Randallstown, MD Car Accident Lawyer
Car crashes most commonly involve property damage alone. However, more serious crashes could leave you with physical injuries and emotional distress, all of which could lead to expensive medical bills, lost time at work, and other effects. It is important to take injury claims seriously and to work with a lawyer to avoid getting your case undervalued by insurance companies.
Our lawyers can work to collect evidence that proves what your case is truly worth, and we can negotiate with insurance companies or even fight the case in open court to get you compensation. Do not trust that the insurance company has your best interests at heart for even a second.
For help with your car accident injury case, call the car accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (410) 694-7291.
Different Types of Car Insurance that Cover Your Accident in Randallstown, MD
If you were injured in a car accident, you should likely consider filing an insurance claim. In many cases, insurance companies will not pay full damages outright without a fight, but it is nonetheless usually the first route that victims and car accident lawyers take to get compensation. However, what insurance you have and what insurance covers your case might be confusing.
Your Insurance vs. the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance
Maryland uses an “at-fault” or “tort” system for car insurance. This means that the driver who caused the crash should use their insurance to cover the injuries and property damage that result from their negligence. This often means that your claim will be filed with the other driver’s insurance if you were the victim, and you should not trust them to protect you or work with you. In fact, anything you say to them could be used against you, and you should avoid making any unnecessary statements. Just reciting the facts is usually sufficient.
There might, however, be some policies that you have as part of your own insurance that can supplement your case and pay some damages to you. Some of these will be discussed below, specifically PIP insurance and UM or EUIM insurance.
Minimum Insurance in Maryland
Maryland law requires drivers to carry at least $30,000 for injuries to each person ($60,000 total per accident) and $15,000 in property damage. This is liability insurance, as discussed below.
All policies must also have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage at this same level. Additionally, PIP insurance is standard at a minimum of $2,500, but it can sometimes be waived.
Liability insurance covers an accident that you cause. Every driver in Maryland is required to carry liability insurance, and this is the insurance that injured drivers usually rely on to get payments for property damage, medical bills, and other damages.
When you file a claim with the at-fault driver’s liability insurance, any settlement or acceptance of a payout functions as a legal settlement and will end your case. Do not sign anything or accept money from the other driver or their insurance company without having your lawyer review it.
PIP insurance is “personal injury protection” insurance. This is a first-party benefit insurance policy, meaning that it pays damages to the driver who carries the policy. PIP insurance is optional in Maryland, but if you have it, it can help pay for some medical bills and lost wages for you regardless of who caused the crash.
Maryland PIP has a minimum of $2,500 of coverage, but you can purchase more. There are also confusing rules about how full or limited PIP plans work, with some covering other members of your household as well.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Coverage is required on insurance policies in Maryland for uninsured motorist (UM) coverage or enhanced underinsured motorist (EUIM) coverage. These are policies that you pay into to cover your own injuries and damages if you happen to be hit by a driver who does not have insurance or who has insurance that will not cover your injuries in full.
UM coverage must cover at least $30,000 per person in injuries ($60,000 per accident) and $15,000 for property damage – the same minimums as liability insurance. However, you can elect for higher UM coverage that matches your policy amounts when the other driver is uninsured. Alternatively, you can choose EUIM coverage that matches your policy’s amounts when the other driver’s policy covers less than yours.
This covers damage to your vehicle other than a crash. This can include things like a tree branch falling on your car or vandalism.
You can often elect to add other policies to your car insurance as well, such as medical pay coverage, mechanical coverage, and benefits for towing and replacement rentals. These are all extra and are usually part of a package, though they are not required.
Damages for a Randallstown, MD Car Accident Case
As mentioned, you usually file your claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance, though your own PIP or other benefits might help you get some compensation up front. In any car accident case, you could be entitled to any damages that result from the crash, including both economic and non-economic effects.
Economic damages typically include the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle as well as expenses related to your medical care, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and more. You can also claim damages for any wages or earnings you lost or missed out on because of your injuries. Additional expenses might be incurred in the form of childcare needs, help with household tasks, etc. If you need to adapt your home to aid with disabilities the accident caused, those costs should also be reimbursed.
Non-economic damages include all of the intangible effects of an accident: the pain of the injury, the mental anguish of dealing with an injury, the lost enjoyment of activities you cannot participate in because of your injury, and more. These damages are hard to calculate as they are not based on things like bills and financial records but rather on the overall severity of your injury and the specific facts of how the injuries affect your life.
Contact Our Randallstown, MD Car Accident Attorneys Today
For a free case review on your car accident claim, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras’ car accident lawyers at (410) 694-7291.