Maryland motor vehicle accidents can be scary because of the risk of severe injuries and fatality. However, it can get worse if the fault party or the other driver is uninsured. In 2019, about 12.6 motorists were driving uninsured nationwide. However, you don’t need to worry if you crash with an uninsured motorist. This is because there are insurance policies that foresee and cover this issue with uninsured motorist coverage.
If you have suffered a car accident and the responsible party doesn’t have sufficient insurance coverage for your losses, it would be best to hire a car accident lawyer. A lawyer can advise you of the varied options you have to get compensation. Moreover, without the guidance of an attorney, you may not even know that you can still recover your losses from the crash.
What Does Uninsured Motorist Mean?
Although Maryland law requires drivers to have insurance, many such drivers disobey this rule. Therefore, like most American states, Maryland now has a law that protects drivers from other drivers who don’t have insurance. The law mandates drivers to take out uninsured motorist (UM) insurance policies to protect themselves.
Generally, an uninsured motorist is a driver who has no insurance policy. Each state has its definition of an uninsured motorist. Maryland Code Insurance Title 19 extends this definition beyond the general idea. It states that an uninsured motor vehicle is one for which the sum of the limits of liability is less than the amount of uninsured motorist coverage the law requires you to carry.
So, if the fault driver’s insurance coverage is lower than your uninsured motorist insurance coverage, the law views them as uninsured. Furthermore, the vehicle could be classed as uninsured if the liability limits have been reduced by payments from claims arising from the same policy. In this case, the remaining amount will also have to be less than the amount of UM coverage you should carry.
How Does Uninsured Motorist Coverage Work?
Many people think that it’s the government that pays uninsured motorist claims. However, this isn’t the case. Instead, if you get into an accident with an uninsured motorist, your insurer steps up to pay your losses. Essentially, you’ll be making an insurance claim with your insurance company. Moreover, you can also file a claim against the fault party’s insurer and yours.
What Does Uninsured Motorist Insurance Cover in Maryland?
You may be wondering if you’ll get lesser damages with uninsured motorist policies. The answer is no. Often, uninsured motorist coverage can provide the same compensation as regular insurance policies. We mean that you can recover the same benefits you would have gotten if you claimed under the fault party’s insurance policy.
Furthermore, Maryland law requires motorists to carry uninsured motorist coverage for bodily injuries and property damage. Therefore, uninsured motorist coverage can pay for:
- Costs of medical treatment
- Pain and suffering
- Property losses
- Lost wages
Basically, the uninsured motorist coverage will put you in the same position you would have been in if the responsible driver had sufficient coverage.
Statute of Limitations for Uninsured Motorist Claims
Uninsured motorist claims are also subject to Maryland’s Statute of Limitations. A Statute of Limitations prescribes the time limit within which you must bring a civil action. If your insurance company fails to pay your uninsured motorist coverage claim, it’s a breach of contract. This is because the insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurer.
Therefore, the three-year time limit that applies to breaches of contract also applies to your uninsured motorist claim. So, you have only three years to initiate a suit against your insurer. The clock starts counting from the day you knew or reasonably ought to have known that you had a claim against your insurer.
Maryland Motor Accident Lawyers Can Help You!
Have you survived a car crash with an uninsured road user? Is your insurance company trying to dodge paying you under your uninsured motorist coverage? Then, you can proceed against your insurance company. It isn’t compulsory to employ a lawyer to represent you against your insurer. However, it’s in your own best interest to work with a lawyer on this.
At Pinder Plotkin, LLC, we have successfully represented some accident victims to get their uninsured motorist coverage benefits. In the process, our lawyers have gathered sufficient experience to defend any uninsured motorist insurance claim. So, it’ll be best to engage the services of our car accident attorneys to recover the compensation you deserve. Finally, it’ll also help to initiate legal action early. This will help you stay within the statutory time limit. Contact us today for a free case review.