Auto Accident Personal Injury
Car accidents are responsible for hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries every year in the State of Maryland. As technology continues to develop and advance, more and more auto-accidents take place in Maryland on a daily basis as the result of driver distractions, such as texting while driving or using a phone while driving. Speeding, drinking and driving, and aggressive or reckless driving continue to add to the dangerous mix on the roads year after year. Car accidents can be tragic, not only for the damage they cause but also because they can be so easily prevented if people would simply drive with more care. Wolven Law holds these reckless drivers liable for their negligence and help personal injury victims get the compensation they need for their medical care and other expenses thrust on them through no fault of their own.
No-Fault and At-Fault Car Insurance Claims in Maryland
Maryland law contains sometimes confusing laws pertaining to auto-insurance and the ability to recover expenses after an accident. First, there is Personal Injury Protection coverage, also known as PIP or no-fault insurance. PIP can pay up to $2,500 or more for medical costs and other reasonable expenses related to a car accident. The amount available differs depending on whether you purchased full coverage or limited coverage. A PIP claim is filed with your own insurance company, without regard to who was at fault in causing the accident. PIP can also be accessed to help the victim of a bicycle or pedestrian accident—and will later help with an insurer’s right to subrogation from a personal injury settlement claim.
While PIP can help with some medical bills and other expenses, it often is not enough, especially in a serious accident. For more serious injuries, an accident victim can go after the at-fault driver for payment from that driver’s bodily injury liability policy. In the State of Maryland, every driver on the road is required to cover at least $30,000 in liability insurance coverage for the injured driver’s medical expenses and $15,000 in property damage, although if more than one person is injured, a minimal Maryland policy may cover only $60,000 of medical costs for all the injured people together.
Even though liability insurance is required by law, more than one in ten Maryland drivers skirt the law and drive without insurance. If you are hit by an uninsured driver, or if you are injured in a hit and run and cannot locate the negligent driver, you can apply for coverage from the Uninsured Motorist (UM) portion of your liability policy. If you have purchased UM coverage in amounts equal to the amount of liability you carry. You may also have Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage, which can be useful if the other driver only carried the minimum amount, and your damages are greater.
All Insurance Claims Require the Help of an Attorney
Regardless of whether you are filing a claim with your own insurance company or that of the other driver’s, remember that the insurance company will try to pay as little as it can on your claim, or avoid liability altogether. They do this by trying to get you to accept a quick cash settlement before you talk to an attorney, and before you understand the true value of your claim. Maryland is a Contributory Negligence state, meaning, if the injured driver is found even 1% at-fault, they are barred from recovery. Thus, the insurance company may also argue that you were personally at fault and/or contributorily negligent and shouldn’t recover anything, or that your injuries and other damages are exaggerated or unrelated to the accident. Experienced car accident attorneys know how much your claim is worth and won’t settle for a lesser amount. Be sure and hire a lawyer with a record of success litigating car accident cases. When the insurance company knows you are represented by a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer, they are much more likely to settle for a reasonable amount.
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