It is mandatory for drivers to have car insurance in Maryland. That doesn’t mean the driver who hits you will always be insured. If the other driver in a car accident lacks insurance in Maryland, you may still be able to make a claim for your injuries. Driving without insurance in Maryland is a serious offense. However, about 12 percent of drivers in the state lack insurance. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners found about one in eight drivers were uninsured nationally in 2014. Your chances of being hit and hurt by a driver who doesn’t have car insurance are higher than you think. Drivers who are irresponsible enough to take out car insurance are more likely to flout other rules of the road and cause collisions.
Motorists who drive without insurance risk being fined or losing their driver’s license. Unfortunately, the police don’t arrest many uninsured motorists until they cause a wreck. If you are injured by an uninsured driver you may be able to make a claim on uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. A Baltimore uninsured driver accident injury lawyer can advise you how to proceed with a claim. We will help you use uninsured motorist insurance (UM) and underinsured motorist insurance (UIM) to recover for your injuries.
Must Drivers Have Auto Insurance in Maryland?
Auto insurance is compulsory in Maryland. The law requires a minimum liability of 30/60/15, or $30,000 per person, $60,000 per accident, and $15,000 for property damage per wreck. Drivers should consider higher levels to protect their assets.
Although auto insurance is compulsory, that does not mean all drivers in the state have it.
How Many Uninsured Drivers Are There in Maryland?
About 9.9 percent of drivers in Maryland were on the roads of the state without car insurance in 2015, according to the Insurance Information Institute. A 2017 study found about 13 percent of drivers are uninsured nationally.
If you are involved in a car wreck in Maryland, you have a one in 10 percent chance the driver who hit you lacked insurance.
Every year drivers tell us ‘my car was hit by an uninsured driver in Maryland. What should I do? It’s important not to panic. Maryland law allows you to make a recovery if the other driver caused your injury or damage to your vehicle. Uninsured Motorist Coverage is compulsory in the state.
How Much Insurance Coverage Must You Carry in Maryland?
Drivers in Maryland are required to carry insurance of at least $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident. They must take out policies covering $15,000 for property damage per accident, states the Maryland Insurance Administration.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage vs. Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Maryland
Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured motorist coverage is relevant when the driver who caused an accident has no insurance or the driver of a Maryland hit and run accident is never tracked down. When you make a UM claim you file the claim against your own auto insurance policy. Most policies have UM coverage, even if the policyholder is unaware of it. The policyholder has the right to waive uninsured/underinsured driver coverage only if he or she signs a written waiver of coverage. This seldom happens.
The accident victim must prove the uninsured motorist was liable for his or her injuries to make a successful UM claim.
For all policies renewed after Jan. 1, 2011, the minimum amount of uninsured motorist coverage required under Maryland law is $30,000 for bodily injury per person, $60,000 bodily injury per accident and property damage of $15,000. Uninsured motorist coverage allows the victim of a car wreck to make a recovery for bodily injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. It also allows family members of someone who is killed in a car wreck to make a recovery from the deceased person’s policy if the at-fault driver caused a fatal wreck.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) helps victims make a recovery when there is a shortfall in coverage. It is intended to put a car accident victim in the same position they would be in had the at-fault driver had liability coverage equal to that of the accident victim. If the driver who caused the wreck that injured you lacked enough insurance coverage to pay for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering, your own insurance company can bridge the gap.
The idea of underinsured motorist coverage can be difficult for some accidents victims to understand. They may even resent fighting their own insurance company for the difference. However, it often works to the benefit of a car accident victim. Take the situation in which the victim has an underinsured insurance policy with $450,000 in coverage and a claim that is worth $300,000. The at-fault driver has only $200,000 in insurance coverage. In this situation, the insurance company for the culpable driver would pay his entire policy limit of $200,000. The victim’s insurance company would pay the other $100,000 to settle the claim.
In the past, Maryland has not allowed the ‘stacking’ of insurance policies to boost payouts. However, a new law that took effect for personal car insurance policies purchased on or after July 1, 2018, is beneficial to Maryland car wreck victims. Insurers who issue new policies must now offer enhanced underinsured motorist (EUIM) coverage to replace traditional UIM coverage.
EUIM coverage prohibits an insurer from slashing the coverage amount by any applicable liability insurance paid on behalf of a liable third party. EUIM allows an accident claimant to “stack” an EUIM payment on top of a payment received from a third party’s liability policy without an offset.
When Should You Use Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Maryland?
Maryland has Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage. Even if the other driver lacks coverage you can claim on your own insurance coverage. Maryland is one of very few states in which UIM insurance is compulsory. You must have UIM/UM coverage of least $30,000 per person bodily injury coverage and $60,000 per accident. This coverage protects drivers hit by another vehicle as well as pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists.
Drivers must carry Uninsured Motorist Property Damage coverage of at least $15,000 to protect their vehicle from damage caused by an uninsured driver. This also applies to scenarios where the driver who hit you flees the accident scene and cannot be found. There are certain conditions. Typically, you must report the accident to the police and the insurance company within 48 hours. Drivers can also purchase additional UIM coverage. The minimum limits associated with minimal coverage are quickly exhausted in accidents involving serious injuries.
It’s important to look very closely at your coverage and expand it if possible. If you are hit by a tractor-trailer driver with no insurance and left paralyzed, $30,000 will not go far to meet your high medical bills.
What Happens If You Cause an Accident and Have No Insurance in Maryland?
Driving with no insurance is very serious. If you cause an accident you can be hit with the misdemeanor of driving without insurance. As we as a high fine, you could face time behind bars and lose your license. A conviction on a first offense of driving without insurance can carry 5 points on your license, a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail. You may be charged with other offenses such as reckless driving.
Drivers who have no insurance will not be able to make an insurance claim.
What Happens if You Have No Insurance and Were Hit by Another Driver in Maryland?
If you end up as the victim of an accident with no insurance, you are likely to be charged with a criminal offense. However, you can claim against the other driver’s insurance policy if he or she caused your injuries or property damage to your car. Always talk to a lawyer to find out your legal rights.
Are Some Accidents Exempt from Uninsured/UnderInsured Motorist Insurance?
UIM/UM insurance does not come into play if the accident involves a vehicle not subject to registration under § 13-402 of the Transportation Article because it is not driven on a highway or is exempt from registration under § 13-402(c)(10) of the Transportation Article.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in Maryland
Personal injury protection (PIP) may also help people who are hurt in an accident. It is not mandatory in Maryland. However, insurance companies in the state are required to offer a minimum of $2,500 of PIP coverage when they draw up auto insurance policies. Although drivers can PIP coverage for themselves, they cannot typically waive it for passengers riding in their vehicle or any pedestrians they may injure. PIP insurance will cover medical expenses for you and your passengers if you end up hurt in an accident, before your medical insurance kicks in.
Talk to a Baltimore Uninsured Motorist Accident Attorney Today
The question ‘What If the other driver in my car accident doesn’t have insurance in Maryland’ is a more common one than many people realize. As we explain above, there is often recourse through insurance policies. However, uninsured and underinsured policies are an extremely complicated part of Maryland auto accident law.
If you are hit by a driver with no insurance or inadequate insurance, it makes sense to talk to a veteran car accident attorney. Increasing numbers of drivers and passengers are injured by motorists on the hectic highways of Baltimore, Lutherville, Ellicott City, or elsewhere in Maryland. Some drivers do not contact a Baltimore car accident lawyer until they have already said too much to the insurance company. You should contact an injury lawyer as soon as possible after a car, truck, or motorcycle wreck. We offer free, no obligation consultations. Please call us at (410) 694-7291.