 29 percent of traffic fatalities were attributed to bicyclists and pedestrians. It’s no question that bicyclists are required to exercise extra caution on the roads, especially when drivers of larger vehicles are often not looking out for them.

According to reports, a bicyclist recently died in a collision with a truck driver in the Washington, D.C. area, near George Washington University. The collision happened at an intersection in Foggy Bottom, where officers believe the truck driver was attempting to turn right while the bicyclist attempted to ride ahead of the truck on the passenger side. The right passenger side of the truck struck the bicyclist during the turn. The hurt bicyclist died from his injuries in the hospital the same day as the accident. The incident is still under investigation and comes less than a week after another bicyclist died in a collision with a dump truck in the D.C. area, raising concerns about bicycle safety in the city.

How Can D.C. Bicyclists Stay Safe?

Driving under the influence or while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs leads to many serious risks and can lead to devastating injuries or even deaths. Driving while impaired with alcohol has been shown to impair one’s judgment, reaction time, and ability to process changing driving conditions on the road. Every day, 29 people die in motor vehicle accidents in the United States that involve an alcohol-impaired driver according to the CDC. This equates to one death every 50 minutes, and the annual cost of car accidents involving alcohol totals more than $44 billion according to the CDC.

A recent news article reports that a car accident happened in the area of Willows Road and Abberly Crest Lane in Lexington Park in Maryland. It was a rear-end crash and deputies found one person unresponsive when they arrived at the scene. A preliminary investigation determined that a car traveling northbound was struck in the rear end by another car, which was operated by an 18-year-old male. The 18-year-old driver was taken to a local hospital in critical condition and later succumbed to his injuries. An initial investigation found that speed and alcohol played a role in the accident.

In the state of Maryland, driving under the influence (DUI) has different consequences than driving while impaired (DWI). In Maryland, a person may be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is .08 percent or higher, which is called under the influence per se. A DUI conviction will result in 12 points on your license, which can result in a license revocation. In Maryland, a DWI holds slightly lesser consequences. A DWI charge involves a BAC that is .07 percent and when the driver is presumed impaired.

Driving or riding a motorcycle can be a fun experience, but motorcyclists face unique risks while sharing the road with cars. The average motorcycle is about 80-100 inches long. When compared to other vehicles that motorcycles share the road with, other vehicles can range from a mid-sized sedan that can be around 14 feet long to large pick-up trucks that on average can be around 235 inches long. Although motorcycle accidents do not necessarily happen more frequently than other motor vehicle accidents, accidents involving motorcycles can be particularly devastating. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019, motorcyclists were nearly 29 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle miles traveled. Motorcyclists and drivers of other vehicles should take precautions and be mindful of others on the road to prevent devastating accidents.

In recent news, an accident occurred outside of Maryland and led to severe injuries for a motorcyclist. The accident occurred at the intersection of 3rd and E streets in the Judiciary Square neighborhood of D.C. According to the report, D.C. Fire and EMS crews were responding to a fire around 10 a.m. when they collided with a motorcyclist. The motorcyclist was taken to a nearby hospital with serious injuries. No one on the fire truck was injured. The crash is still being investigated.

As seen in the accident described above, sharing the road with emergency vehicles can present additional risks as these vehicles respond to various emergency situations multiple times throughout the day. All drivers should take extra care to be aware of the changing environment around them while they are on the road, which may mean safely yielding to the right when emergency vehicles have turned on their emergency signals. In addition, emergency vehicles and other vehicles must be mindful of smaller vehicles on the road, including motorcycles.

In Maryland, car accidents occur every day for a variety of reasons, but one common occurrence is due to drivers disobeying traffic signals. Without traffic signals, busy highways and roads would be filled with chaos and more traffic accidents. Devastating car accidents can happen in a split second, which is why obeying all traffic laws and traffic signals is vital to safety. Drivers have a legal duty to follow traffic laws and signals to prevent harm to themselves and harm to other motorists and pedestrians. When drivers fail to follow traffic signals, it can be due to negligence. Such negligence may include driving while distracted or driving while fatigued, because diverting one’s attention away from the roads, even for one second, could result in a car accident. Sometimes determining the cause behind a driver failing to follow traffic signals can be tricky.

For example, last month, the Maryland State Police released a report on a fatal three-vehicle crash in Hartford County, Maryland. The accident occurred in Abingdon, Maryland, and involved a tractor-trailer that was traveling north on Emmorton Road. At the same time, a Chrysler and a Jeep Compass were traveling south on the same road. According to the initial investigation, the driver of the tractor-trailer reportedly failed to stop at a red turn signal and instead proceeded through the intersection of the road. The front of the tractor-trailer struck the left side of the Chrysler while in the intersection. The driver of the Jeep then swerved to avoid a collision, but the quarter panel of the Chrysler struck the front right fender of the Jeep. As a result, the Chrysler traveled off the road before coming to a stop near a brush.

An ambulance transported the driver of the Chrysler to a nearby medical center, where the driver was later declared deceased. The other two drivers refused medical treatment at the scene. The accident led to road closure for the next five hours following the crash. At the time of the report, no charges had been filed and an investigation was pending to determine the cause of the crash.

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