Maryland Hit-and-Run

If you're a victim of a hit-and-run in Maryland, report the accident immediately, then file an insurance claim within 24 hours.
Written by Macy Fouse
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
, a
can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the accident. Penalties for committing a hit-and-run can be as little as a $500 fine or as much as imprisonment for five years. 
If you’ve been the victim of a hit-and-run, do your best to identify the vehicle, but report the incident to the police as soon as possible. You’ll also want to file an insurance claim within 24 hours of the accident.
Every US state has laws forbidding drivers to leave the scene of an accident without providing their information. However, the punishments for hit-and-runs can differ from state to state. 
Whether you’ve committed a hit-and-run
car accident in Maryland
or you’ve been the victim of one, this article will help you navigate the ins and outs of the law. We'll cover what counts as a hit-and-run in Maryland, how to report one, how to file an insurance claim, and what actions to take if you commit the hit-and-run yourself.
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What is a hit-and-run? 

A hit-and-run is a car accident where a driver hits a person, object, or vehicle and leaves the scene without providing information to the other parties. If you’re involved in an accident, it’s against the law to flee before exchanging names, addresses, and insurance information with the other parties. 
No matter who causes the accident, everyone involved has to stay at the scene. Even if you're not the one at fault, leaving the scene could make you guilty of hit-and-run. Every party involved must stay at the collision site and exchange information to avoid being penalized.

What happens if you commit a hit-and-run in Maryland?

If you’re in a car accident, it’s important not to flee out of panic, even if it’s minor. You must stay at the scene of the accident and exchange information with the other driver(s). Otherwise, you’ll be subjected to major legal and financial consequences. 

Is a hit-and-run a felony in Maryland? 

Hit-and-runs in Maryland can come with either misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the damage done. If the hit-and-run resulted in property damage only, it’s a misdemeanor. If the accident caused a serious injury or death, though, it’s a felony charge. Committing a hit-and-run in Maryland will also cost you 8 to 12 points on your
driver’s license
, and the accident will stain your
driving record
Key Takeaway Generally, a hit-and-run where no one was hurt is a misdemeanor. If someone was hurt or killed in the accident, a hit-and-run driver will be charged with a felony. 

What is the punishment for a hit-and-run in Maryland? 

Penalties for hit-and-runs in Maryland differ depending on the circumstances of the accident and the extent of damage caused. 
If the hit-and-run caused property damage to an attended or unattended vehicle, the maximum penalty is a $500 fine and/or imprisonment for up to two months
If the accident results in serious bodily injury—which includes a substantial risk of death, disfigurement, serious loss of function of any body part or mental faculty—the maximum punishment is a $5,000 fine and/or five-year imprisonment. If someone dies as a result of the accident, the maximum punishment increases to a $10,000 fine and/or ten-year prison term
The possible penalties for a hit-and-run in Maryland are listed below:
Result of accident
Possible punishment
Property damage only (attended or unattended vehicle)
Up to 2 months in prison
Fine up to $500
Serious bodily injury
Up to 5 years in prison
Fine up to $5,000
Up to 10 years in prison
Fine up to $10,000

How to avoid a hit-and-run charge

Maryland Law 20-104 outlines that in any accidents involving vehicle damage, the driver must remain as close as possible to the scene of the accident until they have given their name, address, vehicle registration number, and—if requested—driver’s license information to the other party and/or police officer.
If a police officer and/or none of the other parties involved are present to receive the information, the driver should immediately report the accident to the nearest police authority and give them the above information.

What should I do if I experience a hit-and-run in Maryland? 

If you’re the victim of a hit-and-run in Maryland, it’s crucial to remain calm and collect as much information as possible. You should then report the crime to the police immediately. 

At the scene

As tempting as it may be, you must never follow the fleeing car. Make sure every passenger in your car is safe and unharmed before moving the car to a safe location nearby. Then you must call 911 to inform the police and request medical attention if needed.
It may be overwhelming, but it’s key to note as many of the following details after the accident as you can:
  • Anything about the other vehicle’s model, color, or body style
  • The license plate number of the other car
  • What the other driver looked like
  • Circumstances of the accident
  • Where the other car was headed
  • Unique markers on the other car such as dents or bumper stickers
If there are any witnesses, you should discuss what they recall from the accident. You’ll also want to inspect the scene for any possible evidence. Finally, take plenty of photos of the scene—you’ll likely need to provide them to your insurance company or the police if requested.

After you leave the scene

Be sure that the responding officer files a police report. This will serve two purposes: first, it will ensure adequate documentation needed to identify the other driver, and it will also serve as evidence for your insurance claim. You should file your insurance claim within 24 hours after a hit-and-run. 
If the other driver is identified, the damage to your car should be covered by their liability insurance. Your insurance company will then handle the case like any other accident. 
However, if the other driver cannot be identified, the claims process becomes more complicated. If you only have liability, you’ll be stuck dealing with the damage out of pocket. The damage may be covered, though, if you have
collision coverage
uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
medical payments (MedPay) coverage
, or
personal injury protection (PIP)

What insurance covers a hit-and-run?

Insurance type
Does it cover a hit-and-run?
Collision coverage
May have to pay deductible
Uninsured motorist coverage
Check to see if your policy covers hit-and-runs
Medical payments (MedPay) coverage
Will cover what medical insurance does not. May need to pay deductible
Personal injury protection (PIP)
May reimburse you for lost wages and other expenses related to an accident

How to find affordable insurance after a hit-and-run 

If you’ve committed a hit-and-run, been the victim of one, or just want to be proactive against future accidents,
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Your insurance prices shouldn’t be affected if you’re the victim of a hit-and-run, even if you’re the one filing the claim. In fact, your insurance company may even waive your deductible. If you’ve committed a hit-and-run, though, you can expect your insurance rates to nearly double since you’ve been charged with a serious violation.
Hit-and-runs are serious charges. If you’re facing a hit-and-run charge, it’s probably a good idea to consult with a lawyer.
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