Maryland is a “fault” state for automobile insurance purposes. That means that every driver is required to carry minimum liability insurance to protect other people if the driver causes a car crash. The minimum liability insurance
required for Maryland drivers is $30,000 for bodily damage ($60,000 for two or more victims) and $15,000 for property damage claims. If a driver causes a car accident, the driver’s insurance company should pay the claims filed by accident victims up to the policy limits.
Pinder Plotkin LLC assists accident victims as they seek compensation for injuries and damages caused by a negligent driver. Call 410-525-5337
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Filing Insurance Claims in a Car Accident
If you are injured in a car accident caused by another driver, your injury claim is filed against the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. While you can purchase insurance coverage in higher amounts than the minimum state requirements, most drivers in Maryland purchase the minimum amounts of liability insurance.
Your insurance claim is limited to $30,000 when the at-fault driver carries minimum liability insurance. If your damages exceed $30,000, you may file a lawsuit against the driver to obtain a personal judgment, but unless the driver has assets that can be used to pay the judgment, a verdict in a lawsuit is worthless.
Sadly, many car accident claims exceed $30,000. Even for victims who do not suffer traumatic injuries, an emergency room visit, a few weeks of physical therapy, doctor’s visits, and missed time from work can quickly exceed $30,000 when you add pain and suffering damages to the total of financial losses. However, if a victim carries underinsured motorist coverage, the value of the claim that exceeds the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage can be paid by the victim’s insurance provider.
What is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured motorist (UM) coverage and underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage is insurance you pay for as part of your automobile insurance policy. The cost of UM and UIM coverage is not very expensive compared to the protection both policies provide for policyholders.
UM covers your losses and damages if you are injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver. Even though Maryland drivers are required by law to purchase car insurance, many drivers disobey the law. If a driver does not have car insurance, you can usually assume that the driver does not have any personal assets that could be used to pay your expenses from a car accident. In addition, UM coverage can pay your damages in a hit and run accident. Therefore, UM coverage is essential to protect you in case an uninsured driver causes an accident.
UIM coverage protects you if you are injured in an accident, and the at-fault driver’s insurance coverage does not pay all your damages and losses. For example, if your damages total $100,000 but the other driver carries minimum car insurance, $70,000 of your claim is unpaid. However, if you have a UIM policy, your insurance provider should pay the remaining balance of the claim up to your policy limits OR if you elect enhanced UIM coverage (available as of July 2018), you can receive the entire $100,000 plus the at-fault driver’s policy limits. Because you do not want to be responsible for paying thousands of dollars in medical bills and withdrawing savings to pay for living expenses because a driver did not have sufficient insurance coverage to compensate you for damages after an accident, you should discuss UIM and UM coverage with your insurance agent.
Do I Need a Maryland Car Accident Attorney to File an Uninsured or Underinsured Insurance Claim?
As with any insurance claim for a car accident, you are not required by law to hire an attorney to file the claim for you. However, simply because you are not required to do something does not mean that you should not. Even though you may be dealing with your insurance provider, you should not assume they will treat your claim any differently from other insurance claims. In other words, you need to be very cautious.
The insurance adjuster’s job is the same regarding of the type of insurance claim — the adjuster will pay as little as possible for your claim. Therefore, you need to document your losses very carefully. Because you may not understand what you may and may not include in an insurance claim, you might undervalue your claim. By undervaluing your claim, you are losing money. Our Maryland car accident attorneys include every expense and document every damage to maximize the amount of money you can receive for your car accident claim.
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The information provided in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject. The information contained in this blog is also subject to change and should not be relied upon. Contact the Pinder Plotkin Legal Team for a FREE consultation.