If you or a loved one are in a car accident, you may wonder how you are going to pay for any injuries or damages sustained from the crash. Drivers are not required by law to have collision coverage, but it is a good idea to purchase this form of coverage. The state of Maryland does not require drivers to purchase collision coverage, but it is recommended. However, if you take a loan out on your vehicle, most lenders will ask that you purchase collision coverage. Having collision coverage can provide a driver with vital extra protection and can save one from having to pay out of pocket for any damages or injuries that were a result of the car accident. If you are in a car accident and the other driver is at fault, the at-fault driver’s insurance policy may not cover the total cost of damages to the car. If you have collision coverage, the remaining cost of damages will be covered.
If you have an older car or the value of your vehicle is low, it may not be worth paying for collision coverage. When determining if collision coverage is a good plan for a driver, the value of their vehicle will be considered. Drivers who lease a car should inquire about collision coverage as leasing companies typically make the driver carry physical damage coverage for the leased vehicle. Contact an experienced Baltimore car accident lawyer today.
Difference Between Collision Coverage and Comprehensive Coverage:
Collision coverage pays for any damages to the vehicle after a collision with another vehicle. Collision coverage does not cover any damages to the vehicle that were sustained from a natural disaster, but it will cover damages from hitting an object like a sign or fence. Comprehensive coverage is different from collision coverage in that it pays for any damages that do not involve crashing into another vehicle. Examples of times that comprehensive coverage will be used include theft, damage from falling objects, or damage caused by natural disasters. The average cost of comprehensive coverage each year is about $135. This is a very cost-effective form of coverage as it covers damages caused by fires, riots and vandalism, broken windshields, and contact with animals.
Collision coverage will help pay for repairs and replace a vehicle regardless of who is at fault for the car accident. Although Maryland is an at-fault state, collision coverage does not take into consideration the faulty driver when providing payments for repairs and damages to the vehicle. Collision coverage is different from liability coverage in that fault is not considered. Under liability coverage, the insurance company will help pay for the victims’ damages. If the police are unable to determine fault at the scene of the car accident, insurance companies and an insurance adjuster will review the case to determine the driver that is liable for the accident. Our Aberdeen car accident attorneys are here to help.
You Can Buy Collision Coverage for Cars, Boats, Motorcycles, and RVs.
It is important to be aware of the three Ds of insurance. Insurance companies are not ultimately evil, but they will do everything in their power to ensure that they do not have to pay for damages after a collision. Oftentimes, your insurance company will try to lowball their customer in hopes that they accept the low payment. Delay, Deny, and defend are three ways in which your insurance company may escape having to pay for the claims that they had previously promised. Insurance companies will first delay the payment or fully deny you the payment, and then take you to court. If you feel as though you have been taken advantage of by your insurance company, contact Rice, Murtha, and Psoras Trial Lawyers today to receive the coverage you were promised and deserve.
What is a Collision Deductible?
Collision coverage has a deductible, which is the amount of money you pay before the coverage can pay for your claim. Typically, a driver can pick the amount of the collision deductible when they purchase their coverage plan. Collision deductibles can go as low as $100 to $250, but the majority of agents will suggest that you start at $500 and increase as you wish. A higher deductible means that you will pay lower premiums. Choosing an insurance deductible plan depends on how much you can and are willing to spend monthly on premiums.
Let’s say you get into a car accident and have full coverage car insurance and collision coverage. If the repairs for the car damage come out at $8,000 and you have a deductible of $500, you will have to pay for the deductible and your car insurance will pay for the remaining $7,500 in repairs. It is for this reason that collision coverage is so beneficial if you or a loved one gets into a car accident. If you do not have collision coverage and have about $8,000 in damages, you will be left paying out of pocket for the repairs. If the damages are so extreme that the car is no longer driveable, you will still have to pay a car loan if you owe money for the car regardless if it is driveable or not. To reduce auto insurance expenses, it is in your best interest to take a higher deductible.
Is Collision Insurance Worth it?
There are three factors a driver should consider when questioning if collision coverage would be beneficial to them. The first factor to consider is the value of the vehicle. If your vehicle is new and worth a considerable amount of money, it is a good idea to get collision coverage. One’s ability to pay out of pocket should also be considered if you are unable to make out-of-pocket payments for any damages to the vehicle, collision coverage would be a good option for you. Lastly, if your vehicle is in storage or is not driven often, purchasing collision courage may now be necessary.
If you are on the fence about purchasing collision coverage, your best bet is to invest in this form of insurance. You never know what is going to happen tomorrow, and collision and comprehensive coverage can help pay for any damages sustained from a car accident or objects on the road. Call our Rockville car accident lawyers today for a case evaluation.
What Insurance Coverage Am I Required to Carry in Maryland?
In Maryland, drivers must have a minimum amount of car insurance that includes $30,000 for bodily injury per person, $60,000 for bodily injury for two or more persons, and $15,000 for property damage. However, there is no minimum requirement for personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.
You are also required to have uninsured motorist coverage as it provides protection for you and your passengers in case of an accident involving an uninsured driver or if the at-fault driver’s insurance doesn’t fully cover your expenses. In Maryland, the minimum coverage for underinsured motorists is the same as the minimum liability coverage. That is, it must mirror the minimum coverage listed above of $30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $15,000 for property damage.
In Maryland, underinsured motorist coverage is meant to safeguard you in case you get into an accident with a driver whose insurance coverage is insufficient to cover the expenses related to the accident. It offers protection to you and your passengers in situations where the at-fault driver’s policy limits are inadequate.
If the insurance policy of the driver at fault fails to cover all the damages incurred, underinsured motorist coverage can help. This type of coverage comes into effect when the compensation received is insufficient to pay for the damages. For instance, if the amount of medical expenses and lost wages is $200,000, but the at-fault driver’s insurance limit is only $30,000, you can use your underinsured motorist coverage to cover the remaining $170,000 up to your policy limits. If you have stacked coverage, which is not very common, the coverage can increase to even higher amounts.
What Are the Consequences of Driving Without Insurance in Maryland?
It is important to be aware that driving or allowing someone else to drive a car that is uninsured can result in severe consequences. If there is reason to suspect that a car is not insured, it is recommended to avoid driving it. The first offense can result in a fine of up to $1,000 and a maximum imprisonment of one year. For repeat offenders, the fine can increase to $1,000, and imprisonment can be up to two years.
The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration imposes several penalties for driving uninsured, which include a $150 fine for the initial 30 days and a $7 fee for each subsequent day. You will also be required to pay registration, suspension, and collection fees in order to regain your driving privileges.
If you are in a car accident while driving without proper car insurance, it is important to note that the issue of fault remains unaffected by your lack of insurance coverage. If the accident is deemed your fault, you may be held personally responsible for any resulting injuries or vehicle damage due to the absence of an insurance policy to cover these losses. However, if the other driver is at fault, your lack of insurance could hinder your ability to receive compensation for your car accident injuries and other losses.
When an accident occurs, it is crucial to immediately stop and remain at the scene until appropriate measures have been taken. Driving without insurance has its consequences, yet they are minor compared to the severe penalties one may face if they flee the scene of an accident, particularly if someone is injured, which can result in criminal hit-and-run charges.
If you find yourself at the scene of a car accident, there are a few important steps you should take. Firstly, if anyone appears to have sustained significant injuries, you should call emergency medical services immediately. It’s also important to call local law enforcement to the scene. Be sure to exchange contact information with anyone involved in the accident, but avoid discussing any details or admitting fault. Additionally, it’s helpful to gather the names and contact information of any witnesses who may have seen what happened. Finally, take pictures of the accident scene, including the position of the vehicles, to help tell the story of how the accident occurred.
Compensation Options After a Car Accident in Maryland
While certain car insurance coverage is mandatory, filing an insurance claim is not your only option when pursuing compensation for your injuries. Maryland is a “fault” insurance state, meaning that the at-fault party is responsible for the damages they cause. As such, you can seek compensation either through the filing of insurance claims or by filing a lawsuit against the negligent driver.
Filing a Third-Party Claim with the Other Driver’s Insurance
In Maryland, the driver who caused the accident is held responsible for the damages under the at-fault system. In case the other driver was at fault, it’s possible to file a third-party claim with their insurance company. Such a claim can provide financial assistance for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against the Other Driver
If negotiations with the insurance company fail, or if the other driver was uninsured or underinsured, you might consider filing a personal injury lawsuit. This legal action seeks compensation directly from the at-fault driver. However, remember that Maryland follows a contributory negligence rule, which bars recovery if you were even slightly at fault for the accident.
Perhaps most importantly, you do not need to file an insurance claim before filing a lawsuit. Since Maryland is a fault state for insurance purposes, you can elect to file a lawsuit before an insurance claim if the circumstances call for it. In many cases, filing a lawsuit is necessary to get an insurance company to cooperate and try to settle the case.
Filing a Claim Under Your Own Insurance Coverage
If your own insurance policy includes personal injury protection (PIP) or collision coverage, they could help cover the damages that your standard coverage does not. PIP coverage can pay for medical expenses and lost wages, regardless of who was at fault in the accident. As mentioned, collision coverage can help pay for repairs to your vehicle or even replace it if it was totaled in the accident.
Our Car Accident Attorneys Can Help
For a free case evaluation with our car accident lawyers, contact Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (410) 694-7291.