Car accidents often leave extensive damage in their wake including physical injuries, mental trauma, and damaged property. Victims often end up suffering financial losses since their expenses increase at a time when they may not be able to work. Usually, car accident victims turn to the at-fault party’s insurer to recover their losses. They do so in the hope that they will get full and fair compensation for their medical expenses and other losses. However, things don’t always go the way injured people expect. The person or entity you think is responsible may deny liability or they may simply not have enough coverage to pay all your damages.
Another consideration is that the driver may not even have insurance. An estimated 12.4 percent of motorists in Maryland are uninsured. Often, when uninsured drivers get involved in accidents, they flee the scene without providing any contact information. If you don’t know who the driver is, it will be almost impossible to get compensation. This can throw any injured person into a panic. Fortunately, when all else fails, you may be able to get compensation through uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. A Maryland car accident attorney can assist you in recovering damages in this way.
What Maryland’s Laws Say About UM/UIM Coverage
All motorists in Maryland are required to have liability insurance and personal injury protection. However, you should also carry UM/UIM coverage of at least $30,000 per person and $60,000 per incident or $75,000 in total. Your UM/UIM coverage may be even higher since it much match your standard liability coverage. If you purchase more than the minimum amount of liability coverage, your UM/UIM coverage must increase unless you specifically opt-out. Even if you opt for a lower amount of UM/UIM coverage, it must still meet the minimum requirements.
It is important to note that while insurance companies have to offer uninsured motorist coverage when they first sell a policy, they don’t need to offer it on renewal. This means you have to opt-in explicitly in writing. The last thing you want to do after you get injured in a car accident is to fight with your insurance company over whether you have coverage or not. Your Maryland car accident lawyer will be better able to represent you if you ensure your policy is adequate before you need to draw on it.
Why UM/UIM Coverage is So Important
Most drivers know why they must purchase auto insurance. Not only is it a legal requirement if they want to drive but it offers them much-needed protection. However, no one wants to pay higher premiums than they need to. That’s why some drivers question whether they really need underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. You may want to opt-out so you can save money. You may even assume that the likelihood of being hit by an uninsured driver is low.
However, you should never see this type of coverage as a waste of money. Some drivers purchase only the minimum amount of insurance and if your injuries are serious, that amount won’t even scratch the surface. Meanwhile, there are unlicensed and, therefore, uninsured motorists who don’t think twice about taking a chance on the city’s roads. Then there are those who allow their policies to lapse. If you encounter any of these situations, you’ll be happy you opted to get this additional coverage.
The Importance of Notifying Your Insurance Company Immediately After an Accident
If the other driver was clearly at fault, you may not think you need to contact your insurance company. However, you may not have a clear picture of the driver’s insurance situation until days or weeks later. Even if they show you proof that they have coverage, it may not be enough when you quantify all your losses. Like any other insurance claim, if you take too long to give notice about your accident, you may not be able to get compensation.
Contact Pinder Plotkin LLC to Get Help with Your Car Accident Claim
If you suffered injuries in a Maryland car accident, you need to call the experienced Maryland car accident lawyers at Pinder Plotkin LLC. We know that you and your family are likely facing physical, mental, and financial challenges. We also know that you’re likely to find it difficult to collect compensation from the at-fault party’s insurer. When you have our team on your side, you’ll have a much better chance of collecting the damages you deserve. Call us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about what we can do for you.