When you are injured in an accident that someone else caused, you have the right to recover compensation from the driver of the vehicle that caused your injury. What is really happening is that you are making a claim to the insurance company that covers that vehicle. But although the law requires every car on the road to have a current insurance policy, it is sometimes hard to enforce. Nationwide, approximately one in every seven drivers lacks automobile insurance. In Maryland, however, an estimated 12 percent of drivers are uninsured. And many who are insured carry the bare minimum the law allows, which in an accident of any severity is likely to be too little to cover the damages incurred by car accident victims.
So what happens if one of these irresponsible drivers crashes into you, destroys your car, and sends you to the hospital with a serious or catastrophic injury? Or what if you’re involved in an accident with a hit and run driver who flees the scene and can’t be identified?https://ricelawmd.com/baltimore-hit-and-run-accident-attorney
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Maryland
This type of situation is where Uninsured/underinsured Motorist Coverage, also known as UIM Coverage, comes in. And the good news is that as long as you have the minimum insurance coverage required by Maryland State law, you are protected. Maryland is one of very few states in which UIM insurance is mandatory. You must have at least $30,000 per person bodily injury coverage that caps out at $60,000 per accident. This not only protects you in an accident between your car and another vehicle, but also covers you if you are hit by an uninsured or underinsured vehicle as a pedestrian or bicyclist.
You are also required by law to carry Uninsured Motorist Property Damage coverage of at least $15,000 to protect your vehicle from damage done by an uninsured or underinsured driver, or one who cannot be identified, having fled the scene. Typically your insurance policy will require that you report the accident to the police and to the insurance company within 24 to 48 hours.
You may purchase UIM bodily injury and/or property damage coverage in larger amounts than required by law, to provide yourself and your family with extra protection in the event of a serious accident.
Why You Need an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer for Your UIM Claim
Payment of UIM claims by your insurance company is not automatic. You will need to file a claim against your own company in the same way you would against the insurer of another at-fault driver. If the other driver has insurance but it is insufficient to cover your damages, you must first file a claim against that driver’s insurance carrier and then against your own insurance for the balance.
As with any car accident liability claim, you should not try to settle on your own. An experienced personal injury lawyer understands the full value of your damages and is much better equipped to negotiate an appropriate settlement with the insurance companies involved—both yours and that of an underinsured driver who caused your accident. These cases can be difficult and complex.
In a UIM claim, because you are placed in an adversarial position with your own insurance company, you may feel uncertain as to what to say or how to proceed. The best way to go is to avoid discussing the accident with any insurance company representative, beyond making the required accident report. Do not allow the company to take a recorded statement from you and do not sign anything. To avoid making a mistake that could diminish the value of your claim or cause it to be denied altogether, refer any representative of any insurance company, even your own, to your lawyer.
Get Legal Help from Our Baltimore UIM Accident Attorney Today
If you or a family member suffered injuries as the result of a hit and run crash or a crash caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver in Baltimore or the surrounding area, call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice as soon after the accident as possible and arrange for a no cost, no obligation consultation. We will handle all negotiations with the insurance company or companies in your behalf. If it becomes necessary to take the case to trial, you can be certain that Randolph Rice will be fully prepared to present a thoroughly prepared and convincing case to a jury. If your own insurance company fails to honor the uninsured/underinsured provision of your policy, it may be necessary to bring a bad faith action to force them to comply.
Randolph has the experience, legal acumen, and commitment to justice that will help you achieve the best result the law allows. You pay nothing out of pocket at any point in the legal process, and you pay nothing at all unless we win money for you. Time limits for filing apply, so don’t wait too long. Pick up the phone and call now. (410) 694-7291